Expressing concern over "terrible practices" like female foeticide, the Prime Minister's wife Gursharan Kaur today pitched for a "change in mindset" to combat such social ills so that India can prosper.
She was speaking at the closing session of a day-long consultation on women's health and empowerment, which marked the launch of a campaign on international women's day to raise awareness on combating malnutrition among women and children, especially those from economically weaker sections.
"There are terrible practices like female foeticide prevailing in some parts of the country. Girls in many cases are less likely to get healthcare and proper schooling. There is still a mindset that prompts some families to put the boy child first. We don't know how much more time will pass before the mindset changes. But we hope for the best," Kaur said.
She said change in mindset is necessary if India wants to progress and prosper.
Wondering why people do not have enough faith in women, Kaur referred to a recent incident in which a passenger in a plane raised a hue and cry when he came to know that it will be flown by a woman. "I'm amazed that there are still people who don't know that women can achieve anything."
Delhi Women and Child Development Minister Kiran Walia said right knowledge can help women make the right choices on nutrition and health. "Women should take care of themselves."
Earlier in the day, learning sessions were held on women's health, malnutrition, HIV/AIDS and other issues, attended by ASHAs (accredited social health activists), women activists and grassroots health workers.
The communication campaign on 'Women's Health and Empowerment for Prosperity and Social Change' will be carried out by Vigyan Prasar, an autonomous organisation under the Department of Science and Technology, Sudinalaya centre for homeless women and other groups and government departments.
The organisers said they will spread information about need for nutritional food intake, especially for pregnant women and on government schemes in this regard through booklets, posters, activity kits and films.
The week-long programme will consist of a campaign at various city slums from March 9 to 15 during which areas like Kabir Basti, Chandni Chowk, Nehru Camp and Bhumiheen Camp will be covered. There will be a national meet of women on March 15 to draw up a 'Plan of Action', the organisers said adding, more programmes will be held over the next one year.
The campaign will deal with malnutrition, diseases like obesity, hypertension, cardiac ailments, cervical cancer, HIV/AIDS, depression and mental health of women.
Worried Over Female Foeticide: Gursharn Kaur
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