Seven years ago, a compassionate Indian medical practitioner, Dr. Ganesh Rakh, set out on his ambitious journey of challenging sexism in Indian society by delivering baby girls free of any charge. Since then, he has been convincing other doctors and nurses to endorse his practice, too.
Now the doc is joined by 17,000 fellow doctors in his mission of changing the social perception of bringing baby girls into this world. The doctors who have accompanied Dr. Ganesh in the cause will either charge no fee or offer heavy discounts to parents on the birth of their baby girls.
Many physicians have announced a discount of 10 to 50 percent to parents on all the fee of lab tests and pharmaceuticals.
This gesture from the doctors comes as a remarkable and much needed move in a country where female foeticide and torture to mothers delivering girls is rampant. The neglect of female child is the accomplice for firm desire of having a boy child in their family.
Doctor Rakh runs a small hospital in Pune, Maharashtra. Upset by families showing annoyance and disapproval to girls delivering baby girls and some husbands and/or families even disowning the mother and the new born inspired Dr. Rakh to take this initiative seven years ago.
In addition to not charging a single penny, he and his hospital’s staff celebrate the birth of every girl born there by cheering up the new mother with a cake, roses and candles around her bed.
Dr. Rakh, himself a father of a girl, says that he will continue to follow this practice and inspiring other professionals in the medical field to do the same till the time Indian society dumps its bias for male child. The visionary says
We obviously don’t tell our patients the sex of the fetus, it’s against the law. In fact, I do the opposite. I tell families from the start that it’s a baby girl even though I don’t know the gender of the baby. I keep saying this and the effect is that it prepares them mentally so that they are not so upset when it happens. Of course I am losing out financially but how will anything change unless we all do our bit? They might not deliver free of charge but some give a 10 per cent discount, others a 40 per cent discount. It’s a gesture of solidarity!