Mahila Gram Sabha takes steps to protect girl child

Close on the heels of a mother in Dharmapuri district killing a nine-month-old girl, a meeting of the Mahila Gram Sabha held in Thengaramathupatti of the district decided that all Primary Health Centres (PHCs) would receive babies under the Cradle Baby Scheme.

In spite of efforts to eradicate female infanticide/foeticide through awareness programmes, incidents were being reported now and then, the Mahila Gram Sabha noted. District-level officers from various departments, including health, education and revenue were present in the meeting.

Addressing the meeting, District Collector K. Vivekanandan instructed Health department officials to instruct all PHCs to receive babies under the scheme in Dharmapuri district with immediate effect.

A model cradle with a baby doll would be kept in all PHCs. Babies received at the PHCs would be transferred to the Cradle Baby Home in Dharmapuri through the EMRI’s 108 ambulances with neo-natal medical facilities. This service should be closely coordinated by the departments of health, Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) and EMRI, he said.

Besides, the welfare schemes being implemented for women by the State government would be displayed prominently in all 251 panchayat offices in the district.

The Collector also explained the features of various schemes such as girl children protection scheme and marriage assistance scheme.

He appealed to the villagers to adopt the two-child norm. Sub Health Nurses had been asked to create awareness among women on this aspect.

The Collector said the sex ratio according to the Census 2011 was 946. However, in the age group of 0 to six years, it was 913.

Determined efforts must be made by the government departments along with the support of people to improve the ratio, Mr. Vivekanandan added.

At the end of the meeting, the Collector administered a pledge to the people on solemnising marriage of girls at the age of 21, eradication of female infanticide/foeticide and putting an end to atrocities against women.

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