Monday, February 19, 2007

Govt ready to adopt girl children to check fall in sex ratio

The government would soon provide home to an unwanted girl child.In a bid to check the alarming rate of female feticide, the ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) has proposed to set up an orphanage in each district of the country where parents can leave their girl child, if they don't want to bring them up.WCD minister Renuka Chowdhury told PTI that the orphanage would be part of the crèche scheme that the ministry has proposed for the 11th five-year plan."We want to put a cradle or Palna in every district headquarters. What we are saying to the people is have your children, don't kill them. And if you don't want a girl child, leave her to us," she said.Under the proposed scheme, the government will bear the cost of the upbringing of the girl child, a step considered necessary to correct the skewed sex ratio of the country. The government is already running Rajiv Gandhi Creche Scheme for children of working women and the orphanages would be an extension of the scheme, a ministry official said. "This is part of our ministry's Integrated Child Development Scheme," an official said, informing that the proposal has already been submitted to the Planning Commission. Chowdhury felt that the scheme would provide at least a chance to the girl child to live. "It would be better than killing them," she replied, when asked whether the scheme can lead to parents abandoning the girl child.With the scheme, the government believes the gene pool will be maintained and parents, who realise their mistake, can claim their girl child later.Sex ratio as per 2001 Census in the country was 933 females per 1,000 males. The more affluent states like Punjab, Delhi, Rajasthan and Haryana had sex ratio lower than 875. The latest Census figures on infant mortality rate shows that death of girl child in these states is increasing despite government interventions. Chowdhury termed it a 'national shame' for a country whose economy is growing at the rate of nine per cent.Email Chetan Chauhan:



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