Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said mothers-in-law should take the lead to protect the girl child and called upon them as well as state governments to create a mass movement.
The prime minister was in Rajasthan to launch the National Nutrition Mission (NNM) and announced the expansion of the 'Beti Bachao Beti Padhao' programme.
"Mistakes committed by generations against the girl child has resulted in a kind of imbalance in society, and this needs to be corrected by new generations," Modi said on International Women's Day.
He also encouraged people to take up the task of protecting the girl child and treating them equally.
"Daughters are neglected and killed, and it results in imbalance in society. Improvement does not come in just one generation, it takes time, but now we should decide that equal importance will be given to the girl child," he said.
It is "painful" that requests have to be made for protecting daughters and the girl child, Modi said.
"I request all state governments to make it a mass movement," the prime minister said, calling upon mothers-in-law to take the lead in families to protect the girl child.
He said the 'Beti Bachao Beti Padhao' programme was launched two years ago from Haryana.
The situation of the girl child was alarming in Haryana but now significant improvement has been noted under the programme, Modi said.
'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao' is a social campaign of the Centre that aims to generate awareness and improve the efficiency of welfare services intended for girls.
Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi said the Centre had taken several initiatives for the welfare of women.
She said that a "historic" Bill would be introduced in Parliament to check trafficking of women and children.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje highlighted the state government's schemes and programmes, including the Rajshree Yojna for girls.
Before his address, the prime minister gave awards to Collectors of various districts for their performance under the 'Beti Bachao Beti Padhao' programme.
The prime minister also interacted with women and their children.
Watch Video: PM Modi interacts with women in Rajasthan's Jhunjhunu