This is something that should have been done much earlier. This is a worthy effort to check the menace of female infanticide and foeticide in the country.And unlike the many hair brained social schemes cooked up by this government till now. This one might actually work if implemented properly.
“Don’t kill your daughter. The government will raise her.” Taking to desperate measures to check the alarming rise in female foeticide, the Centre is planning a “cradle scheme” for abandoned girl children.
Under the proposed ‘palna’ or cradle scheme, the government plans to open a centre in each district where parents can leave their girl children if they do not want to bring them up themselves.
“We want to put a cradle or ‘palna’ in every district headquarters. What we are saying to the people is have your children, don’t kill them. And if you don’t want a girl child, leave her to us,” Minister of State for Women and Child Development Renuka Chowdhury said in an interview.
The ‘palna’ scheme has been proposed to be put in place during the 11th Five Year Plan as part of a slew of measures to fight the menace of female foeticide.
Now atleast the unwanted girl child will have a chance to live and perhaps some lucky ones will even find a new home and a new life somewhere else rather than ending up in the garbage dump in the backyards of hospitals across the country.
Yet, there are some who fear that this policy might actually encourage people to abandon their girl children at these centres in large numbers. These fears are largely unfounded and exaggerated. The minister also seemed to hint that they have taken that possibility into consideration.
Asked if the scheme would not encourage families to abandon their girl children, Chowdhury said “It doesn’t matter. It is better than killing them.”
She also said the parents, even if they were abandoning their daughters, were likely to have a change of heart later. “Parents who abandon children do come back and take them back,” she said.
Well let us look at it this way. Even if they don’t return to claim them back, even if it only leads to more and more people abandoning their girl children at these centres, even if these centres in true sarkari fashion end up being mismanaged, even if the food served in those centres is something that even stray animals will not touch and even if the kids there end up being illtreated by their wardens.
Inspite of all this and other problems that we fear might bedevil this scheme going forward. This scheme is WORTH it. And deserves to be fully supported. Because it gives these unfortunate children the most basic right of any human being that is being denied to them most often in the wombs of their mothers itself- The Right to Live.
Our best wishes to the Women & Child welfare minister Miss Renuka Chowdhury for embarking on this worthy endeavour. In this case even a broken, inefficient and corruption ridden government scheme is most welcome as long as it saves lives.
“It is a matter of international and national shame for us that India with a growth of nine per cent still kills its daughters.”
Chowdhury said her ministry was also planning to declare one day in the year as “national daughter’s day”.
The Government should also reach out and involve as many private citizens and NGO’s to make this a success. Surely there are a lot of people who are concerned about this grave issue and are willing to chip in.