Surat performs traditional prayers to protect the `girl child”

October 8th, 2008 - 8:53 pm ICT by ANI  

Surat (Gujarat),Oct.8 (ANI): Residents of Surat city in Gujarat are using this year’’s Navratri festival celebrations to highlight the need for ending the practice of female foeticide in the state.
As part of the Gujarat Government’’s programme “Save Girl Child”, people dedicated the prayers to the cause of girl child and pledged to abolish female foeticide in the state.
The festival, which literally means ”nine lights”, is celebrated twice a year. It is believed the festival is in honour of nine manifestations of Hindu Goddess Durga and falls in the months of April- May and September-October.
“As part of the Gujarat Government’’s programme “Save Girl Child”, we have all pledged here to prevent female foeticide,” said Vivek Patel, a resident.
Overcome by festive spirit, a large number of women performed `Garba” or traditional dance.
“Around 15,000 to 20,000 people are coming here every day. People come here in traditional dresses and perform `Garba” (traditional dance). As far as female foeticide is concerned I feel that every body should resolve to abolish this social evil,” said Priyanka.
Despite laws banning sex determination tests, one study published in the British medical journal, the Lancet, said that about 10 million female foetuses have been aborted in India over the last 20 years.
It is normal for more male babies to be born than female ones but India’’s sex ratio is world’’s one of the most skewed, with an average of 933 females recorded for every 1000 males in the 2001 census.
Boys are traditionally preferred by parents as breadwinners and girls are not welcome because families often have to pay large dowries to marry off daughters. (ANI)

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