The birth of a girl child is still considered to be a burden in several regions of India. This clearly reflects on the skewed gender ratios in different states in the country. The cases of female infanticide are not that rare in several regions. Moreover, the cases where female children are either abandoned or not educated to be married off at a young age are significantly high.
The government of India has been working to eliminate this gender discrimination towards female children for years. Its Beti Bachao Beti Padhao campaign has generated a lot of awareness. Additionally, there are many individuals as well as organisations who are doing everything they can in their capacity for the development of a female child. One of them is Dr Ganesh Rakh from Pune.
Several families believe that admitting the mothers to the hospital for delivery of a female child is very expensive. Dr Ganesh Rakh has been defying this patriarchal notion by waiving off the fee of delivering a child if it happens to be a female child. Not only does he provides complete treatment at no charge, but he also celebrates the birth of the said female child by handing out sweets to the parents on the occasion.
Making of Dr Ganesh Rakh
While growing up, Dr Ganesh Rakh was never interested in academics. His ambition was to become a wrestler. It was only when he experienced the difficulty in earning a livelihood while working with his father as a coolie, did he realized the importance of education. He worked hard after that and earned himself a spot in a government medical college.
As he was serving as a doctor, he came to realise the harsh reality of female births. “As a medical professional, the most difficult task for me has been breaking the news of someone’s death. However, as telling families about the advent of a girl child grew more difficult, things changed. That’s when I made the decision not to accept any payment when a girl was born. We treated her birth as a celebration and handed out sweets and cakes to everyone,” says the doctor who founded the ‘Save Girl Child initiative’ in 2011, which has spread across various countries.
Save Girl Child Initiative
The Save Girl Child Initiative is now widespread across various countries. There are about four lakh doctors associated with it from India and abroad. With the partnership of over 13,000 organisations and the voluntary support of 2.5 million individuals, the initiative has been progressing in the countries such as Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, China, Arab countries, Turkmenistan, Canada, America, England, and Australia, among others. Dr Rakh himself has delivered over 2000 girl babies free of cost since the launch of the initiative.