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Law alone cannot check female foeticide: Sushma

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Making a point: Sushma Swaraj of Bharatiya Janata Party along with party State president Suresh Pujari (left) at a presss conference in Bhubaneswar on Saturday.
Making a point: Sushma Swaraj of Bharatiya Janata Party along with party State president Suresh Pujari (left) at a presss conference in Bhubaneswar on Saturday.

Correspondent

Urges youth to help priests launch campaign against the social evil

CUTTACK: BJP leader and Rajya Sabha member Sushma Swaraj on Saturday said that no amount of legislation or enforcement of any law would be able to put a check the rampant female foeticide cases in the country. She however, urged the youth to take the help of religious priests to launch a campaign against the social malady that is threatening the sex ratio in many States.

‘Jago Maa Jago’

Ms Sushma Swaraj was speaking as chief guest at a function here organized by the All India Marwari Yuva Manch to launch the Orissa chapter of its campaign "Jago Maa Jago", a national drive to save female foetus. National Women Commission member Manju Snehalata Hembram accompanied her.

Ms Swaraj said during her stint as Union Health Minister she had started several ambitious schemes to check female foeticide in the country by making tennis sensation Sania Mirza as brand ambassador. But none of the plans succeeded because our society is predominately guided by certain blind beliefs and the choice for a male child in a family is the main stumbling block.

She said rituals like offering "shradh", "peend dan", and performing the last rites of a person have made the people believe that their soul would not rest in peace if a male child is not born to a family. She said these false and obsolete notions are to be removed from the society in order to treat the girl child at par with her male counterpart.

"For this, the religious heads should be roped in as they would be able to make the people understand that shradh, ‘peend dan’ and ‘mukhagni’ can be performed by the girl child also," Swaraj said adding that she has only one daughter and no sons and has publicly declared that her daughter would perform the last rites of her parents including lighting the funeral pyres.

She, however, expressed shock over the statistics showing that the sex ratio is dismal in developed states like Punjab, Haryana and Delhi and among the affluent communities like Sikhs and Jains. "What is more surprising is the fact that elderly women in some rural pockets of Haryana and Punjab still mourn in groups when a daughter is born to their family," Swaraj said.

Among others who spoke on the occasion are national president of the Manch Anil Jajodia and vice president Ganesh Kandoi. State BJP leader Samir Dey, Mayor Nibedita Pradhan, MP Surendra Lath and Sangita Singdeo and State Women’s Commission Chairperson Namita Panda also attended the meeting.


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