Gandhinagar: Gujarat Chief Minister Anandi Patel on Monday rued cases of female foeticide are still reported in the State despite the Government undertaking awareness campaigns on falling sex ratio and need to end the practice.
"Even today, female foeticide takes place in Gujarat. When I go to villages and check the figures of pregnant women with actual births, the numbers, many a time, don`t match due to female foeticide (killing of unborn girls), resulting in decline in sex ratio," she said.
Patel was addressing more than 4,000 women, invited from across the State to attend a conclave of women farmers organised as part of the Krishi Mahotsav which ended here.
She asked these women to come forward and help in eradicating this social evil.
"I know you might be pressurised by your family or husband to abort a girl child, especially when you already have two or three (daughters). But, don`t give up and dial 181 (helpline). Women must come forward to stop this social evil."
The Chief Minister also announced that 2014-15 will be celebrated as Krishi Vikas Varsh (Agriculture Development Year) by her Government and said interests of women agriculturist will be safeguarded.
"Our activities will revolve around educating women farmers so that no one cheats them. We will also focus on eradicating malnutrition among children with the help of villagers and Anganwadis (child care centres.)
"I also urge women to use financial help provided by the Government to build toilets in their villages. We aim to build toilets in every home within the next 2 years."
During the 15-day Mahotsav, around 2,800 scientists and officials of agriculture department visited 4,397 villages and reached out to 10 lakh farmers, said Raj Kumar, Principal Secretary (Agriculture and Co-operation).
"We also distributed around four lakh farm kits and completed vaccination of 40.89 lakh cattle," said Raj Kumar.
In his address, Agriculture Minister Babu Bokhiria rejected Opposition claim that area under arable land is falling in Gujarat.
"Opposition parties have claimed that arable land is decreasing in the State. However, the reality is different. In 2000, 108 lakh hectares were used for agriculture activity and in 2014 that figure went up to 128 lakh hectares," he said.