Panipat (Haryana): Stressing that the society as a whole needs to change the mindset towards the girl child to end the problem of female foeticide, Union minister Maneka Gandhi today said the practice was more prevalent among the middle, upper-middle and rich sections of the society.
Though there was a healthy sex ratio in the North Eastern Region and tribal areas, Gandhi noted with concern that in some parts of the country it has been observed that the incidences of female foeticide were more prevalent among the middle, upper middle and rich sections of the society.
The sex ratio is healthy in the country's eastern parts but as one moves to the “more developed western parts”, the problem raises its head, she said after inaugurating a workshop on “Best Practices for Women and Child Development”, as part of “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” programme to be launched from here by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 22.
The Union Minister for Women and Child Development said the evil practice of female foeticide needs to be fought strongly and the society has a larger role to play in this.
“We need to change the mindset. Today is just the beginning. We must see a visible difference in the next two years...,” Maneka said at the two-day national workshop.
The Centre's ambitious ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao' scheme would be implemented in 100 districts with low female sex ratio, out of which 12 are in Haryana—Mahendergarh, Jhajjar, Rewari, Sonepat, Ambala, Kurukshetra, Rohtak, Karnal, Yamuna Nagar, Kaithal, Bhiwani and Panipat.
Gandhi said the central government will seek periodic reports from the districts and will reward those who register improvement. A reward of Rs 1 crore will be given for the innovative village which attains a balanced sex ratio and District Commissioner or ambassadors of the campaign will be suitably rewarded by the government.
She said the Prime Minister was concerned about the imbalance in the sex ratio, which according to the last Census figures was 918 females per 1000 males.
There were many districts in Haryana where the ratio was dismal, with worst being Sonepat, Jhajjar and Rewari. “The Prime Minister was keen that this campaign should be launched from Haryana,” she said, adding it would be extensively carried out to bring in positive psychological change in the mindset of the people regarding girl child.
As many as 135 participants from various states including Chief Ministers, Ministers and Union Government secretaries are participating in the workshop. Among those who addressed the gathering today included Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and his Gujarat counterpart Anandiben Patel.