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Govt offers cash incentives to save girl child

Dec 26, 2007 09:31 AM IST India India

New Delhi: With the new initiative taken by the government, couples who keep their girl child instead of aborting them, will be awarded a cash incentive. In the Latin American countries, the scheme called the conditional cash transfer scheme has been a successful experiment and it will be launched in India this New Year.

Many people travel a long way from their native village to a temple in Punjab in search of a son. These son temples and Gurudwaras in the state are flocked every day by hundreds of such people who want a male son.

To discourage such people, who desire a male child, the government would be launching one of its most ambitious schemes to rectify a skewed sex ratio in the country. However, this scheme is for those people, who despite being poor are prepared to have daughters and take care of them.

Under the conditional cash transfer scheme, Rs 5000 would be given to the girl child once the birth is registered and there is cash award at every stage from immunisation to matriculation. However, the parents will have to raise the girl child according to the prescribed norms, else the money would not be transferred.

The scheme has been implemented in Latin American countries and 5-year planned allocations have been made to implement a pilot project in 10 blocks across the country.

"What we invest today. We will reap the harvest tomorrow,” says Renuka Choudhery, WCD Minister.

The benefits of the scheme do not end here. If the girl remains unmarried and has also completed two years of her vocational training, Rs 1.25 lakh would be transferred to her account.

With our country recording a crore female foeticide cases in the last two decades, this incentive is the first ever hope to keep the girl child alive.