Free maternity service to fight female infanticide


New Delhi: Dr Ganesh Rakh, the founder of Medicare Hospital Foundation Trust in the suburban area of Pune, does not charge fees if an infant girl is born in the hospital. His initiative is a measure to fight against the social biases and prejudices of the girl child.

Till date, he has done over 144 such deliveries, both natural and caesarean. The hospital not only exempts maternity charges but distributes sweets to celebrate the birth of a girl child.

In the year 2007, he set up a 25-bed maternity hospital in Pune. The hospital is dedicated to helping the underprivileged patients. Today, people are more aware of his initiative and so, the intensity of his work has increased.

He believes that the social norms are suppressive towards the girl child.He also points out the trauma a mother has to go through when a girl child is born.

“Female infanticide is rampant because regressive social norms are not only anti-women but are even an anti-girl child. As a medical professional, I have seen the torture that a mother undergoes when she comes to know that she has delivered a girl,” said Dr Rakh in an interview with Deccan Herald.

This psychological pain of the mother and prejudice against the girl child led him to take the decision to not claim maternity fees if the child born is a girl.

This has inspired a social movement which was not even anticipated by him. “After reading media reports about my work, I was contacted by nearly 17-18-gram panchayats and hundreds of doctors who have not only promised to stop sex determination tests and abortions but welcome girl children by motivating families,” he added in the interview.

His initiative against Female infanticide has trickled out with the help of his batch-mates and doctors working in the surrounding districts. Till now over 3,000 doctors from the peripheries of Maharashtra have united in his cause of ending the hostile social prejudices and impartialities towards the girl child.