Panipat: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday made an impassioned plea for the rights of the girl child in Panipat, where he launched the ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ campaign.
In a hard-hitting speech, he said, “we cannot call ourselves citizens of 21st century by practising such a crime and we were by our mindset belonged to 18th century when daughters were killed soon after they were born.”Â
“The Prime Minister of the country is begging you to save the lives of the girl child. What we are pledging to do today won’t change things quickly, it will take long for people’s mindset to change. For your dreams to take off, you need both boys and girls as the wings; so that your dreams come true,” Modi said.
“There was a time when girls were drowned in large vessels of milk, but we are worse than that too, we kill in wombs. Can there be a horror worse than killing a child just because it is a girl?” he added.
Reminding doctors of their duty towards the society, Prime Minister Modi said, “To doctors I say, society has made you a doctor to save lives, to get rid of pain, illness; not to kill girl children.”
Noting in the Indian society, sons are considered very important, he said there is a belief that “daughters are a property of some other house where they would be married. This disease is not of Haryana alone but this mental illness ails the whole country.”
The Prime Minister added in every sector today women had surpassed men and there was no greater horror than killing a child just because it was a girl.
“Let us not look back and shift blame, lets wake up and work together to get rid of this scourge,” said Prime Minister Modi.
The ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ campaign, which means ‘Save the girl child, educate the girl child’, aims to address the issue of declining Child Sex Ratio (CSR) through a mass campaign across the country targeted at changing societal mindsets and creating awareness about the criticality of the issue.
Modi also launched Sukanya Samridhi Yojna (girl child prosperity scheme), under which girl children below 10 years will have bank accounts with more interest and income tax benefits.
A host of Union ministers, including Maneka Gandhi, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Smriti Irani and J P Nadda, Haryana Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki and Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar joined Modi as he launched the scheme.
Bollywood actress Madhuri Dixit was also there to promote the drive against female foeticide. The campaign will be initially implemented in the 100 districts, including 12 in Haryana, across country where sex ratio is rather poor.
(WIth inputs from agencies)