NGO launches campaign to address issue of female foeticide

Mumbai: India must urgently tackle the problem of `vanishing` girls as the gap between the population of girls and boys aged 0 to 6 years has now reached seven million mark as per 2011 census, a child rights organisation said.

"As part of its commitment towards the girl child, Plan India has launched `Let Girls Be Born` initiative to address the issue of female foeticide and infanticide and ensuring the right to identity, name and citizenship for girls,"
Bhagyashri Dengle, Executive Director of the Plan India, an NGO said.

On October 31 when the global population is projected to pass seven billion, the NGO will celebrate the birth of a girl child in the most populous state of Uttar Pradesh, she said.

Despite the Indian Government having enacted the law against using ultrasound technology for sex-selective abortions, its continued practice is believed to be resulting in more than 500,000 female foetuses being terminated every year, she said adding the ratio of girls to boys in the 0-6
age group has dropped to an all time low at 914 girls for every 1,000 boys.

"With the launch of `Let Girls be Born` we hope to reach out to people to make them realise the consequences of the declining sex ratio, and encourage them to be active in celebrating birth of girls," Dengle said.

Plan India which has made registration of birth an integral part of its girls` rights campaign will issue a birth certificate to `Baby 7 Billion` a girl child, at a public function on October 31, Asif Mohammad, Director, Program
Implementation of the NGO said.

"A birth certificate is recognition of a valued life. It gives live data on the gender gap and serves as a vital indicator to track where girls are being lost," he said.

"We believe that birth registration is a critical first step in ensuring the rights of a child. Since the launch of its birth registration campaign in 2005, Plan India has worked with communities and governments to register the births of
over 5 lakh children across the country and reaching out to many more," Mohammad added.


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