R. Ramya, daughter of a convict, is about to complete her diploma course in Modern Office Practice at the Government Women’s Polytechnic, Coimbatore, and get ready for employment.

When her destitute mother put her two daughters and son in Sharanalaya – a home for the children of prisoners, little would she have expected her eldest daughter to complete her studies and become employable. But, today, thanks to ‘Save Our Daughters India’ movement, Ramya is on the threshold of taking up a job. For a destitute mother of three, whose husband spent a long term in jail before succumbing to illness, nothing could be sweeter.

The movement – aimed at working for the higher education of orphan and poor girl children – started out in a small way two years ago by helping a deprived girl join B. Sc. Computer Science in a local college. Today, it is a registered movement which has already provided higher education to as many as 40 needy girls. They are mostly from the orphanages and homes in and around Coimbatore.

The formal launch of ‘Save Our Daughters India’, the brainchild of T. Sampath Kumar and V.G. Mohan Prasad, was done by former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam here on Saturday. Appreciating the aim of the movement, he wished it to become a national movement by 2020.

“Though there are many schemes and concessions, injustice to women continue to prevail. It starts right from the womb with female foeticide still prevalent in many parts. The breed of socially conscious doctors who refrain from killing the female foetus should continue to grow,” Mr. Kalam said.

He implored women and men alike that girl children should be considered the wealth of the nation.

Chairman of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Coimbatore Kendra, B.K. Krishnaraj Vanavarayar, said that people should not depend on the Government alone for improvement. “They should take efforts on their own to perform and improve the country. People’s movements are stronger than that of the Government’s”.

Managing Trustee of the movement T. Sampath Kumar said the novel project was conceived with the aim of helping the poor and orphan girl children by enabling them to get higher education and empowering them to get placed in jobs of their calling and get settled into a family life. “It should stress that begetting a girl child is a blessing and not a curse. It will also set right the imbalance in sex ratio of boys and girls”.

“To make the poor girl’s dream real, philanthropists should involve themselves in her education, vocational training and employment. This is a one-to-one programme with one philanthropist to be responsible for the care of one girl,” he added.

He was grateful to the management of the colleges and universities who had offered free seats and also to those who had sponsored the education of the orphaned and poor girls.

Admission cards to girls, whose education was sponsored by institutions and the Rotary Clubs, were handed over to them by Mr. Kalam.

Trustees V.G. Mohan Prasad and M. Alagirisamy, and Chairman of the Bannari Amman Group S.V.Balasubramaniam, were present.