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Nov 14, 2014

Letting the Girl Child Live: Paras Hospitals, Gurgaon celebrates Children’s Day

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Letting the Girl Child Live: Paras Hospitals, Gurgaon celebrates Children’s Day differently! Talks about ‘SHE’- the Girl Child!
  • Through Painting and Declamation competition, Paras Hospitals organized a platform for the children to speak their mind on what they feel about the inhuman practice of female foeticide and infanticide.
  • Children from schools across Gurgaon come together to celebrate Children’s Day and exhort their parents’ generation to junk the abhorrent practice
Gurgaon: Can we call ourselves a civilized society as long as the despicable practice of killing the female foetus remains rampant amidst us? Can we celebrate Children’s Day without turning our thoughts to the millions of girl children who have been killed in their mother’s womb? These questions were at the heart of a two-day programme organized by Paras Hospitals, Gurgaon to invite children into a movement for change.

Children from schools across Gurgaon came together to celebrate this Children’s Day differently – by devoting their time and energies to express their thoughts about the illegal yet common practice of sex selection in our society.
Paras HospitalsIt is to be noted that Haryana is among the Indian states which have the worst women to men sex ratios in India. In fact, in the 2011 Census, Haryana had the ignominy of having the lowest child sex ratio among all states with just 834 girls for each 1,000 boys in the age group of 0-6 year.

​​‘SHE’ is an initiative of Paras Hospitals, Gurgaon that aims to create awareness against the evil of female foeticide by engaging schools and touching the lives of the next generation so that they know what is right and what is wrong. Paras Hospitals campaign- SHE aimed at involving the generation next – the school children- to discuss and have an opinion against female infanticide and foeticide.

On Wednesday (Nov 12), a painting competition was organized at various school premises where participating children were asked to draw their hearts out, expressing the theme of ‘Save the Girl Child’. Children came out with remarkable expressions of brush to express their disgust at the inhuman practice followed by their parents’ generation. The painting contest was followed by a Declamation Competition on Nov 13, where children were encouraged to speak about ‘What Can I do to Stop female Infanticide’.

“Female infanticide is a social issue and cannot be dealt with legal instruments alone. We have to work as a community at different levels to get rid of this abhorrent practice that has been responsible for a silent genocide of our unborn girls. This evil can be rooted out only when we as a people junk the preference for the male child and start believing that foeticide is as wrong as murder,” says Dr Kousar Ali Shah, Zonal Director , Paras Hospitals, Gurgaon, who headed the initiative.

​​The declamation & painting competition was judged by prominent social workers who work at the grass root level for woman empowerment. Ms Poornima Savargaonkar, a former ISRO scientist was invited who at present is associated with NGO – Uthaan. Ms Poornima is associated with the rural women of the area and has taken up numerous initiatives for women empowerment; Ms Deepa Antil, President SNP-Sashakt Nari Parishad, Gurgaon; and Dr Rakhee Gogoi, HOD, Radiology at Paras Hospitals, Gurgaon also acted as judges to decide the winners of the competitions.

“We believe it is imperative for children to be involved in such a campaign as they are our next generation. It is they who will decide the future course that our society takes on this issue and it will help if they grow up believing that killing the girl child is a horrendous practice. As a community health provider, it is our duty to do whatever we can to engage the community in productive and pertinent discussions. This is why we believe that celebrating Children’s Day by highlighting one of the most significant issues facing our children is the right thing to do,” says Dr Rakhee Gogoi, HOD Radiology, Paras Hospitals, Gurgaon

She also added that , “ We as healthcare providers and doctors have a major role to play. Female infanticide may be carried out due to society pressure and miscreant behaviors, however a doctor- sonologist – plays a very important role. The government has over the years has developed strong practices against sex determination, however a gap still exists. We as professionals also have a social responsibility and hence we should all stand against this social evil. It is we after all who decide the change and this change is for the better. “

At the twin competitions held at Paras Hospitals, Gurgaon, children took to different expressions to convey their thoughts about this pertinent question. Most of them went back believing strongly that an evil is rampant in their society, and they need to do their part in abolishing it.

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Rishi Sinha/Abhishek Pandey


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