Maharashtra: Sule plans padyatra against female infanticide

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Supriya Sule
Pune, Jul 7: It seems that Congress scion Rahul Gandhi's padyatra over the current plight of the UP farmers have inspired the nation to a large extent. Its now time for Supriya Sule, a Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MP and daughter of Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, who have made up her mind to undertake a padyatra to highlight the menace of female infanticide in Maharashtra.

According to the 2011 census reports, Maharashtra has the state average of child sex ratio (number of girls per 1,000 boys between the age of 0 to 6) is 883 while the national average stands at 914. The figures have slipped from 2001, when the state average was 913 whereas the national average was 927.

Following such a plight of females in the state, there have been strict surveillance on sonography and abortion clinics by the government departments across Maharashtra aiming to stop sex-selective tests and termination of pregnancy.

Sule would undertake this 70-km march from August 25 to 28 alongwith 500 girls who would partipate in this protest. “We will be holding debates, discussions and competitions in colleges. We have to work towards equality. This is an emotional as well as economic issue," Sule said.

"I think that unless the mindset of people changes, problems like female foeticide will continue to exist, no matter how many regulations the government introduces. I see awareness and women empowerment playing a major role in stopping girl child abortions and also inequality towards girls after birth. That's why we are going to undertake this padyatra along with doctors and members of civil society and peer leaders to raise awareness and personally appeal to people," she stated.

State Home Minister R.R. Patil and his daughter are expected to participate on the first day. Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan will be attending a workshop on the issue.

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