State will celebrate May 1 every year as ‘Bangaru Thalli’ festival: Kiran

The State will celebrate May 1 every year as ‘Bangaru Thalli’ festival and it will be the occasion to present a progress card on the number of girl children born during the year and the funds spent, Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy declared here on Tuesday.

Formally launching the girl child protection scheme amid fanfare and in the presence of thousands of SHG members here, Mr. Kiran Kumar Reddy said that ‘Bangaru Thalli’ was conceived to check falling female child sex ratio and ensure the empowerment of the girl child through education. More importantly, it will give confidence to parents that the girl child is no longer a burden.

Citing rampant female foeticide as a cause for the dismal child sex ratio, Mr. Kiran Kumar Reddy said while one crore girl children were killed in the last 20 years in the country either in the womb itself or after their birth, in the State, the number during 2005- 2011 was estimated to be 78,000.

“Who gave us the right to kill or dump the girl child? Legislations alone will not change the situation unless every family, particularly women themselves change their mindset first,” he said.

The government gave a legal status to the scheme to give girls their right and for the cash incentives given by the government- Rs.2,500 soon after her birth and Rs.1 lakh after graduation at 21 years of age. “The legislation will ensure that none can decrease these amounts,” he added. He asserted that both ‘Indiramma Kalalu’- SC, ST Sub-Plan and ‘Bangaru Thalli’ would remain in the history of the State as two highly important legislations aimed at changing the lives of Dalits and women for the better and transform Andhra Pradesh into the no.1 State.

Sunitha Laxma Reddy, who presided over the meeting, said that since the introduction of the scheme from May 1, 22,000 girl children were registered under the girl child protection scheme. Several Ministers and people’s representatives were present.