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Campaign Against Female Foeticide Launched by Patel Community

by Rajshri on  July 1, 2008 at 3:59 PM Indian Health News   - G J E 4
 Campaign Against Female Foeticide Launched by Patel Community
Members of Kutch Kadva Patidar (community of Patels) in a Gujarat district have adopted a novel way to promote birth of girl children in their community.
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The Patel community has come forward to adopt girl children in their community in Sabarkantha region of Gujarat. The members have been in a way have dedicated themselves to promote the 'Save the Girl Child Movement' for last two years here.

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The Patel community comprises over 8,000 families in the region.

It was decided to take such an initiative to promote girl children among them after learning that the sex ratio in the region has reached a worrisome figure of 815 girls on 1,000 boys.

It made the Patels to generate awareness about the need to have girl children in their community. Besides, it suggested the idea that the community would adopt the girl child if the baby-girls' parents so desired.

The community has so far adopted 10 girls from different families who had more than one or two girl child.

It has also resolved to felicitate the family who accepts the second girl child and help it by taking care of expenses including education and marriage of the girl.

The concerned members of the community were utterly disappointed to learn that most of the families in their region were against the birth of a second girl child. Many of them feared financial burden and other concern to grow up a girl child.

Thanks to the endeavours by the concerned members over two years, who have created quite awareness and encouraged people to have girl child.

Jayantibhai Patel, Secretary of Kutch Kadva Patidar, said: "In our community, earlier whenever a girl was born, she was considered a huge burden. Every household used to think the same way. Then it was decided by our President that when a second child is born and she is a girl, she should be given all care and acceptance even if she is a third girl child in a family. All her expenses will be borne by our community so that families with a meagre income do not consider girl child as burden."

One such couple of Pankajbhai and Rekhaben Patel were initially hesitant to have a second child after learning it's going to be a girl. The couple already had an eight-year-old girl and wished for a baby boy.

Due to the initiative and counselling of their community members, the couple happily accepted their second girl child.

Another couple of Subhashbhai and Hansaben Patel was worried on the birth to their second girl child Vaidehi.

"We have two girl children, Drishti and Vaidehi. Everybody suggested to have a boy as the first child but when we had Drishti as our first child and Vaidehi as the second, our family members got tensed with this fact of two girls. But once we heard of this encouraging awareness campaign, it caused us much relief," said Subhashbhai Patel

"This step opted by our community is quite admirable. With its help, the second child receives a proper recognition in the society unlike earlier where they suffered family ignorance in society," said Pankajbhai Patel, father of Diya and Mudra.

Today, all of the three girls with their respective parents are living happily.

In the last two years, over 15 families have happily welcomed the birth of girl child in their families.

Source: ANI
RAS/L
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