Sunday, July 16, 2006

Village Jalahmajra in Punjab loves its daughters

Oh, my son's my son till he gets him a wife, But my daughter's my daughter all her life. - Old English proverb.

An African proverb goes "It needs a village to raise a child". Village Jalahmajra in Punjab's Nawanshahr district is living proof of this adage. Jalahmajra has achieved a healthy sex ratio of 1020 girl to 1000 boys. This, in a state which has an abysmally low sex ratio of 798 girls for every 1000 boys. One of the catalysts for this change is the work done by Krishan Kumar, a senior administrative official of the district. The Jalahmajra effect can be seen on 70 nearby villages too. These villages are very close to the national average of 927 females to 1000 males - not a figure tha we can be proud of. Jalahmajra village will get a 3 lakh rupee award instituted by the Punjab government for any village which has more girls than boys. Some years ago the Akal Takht had issued an edict that Sikhs should abstain from female foeticide. I am not sure what the effects of that edict were. Let us hope that Jalahmajra can convince the rest of Punjab that lionesses are more important than lions and the message spreads to other parts of India too. According to Lancet India has lost more than 10 million unborn female children. No invader has killed so many women. But we have done it. It is time we stopped.

A newsreport from DNA.

The 'curse' of having a girl: By Navdip Dhariwal BBC News, Delhi


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