I beg for the lives of daughters: Modi
Panipat, Jan 22 (IBNS): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday made an emotional appeal to the people of India, saying he "comes as a bhikshuk (beggar) to beg for the lives of daughters" as he addressed a large gathering consisting predominantly of women at Panipat in Haryana, on the occasion of the launch of the National Programme "Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao."
Stating that we have no right to call ourselves 21st century citizens as long as we have an 18th century mindset, the Prime Minister called for an end to the discrimination between sons and daughters, saying this was the key to ending female foeticide.
Modi said, "Each one of us has a collective responsibility towards this end, otherwise we would not only be harming the current generation, but also inviting a terrible crisis for the future generations."
In a hard-hitting message to doctors who contributed to female foeticide, the Prime Minister reminded them that their medical education had been for the purpose of saving lives, and not killing daughters.
He said though this programme has been organized in Panipat in Haryana, the message is relevant across the country.
"If daughters are not born, how will you get daughters-in-law," Modi asked?
He said there were people who wanted educated daughters-in-law, but were reluctant to educate their own daughters, and called for an end to this hypocrisy.
The Prime Minister quoted the eminent Urdu scholar from Panipat, Altaf Hussain Haali "O Sisters, mothers, daughters - you are the ornaments of the world, you are the life of nations, the dignity of civilizations."
He also quoted from other ancient scriptures to highlight the importance given to the girl child.
Modi recalled the astronaut Kalpana Chawla, who was originally from Haryana, as an example of how girls could excel and make a name for themselves. He said, girls were today doing well in sports, in education and health sectors, and had a very significant contribution, even in agriculture.
The PM thanked noted actress Madhuri Dixit, who participated in this programme, despite her mother being seriously unwell. He said, this demonstrated her commitment to the cause, and similar commitment would be required to the gender imbalance created in our society.
Modi recalled the example of Jayapur village in Varanasi. On his advice, this village now holds an Anandotsav (celebration) on the birth of each girl child, and five trees are planted on each such occasion. He said, people across the country could follow this example.
The Prime Minister also launched the "Sukanya Samriddhi Account" for the benefit of the girl child. He released a stamp on the theme "Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao," and administered the "Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao" pledge.
Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi said that this scheme can only be a success if countrymen and the Government work in tandem.
She also announced the formation of ‘One Stop Crisis Centre’ to stop crime against women and provide prompt assistance.
Special invitee, noted film star Madhuri Dixit Nene exhorted the audience to provide the girl child with nutrition and education and empower them.
She applauded the Government's initiative and expressed the hope that the scheme would help change the people’s mind set in ushering in a golden period.
Governor of Haryana Kaptan Singh Solanki, Chief Minister of Haryana Manohar Lal, Union Ministers Maneka Gandhi, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Smriti Irani, J.P. Nadda, Rao Inderjit Singh, Birender Singh and K.P. Gujjar were also present.
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