2000 girls get killed inside wombs daily: Maneka Gandhi

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Panipat (Har), Jan 22: Expressing concern over the adverse sex ratio in the country, Union minister Maneka Gandhi on Thursday called for a need to fight the scourge of female foeticide which claims "2000 lives of girls daily."

Speaking on the occasion of launch of "Beti Bachao Beti Padhao" campaign, a nationwide initiative that seeks to improve the sex ratio at birth by ten points every year, the Minister for Women and Child Development said in some states the sex ratio stood at 840 girls for 1000 boys.

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She also said that among the 12 districts from Haryana chosen for the campaign, the sex ratio varied between 775 to 837.

"The situation is so alarming that in 70 villages, not even a single girl can be found for the past many years," she said, adding while in some villages the sex ratio was as low as 500. She said "female foeticide claims 2000 lives of girls daily on an average across the country."

Expressing her thanks and gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who launched the nationwide campaign in the presence of many of his cabinet colleagues including Smriti Irani, J P Nadda, besides Chief Minister M L Khattar and Bollywood star Madhuri Dixit, she said it is because of PM's initiative and thinking that the issue (adverse sex ratio) has come to centerstage.

Panipat was chosen as it is also among the 100 districts across the country with adverse sex ratio. She said that the Health and HRD Ministries of the Union Government will also put their collaborative effort to make the nationwide campaign a success.

"This programme can only be successful with everyone's participation," she said.

She said that women are very much standing shoulder-to-shoulder with men in different fields and added that late astronaut Kalpana Chawla had not only made Haryana, but entire world proud.

She said this initiative of the Centre was a fourth major one after schemes like Jandhan and Make in India.

Gandhi said that Anganwadi centres, ASHA workers, Gram Panchayats, besides others should actively be part of BBBP campaign for its success.

With crowds turning restive to listen to Modi's speech as they were braving rainy and cold weather, Gandhi sensing the mood of the public quickly wrapped up her speech.

Towards the end, she also said birth of a girl child should be celebrated in the same way as it is in some parts of Rajasthan, where 'ladoos' are distributed.

PTI

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