Campaign in Punjab against female foeticideApril 1st, 2008 - 9:30 am ICT by admin
By Jaideep Sarin
Ludhiana, April 1 (IANS) Giving voice to the unborn girl child who is mercilessly killed in the womb, activists in Punjab have launched a powerful campaign against female foeticide that includes inviting people for an ‘antim ardas’, or last rites. “I am daughter of India. I am like your daughters who are playing in your premises, who are bringing laurels to the nation like Sunita Williams, Kiran Bedi, Kalpana Chawla, Sania Mirza etc. But there is difference between me and all of you as I have been killed in the womb of my mother itself,” read the invite from the Universal Public Service Organisation (UPSO).
The invitation to the ‘antim ardas’ at a gurdwara near this Punjab town Sunday could perhaps qualify to be the most powerful message against female foeticide in a state where the obsession for a son has seen the sex ratio dip to 800 females per 1,000 males - far lower than the all India figure of 927:1,000.
“But I am not alone. There are crores (tens of millions) like me. I want to invite you to participate in the ‘antim ardaas’ being held for our final rites by Universal Public Service Organization. We will wait for you,” the invite went on to say.
Over 400 people came for the prayer meeting held by the NGO at the Gurdwara Guru Nanak Darbar in Daba village near here Sunday.
“This is not all. After a few days, we will also be going to Hardwar (In Uttarakhand) and Kiratpur Sahib (in Punjab’s Ropar district) for performing the final rites of Punjab’s unborn daughters,” UPSO’s vice president Kulvir Singh said.
At the ceremony, touching poems against female foeticide, the plight of the girl child and stories from holy scriptures were told to the gathering to drive home the point.
“People worship girls in all religions. And yet they don’t feel shy of killing them before birth,” UPSO patron K.K. Bawa said.
UPSO president Angad Gupta added that the NGO was planning a full campaign against female foeticide.
“Besides educating students and others about the ills of female foeticide, we are also planning to collect old clothes and prepare a big frock - 200 feet long and 200 feet wide - weighing 600 kg. The names of all famous women and mothers of all famous men will be embroidered on this frock and this will be displayed prominently at a public place. The message will be that women have brought laurels to this society,” Gupta said.