Pune’s Dr. Ganesh Rakh has hit upon a novel idea of how to stop female foeticide.
To overcome the inherent bias in society towards the male child, Dr Rakh waives-off the entire hospital expenses if the newborn is a girl.
He runs Medicare Hospital Foundation Trust in Hadapsar, a locality in Pune.
In addition to this, the entire hospital celebrates the birth of the girl by distributing sweets.
By doing this, over the last four years, Rakh and his staff members have saved 432 girl children who would’ve been killed in the womb otherwise.
Dr Rakh, son of a labourer said he wanted to fight the evil of female foeticide which is rampant in Maharashtra. With a ratio of 929 females for every 1000 males, Maharashtra has a serious problem on its hands when it comes to female foeticide.
While accepting that the initiative has taken a hit on the hospital’s finances, Dr Rakh says his efforts will continue.
He says the issue of female foeticide is largely due to parents and their relatives, as they put pressure on the doctors to abort the girl child. He adds that a lot of doctors commit this crime, because they don’t want to lose their patients. “Even the mother would cry in the labour room if a girl child was delivered. It was so depressing for me that I decided to waive off the hospital fees if a girl child was born,” he had said.
Calling his efforts a baby step, he has also urged some 5,000 doctors in India to follow the initiative.
Earlier this year, PM Modi launched twin programmes of “Beti bachao, beti padhao” and “Sukanya Samriddhi account” in a bid to encourage birth and education of girls and tackle the abysmally low child sex ratio of 918 girls for 1000 boys.