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99 Yatra
In Kutch, Modi raises pitch against female foeticide, tells women ...
27 March 2007

Bhuj: RAISING pitch for women’s emancipation, Chief Minister Narendra Modi while voicing strict warning to doctors indulging in illegal female foeticide for money, made fervent appeal to pregnant mothers to discourage such a practice.

‘’Not only is this morally and illegally wrong, it would lead to great crises with the skewed sex ratio leading to virtual shortage of females. For, now there are only 840 females against 1,000 males in the State,’’ he said while addressing a mammoth all-woman mahila sammelan here as part of the State’s on-going campaign for emancipation and empowerment of women. Reiterating his Banaskantha appeal comparing the modern times with ‘dudh piti’ custom prevalent long ago, he said, “At least, the pregnancy was not terminated in the womb,” adding, “ the female foeticide is mainly practiced by educated people.”

“’Please do not make the womb a graveyard. If for any reason termination of pregnancy is must, just drop a postcard to your this brother of yours in Gandhinagar. I will help you,’’ a highly emotional Modi told his women audience. He said he never saw such a large turnout during any of his Kutch visit. The chief minister then said that he did not want any new born child or his mother to die during delivery. ‘’When the entire nation is on tenterhooks if a child falls in a tubewell and pray for his safe rescue, then why should not cases of still births, delivery deaths disturb us.”

He said his government had now extended the ‘Chiranjivi’ scheme to the entire State after success of pilot projects in some districts including Kutch. He said even during the pilot projects, 3,6000 deliveries were handled by qualified doctors hired by the government under the scheme. “But for this, 100 newborns and 1,400 mothers would have died.” “Under the scheme, the expectant poor mothers not only get free treatment by the doctors, but even get Rs 200 as transport charges to reach the designated doctors, he said, adding, “they get Rs 200 daily as hospital fees.” He said the scheme also provided a bond of Rs 10,000 in case of still birth and delivery death.

On women’s empowerment, the CM said his government would involve women in decision-making and it could be discerned by the State’s on-going scheme of ‘Sakhi mandal (women’s SHG). He said the ‘successful’ WASMO scheme for water management in rural area launched from Kutch has now become model scheme for the nation. Here, women form groups and save money to undertake economic activities, he said, adding that in some villages, women had already floated businesses with savings of Rs 5,000 which now turns over Rs 1 crore.

He said in Surendranagar, Sakhi mandal initiated business of selling ‘gobar gas’ which today gives them rich dividends. They also net profit by catering during marriages and other social gatherings, he said. Earlier, while inaugurating the new building of the National Cadet Corps, the chief minister said that as Kutch was a border district with both sea and land border, the force should also have its naval and wing.

Courtesy: Ahmedabad Newsline - Ahmedabad,India kutchhis globally , from Mumbai

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