M A I N   N E W S

Foeticide Punjab’s shame: President
Says the menace may lead to imbalance in society
Perneet Singh/TNS

Amritsar, October 6
Expressing concern over skewed sex ratio in Punjab, President Pratibha Patil today called upon the people to protect the girl child to save future generations. Addressing a conference organised by Nanhi Chhan Punjab Public Charitable Trust, Patil said, “Punjab is known for its large-hearted, hard working and brave people who have contributed immensely to the nation building. Punjab is also the food bowl of our country and we are proud of it.

However, it is shocking to know that it leads the list of the states where female foeticide is rampant and sex ratio is skewed.” She said female foeticide, if not checked, will create an imbalance in society, leading to increase in criminal acts.

Showering praises on Nanhi Chhan campaign, the President said it is important to conserve both -- girl child as well as trees -- to strengthen the society. “People today take the birth of a daughter as a curse. We need to understand their mindset -- what makes them think so. One of the reasons is dowry system. We need to root out such inhuman traditions to save the girl child.”

Quoting Sikh Gurus to drive home her point, she said women have been given great significance in Sikhism, adding the people should follow the path shown by the Gurus.

Addressing the gathering, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal announced that the state government would gift a bicycle to all girls studying in Class IX and X in government and affiliated schools. He also announced that legal counselling cells for women will be opened at district and sub-divisional headquarters to help them sort out their problems. A helpline for women will also be launched very soon, he added.

Badal stressed on improving the status of women in society by extending them “satkar te adhikar” (respect and rights). Earlier, welcoming the President, Nanhi Chhan Punjab Public Charitable Trust Chairperson and Bathinda MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal said the President’s visit to the holy city will give a further boost to Nanhi Chhan campaign. She laid emphasis on the need to change the mindset of the society, which underestimates daughters vis-à-vis sons. She dubbed the menace of female foeticide as a blot on Punjab and urged the people to follow the teachings of Guru Nanak Dev who said: “So kyo manda akhiye jit jame rajan” (Why call her inferior, from her kings are born). Punjab Governor Shivraj Patil also commended the initiative of Nanhi Chhan to protect the girl child and environment.

Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, Health Minister Laxmi Kanta Chawla, Education Minister Upinderjit Kaur and former minister Bikramjeet Singh Majithia were among those present on the occasion. Incidentally, Nanhi Chhan project has also spread its wings in other states of the country over the last couple of years. It has gone to the dargah of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer, Catholic Church in New Delhi and Durlabhji temple in Jaipur. An official associated with the project said Nanhi Chhan is not restricted to any region or religion.

Missing from Prez conference: Sidhu 

Amritsar MP Navjot Singh Sidhu, whose name was included in the panel of dignitaries who were to receive President Pratibha Patil here, stayed away from the Nanhi Chhan’s conference. He, however, received the President at the airport and also accompanied her to the Golden Temple and Jallianwalla Bagh. Sidhu left for Ahmedabad in the afternoon where he will campaign for the BJP in the local body elections. Interestingly, Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha and senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj was conspicuous by her absence. Her name figured among the dignitaries who were to attend the conference and even her hoardings were put up.


  • Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal was conspicuous by his absence from the main dais, though he attended the function.
  • Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal in his speech inadvertently addressed the President as “Tripta” Devi Singh Patil, instead of Pratibha Devi Singh Patil.
  • Photojournalists were locked up on the terrace of the Golden Temple Parikarma and were not allowed to click pictures from the ground. They remained locked up for about an hour and were "released" only after the President left.
  • Differently abled girls presented a sapling to President Pratibha Patil. The sapling would be planted at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. The President also planted a sapling on the Khalsa College premises.
  • Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Nanhi Chhan chairperson Harsimrat Kaur Badal presented a replica of the Golden Temple to the President.
  • Before Patil’s arrival, Punjabi singer Gurdas Mann enthralled the audience, primarily comprising girls and women, by belting out some of his popular numbers.
  • Hoardings of Nanhi Chhan featuring Harsimrat Kaur Badal along with small girls extending thanks to the dignitaries attending the conference dotted the city.
  • More than 30,000 packets of snacks were distributed to the people attending the conference. These were especially brought from a famous sweet shop in Jalandhar.
  • Many schools and educational institutions remained shut due to traffic diversions, which led to many bottlenecks at several places in the city.The commuters had a real tough time.





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