Bundi tweaks tradition to boost girl child birth

In a noble initiative to promote girl child birth, the district health workers have set their eye on a traditional practice, which celebrates the birth of a boy, and tweaked it to benefit their cause.

PTI| Last Updated: Sep 13, 2014, 00:15 AM IST

Bundi: In a noble initiative to promote girl child birth, the district health workers have set their eye on a traditional practice, which celebrates the birth of a boy, and tweaked it to benefit their cause.

'Jaamnaa', a traditional practice of offering a 'bunch of gifts' to the parents on the birth of a boy, have now been modified in Rajasthan's Bundi district and is also being celebrated when a baby girl is born.

The move, which is now being implemented by the district health workers using their own resources, could aid the state government's "Beti Bachaao Abhayan (save daughter campaign)" in a big way.

"It disappointed me greatly to see family members and relatives celebrating the birth of boy in villages by offering 'Jaamnaa' to the parents, so I decided to initiate the same ritual on the birth of girl in the area of my community health centre," said Chief Medical and Health Officer of Kapren Block Dr Mangilal Meena, who initiated the move first.

Funds for 'Jaamnaa' gifts is at present being contributed by the government medical staff members themselves, Meena said.

"A saree for the newly born girl's mother, a towel for father, clothes and toys for the baby girl are given in a ceremony during the camps of Mother and Child Health and Nutrition (MCHN) on each Thursday of a month," he said.

After primary success of the initiative in Kapren Block, Bundi District Collector Anandhi instructed officials to organise 'Jaamnaa' ceremony at each public and community across the district, said Rajiv Lochan, district programme manager of National Rural Health Mission (NRHM).

More than 200 couples have been handed over gifts on the birth of their girl in the district since the practice began three months ago, Lochan said, adding that if others join in the initiative it could have a larger impact.