Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter


×
Children in India, (representational image) Wikimedia

Pune, Jan 4, 2017: A unique initiative by Pune gynaecologist Ganesh Rakh to ‘Save Girl Child by waiving off all medical bills for a female childbirth turned five years old on Tuesday and has become a national campaign.

Rakh said the scheme was launched on a modest scale at his hospital on January 3, 2012 on the birthday of social reformer Savitribai Jyotiba Phule.


“We started celebrating the birth of every female child born in my 5-bed Medicare Hospital Foundation and waived off the maternity delivery bills to all the mothers, be they millionaires or extremely poor. So far, we have carried out 725 free deliveries in five years,” Rakh, 41, told IANS.

Please Follow NewsGram on Facebook To Get Latest Updates!

The simple but effective initiative, which remained in local shadows, shot to global attention when the IANS featured Rakh’s interview in 2014.

Hospitals and doctors across Maharashtra and other states in the country also joined in the initiative in a bid to combat female foeticide.

“Today, it has become a movement on a large scale, I was invited to speak on several television shows. Several international media outlets including BBC, Al Jazeera and others interviewed me,” a proud Rakh said.

“In fact, at the second anniversary celebrations of the NDA government last year, Bachchan spoke on my projects to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and declared himself as ‘my fan’ and said he has waived off his fees for various schemes pertaining to the Beti Bachao campaign,” Rakh added.

Himself the son of a labourer Adinath (now 70) and a domestic worker Sindhu (now 62), Rakh struggled to get educated.

But being a bright student he secured scholarships all through his academic career till he qualified as a doctor in 2001.

He started the hospital by taking Rs 1 crore as loan from family, relatives and friends. But when he launched the ‘Save Girl Child’ campaign, they were aghast as to how he would repay his debts.

“For each regular delivery, we happily bear a loss of around Rs 10,000 and for complicated cases requiring surgery, the loss can be more than Rs 25,000. But for me the cause is more important than costs,” Rakh said.

Later, in January 2015, Rakh launched a sophisticated specialized burns unit to treat women victims of burns or acid attacks, completely free, incurring expenses of Rs 15-35 lakh, depending on the severity of cases.

So far, the hospital has treated over 100 women burn victims, many for dowry-related incidents, and a dozen women targeted in acid attacks.

In another offshoot, he launched a free vaccination scheme for female children last year and has so far vaccinated over 2,000 girl children free of cost. Some companies now offer the vaccines at a discount.

Spurred by Rakh’s revolutionary initiative, several big and small hospitals in different parts of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Haryana, Delhi and other states have also taken similar steps, either offering heavy discounts or free deliveries for every female child born.

It has seeped at the societal levels too – many parents dedicate their children’s wedding invite cards with messages to support ‘Save Girl Child’, put up banners at marriage venues, some donate weddings gifts to the cause and offer other types of support.

ALSO READ: Airborne Transmission of Covid-19 Spreads More Quickly Indoors: Study

“However, we are aware that the road ahead is still long and tough? The tiny candle we lit five years ago has become a large and bright ‘mashaal’, which is lighting the lives of the female children,” he added.

“We hope more doctors, hospitals, including the big chains, join this initiative? Then, female births would not be a burden, and the scourge of female foeticide can be erased from society,” Rakh said optimistically. (IANS)


Popular

Photo by Flickr

1857: The First War of Indepe

Drawn from the details provided by a Brahmin-turned-amateur-historian, this is a real story that follows two learned men as they traverse India during the 1857 uprising on foot, unearthing history from a new vantage point

As the First War of Independence raged, a Brahmin from Maharashtra, Vishnubhat Godse, on a pilgrimage found himself caught right in the middle of the action. He, along with his uncle Rambhat, went through a series of adventures, including barely escaping hanging.

Upon his return home, Godse wrote it all down in Marathi so that his forthcoming generations could have an idea of how things were during that tumultuous period. "The Walking Brahmin" by Maneesh Madhukar Godbole retells that journey, which is a rare eyewitness account from a common Indian's point-of-view.

Published by Garuda Prakashan decades after the original manuscript, it puts all pieces of the story together with maps and photographs and offers a unique insight into what really happened during the War of 1857.

This tale starts in 1857, as the protagonist duo starts on a 'teertha yatra' from Varsai, a small Maharashtrian village, and walk smack in the middle of the mutinous upheaval of 1857. Having the misfortune of being at the wrong place at the wrong time, they were caught in the crossfire between the loyalist Indian troops and the British.


Keep Reading Show less
Unsplash

Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog, started the launch programme.

Genesys International on Thursday launched its pan India program to make the Digital Twin of entire Urban India.

The launch programme was inaugurated by Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog.

Follow NewsGram on Facebook to stay updated.

Keep Reading Show less

We have narrowed our research to compare two excellent services -Peacock and Hulu.

By- Lucy Gray

In the crowded video streaming platforms business, coming up with what is best is an uphill battle.

Keep reading... Show less