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Need to fight bias against girl child: President


New Delhi : Expressing grief over the country’s declining sex ratio, President Pratibha Patil Sunday said that it reflected the bias against the girl child in Indian society and called for fighting such social prejudices.

“Our census sadly shows that there has been a decline in the gender ratio in the 0 to 6 age group. It has touched a low level of 914 girls as compared to 1,000 boys. It reflects the continuing preference of boys in our society and the bias against the girl child,” Patil said while addressing the nation on the eve of India’s 65th Independence Day.

Calling for a fight against such social evils, Patil said: “We have to work to eradicate the practices of dowry, child marriage and female foeticide which we are continuing to battle even in the 21st century.”

“Let each citizen of the country vow to fight these social evils. There are laws against them but we need to ensure compliance and create awareness,” she added.

The president also emphasised that crime against women needs to be dealt with most sternly.

“Women and men are the two wheels of the chariot of the nation and both need to be strong. Women have tremendous capabilities and capacities to contribute in any field, when given an opportunity,” she added.

The president also appreciated the work done by self-help groups in the country.

“These groups have provided women not only with possibilities of income generating activity, but have given them confidence and a sense of self-esteem. Government should pro-actively take measures to universalise this movement, which will be beneficial to our agenda of women’s empowerment,” she added.