Pune: In a bid to prevent female foeticide, a private hospital has been waiving off the entire maternity charges whenever a girl-child is born.
Dr Ganesh Rak, who runs the general and maternity hospital at Hadapsar near here, celebrates birth of a girl child by waiving the entire hospitalisation bill. His staff distribute sweets to the relatives of the mother.
"I decided to waive all hospital charges for women who gives birth to a girl child, pained by the apathy shown to the mother and the child by disappointed relatives who mount a mental pressure on the pregnant woman by constantly expecting a male child," Dr Rak, who has waived all charges in 144 such cases since last year, told a news agency.
Rak, who heads the trust that runs "Medicare" hospital in the suburban Pune, said, "It has been a distressing experience to see a pregnant woman constantly suffering from expectation of delivering a male child. When the announcement is of a boy, the maternity ward is crowded with spontaneous celebrations by relatives, who, in contrast, desert it when the nurse says it is a girl."
"I have seen the mothers who have just delivered girl child crying inconsolably. Relatives who clear the hospital bills promptly if it is a boy, are not enthusiastic about payment if it is a girl. Discharge of the patient at times, is delayed deliberately," he said.
To counter this negative and retrograde thinking pattern and to shame the relatives who frown upon birth of girl child, Rak said the hospital decided to make the delivery of such women free of charge.
"After initial reservations, other professionals too joined the campaign, as the gynaecologist and pediatricians attached to the hospital willingly waived their own charges, lightening the financial burden on us," he added.