We live in a country where, for some unfathomable reason, having a girl child is considered to be a crime. No matter how much we choose to believe that this is a thing of the past, it’s not. However, times are definitely changing. People in our country are becoming more open-minded and rational, although at a slow rate. There are some people, though, who are helping speed up this otherwise slow process. One such person is Doctor Ganesh Rakh. He, to prevent female infanticide is making sure that the delivery of all girl children at his hospital is free of cost.
This wonderful initiative was taken three years ago and has already saved 432 lives of girl children. Doctor Rakh is the head of the Medicare Hospital Foundation Trust hospital in Pune. The hospital not only delivers girl children for free but also celebrates the birth of every girl child. They do so by distributing sweets in the entire hospital.
“Female infanticide is rampant because regressive social norms are not only anti-women but are even anti-girl children. As a medical professional, I have seen the torture that a mother undergoes when she comes to know that she has delivered a girl.”
“After reading media reports about my work, I was contacted by nearly 17-18 gram panchayats and hundreds of doctors who have promised to welcome girl children by motivating families.”
Doctor Rakh’s initiative has begun a social movement in the country. Gram panchayats hold meetings in which Doctor Ganesh Rakh is invited to talk about the matter of female infanticide. These panchayats also monitor pregnant women. They report these pregnant women to the police if they commit female infanticide. Some villages also give out prize money to those people who report female infanticide or help stop it.
Doctors across the country have also started this initiative in their hospitals. Doctor Pravin Dungarvar, who is the head of Anand Hospital at Kunjirwadi in Haveli taluka, has said that:
“Though it is not possible for me to completely waive off the charges, I saw his work and decided to do my bit too. Hence, since the last few weeks, I have started charging half the amount of a normal bill if a girl child is born at the hospital.”
Talking about how over 3000 doctors in Maharashtra have taken up his initiative, Doctor Rakh says:
We hope that this initiative spreads all across the country and helps in changing the mindset of many Indians. People end up killing girl children because they believe that the girl child will not be able to earn for or provide for the family. If you continue telling a woman that her only aim in life is to take care of her family and ‘stay in the kitchen’, then you have no idea how she would do in the working world.
Give women a chance, stop female infanticide.