President launches 'save girl child' caimpaign on Gandhi Jayanti

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New Delhi, Oct 2 (UNI) President Pratibha Patil today launched the 'Save the Girl Child' campaign on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti, calling upon the citizens to be a part of the movement.

The signature caimpaign of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, it is being launched to make society aware of the declining girl to boy ratio in the 0-6 year age group.

Speaking on the occasion, Ms Patil said pre-birth elimination of the female child after sex selection ''is prevalent even among the educated and, therefore, the problem is not only due to a lack of education''.

Recalling a survey she got conducted during her tenure as Rajasthan governor, the President said it was found that the problem was not as pronounced in tribal and rural areas also.

Ms Patil emphasised that a girl child is not a curse but a boon.

The misuse of technology to determine the sex of the foetus and easy access to it has contributed to the rapid decline in the child sex ratio, she said. She said the adverse ratio can severely impact the delicate balance of nature and destroy our moral and social fabric. Lesser number of girls will not enhance the status as believed by many, but could lead to increased violence against women and other evils.

Ms Patil, at another function, inaugurated the 58th TB Seal Campaign of the Tuberculosis Association of India.

Upon enquiring about the progress of the campaign, Health and Family Welfare Minister Anbumani Ramdoss informed Ms Patil that so far 1.5 crore lives had been saved and the World Health Organisation had recognised the TB Seal Campaign as the largest public health programme in the world.

Besides, Ms Patil also released special commemorative medallions on the occasion of the 60th Year of India's Independence. The gold medallions produced by the Mines and Minerals Trading Corporation (MMTC) are a tribute to freedom fighters.

The year 2007 is being celebrated as the 60th Independence Anniversary but also as the birth centenary of Shaheed Bhagat Singh and the 150th Anniversary of the First War of Independence.

The underlying theme of the medallions -- Priceless emotions captured in gold -- salutes the undying spirit and emotions of Indians.

UNI

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