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We live in a country where, for some unfathomable reason, having a girl child is considered a crime. It doesn’t matter how hard we try to 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.
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.”
Since its inauguration in 2012, many gram panchayats and many other doctors have taken up this initiative. Speaking about this, Doctor Rakh says: “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 for 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 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, the head of Anand Hospital at Kunjirwadi in Haveli taluka, has said: “Though it is not possible for me to waive off the charges completely, 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: “It’s not just me who has witnessed how relatives thronging the hospital on D-day hug each other when a boy is born and disappear when a girl is born. Even other doctors see it every day in maternity wards or hospitals. The tension on the pregnant woman for nine months is so severe and acute that you can actually see it in her hemoglobin and blood pressure fluctuations. After the word trickled out, my batch-mates and doctors working in districts like Beed, Ahmednagar, Solapur, and other interiors wrote to me. They said that they would stop carrying out procedures like indiscriminate sex-determination tests or unwarranted medical termination of pregnancy.”
Give women a chance, stop female infanticide.