Punjab's abysmally low sex ratio - just 798 girls per 1,000 males in the 0-6 age group - has prompted various social groups, among them the Art of Living Foundation, to tackle the practice of female foeticide.
An 18-day campaign - Beti Sneh Sanjivni Yatra - by the Foundation in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and a couple of NGOs Thursday concluded a statewide campaign to make people aware of the long-term repercussions of a dwindling female population.
AdvertisementSeven out of the 10 districts in the country with the worst sex ratios are in Punjab - Fatehgarh Sahib being the lowest at around 700 females per 1,000 males.
The anti-female foeticide campaign that started from the famous Sikh religious shrine Damdama Sahib at Talwandi Sabo in Bathinda district, concluded at Khamano in Fatehgarh Sahib.
Sikh religious leaders, including the main clergyman Joginder Singh Vedanti of Akal Takht, lent support to the campaign against sex selection that is prevalent in Punjab's society. The preference for a son and abortion of unborn girls has become rampant in the state.
Hundreds of girls, social workers, religious leaders and people from all walks of life participated in the campaign led by Art of Living activists.
The campaign was carried out through 17 places in the districts of Bathinda, Mansa, Patiala, Kapurthala and Fatehgarh Sahib.
The activists not only spread the message of love and peace but also urged people to desist from sex selection techniques.
Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar sent a special message for the success of the campaign from his Bangalore headquarters.