Punjab Governor calls for steps to tackle female foeticide

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Patiala, Jan 25 (UNI) Punjab Governor Gen (retd) S F Rodrigues today expressed serious concern on the growing menace of female foeticide and drug addiction and called for taking immediate steps to tackle these two problems.

''Punjab has the second lowest sex ratio in the country and the practice of female foeticide is still rampant, despite the promulgation of laws prohibiting it'', Gen Rodrigues said while addressing the state level 59th Republic Day function at the Yadvindra Stadium here after unfurling the National Flag and taking the salute at an impressive marchpast by contingents of the Punjab Armed Police (PAP), Punjab Police, NCC, Scouts and school children.

The Governor also expressed concern at the high incidence of drug addiction among the youth in the border state.

Refering to the agricultural sector, the Governor said that the industrious and progressive farmers had started new programmes of improved and efficient farming. Striking advances had been witnessed, with the introduction of modern techniques, the strengthening of supportive infrastructure and research based agro extension services, he added.

Bold initiatives, for strengthening the major canal system, the generation of additional power and setting up of agro service centres at block level had been taken, he added. State Farmers' Commission, the Punjab Agricultural University and the farm scientists are collectively making sincere efforts to guide the farming community to raise productivity levels and to put the agriculture economy on the path of rapid growth, he said.

The Governor further said that the Punjab Government had taken the education, employment and health sector on its priority agenda, which are the essential factors for human resource development and improvement in the quality of life.

The initiatives for the provision of quality education through new teaching techniques and equipping our schools with modern tools of IT and computer have been undertaken, he added. A series of intensive programmes have been launched, with special emphasis on AIDS control and the containment of other communicable diseases, he added.

Gen Rodrigues also paid tributes to the freedom fighters and the jawans of the armed forces, para military forces and the police who had laid down their lives to ptotect the unity and integrity of the country.

Earlier the Governor accompanied by DGP N P S Aulakh and IGP (Patiala Range) C S R Reddy inspected a guard of honour. Later a colour cultural programme depicting the heritage of Punjab was presented on the occasion.

UNI HS VN1653

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