Periyar University launches ‘Save Girl Child’ Campaign

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Periyar University launches ‘Save Girl Child’ Campaign

It has been a killing field for the girl children where the child sex ratio at birth (SRB) was a mere 589 girls against 1000 male infants, the lowest in Tamil Nadu and a pointer towards intense prevalence of female child elimination before birth.

The society’s ‘son-preference attitude’ has led to a sharp decline in the ratio, particularly in the districts of Salem, Dharmapuri, Namakkal, Erode, Karur and Madurai, forcing sociologists to resort to damage-control exercise through various awareness campaigns.

Salem district, which has 929 against the State average of 971, is in sharp focus today with Omalur receiving special attention for its dubious distinction.

Despite many sustained pro-active roles by women activists and the government, Omalur revenue block still remains a notorious hunting ground for the hapless girl children with the sly practice of foeticide replacing the age-old and inhuman act of infanticide.

To arrest this social vandalism that eliminates girls in wombs and to create awareness among the families that steadfastly prefer sons only, students have now come forward to join hands with social groups that battle in the field.

About 250 post-graduate women students of Salem Periyar University launched a dawn-to-dusk and house-to-house ‘Save Girl Child’ crusade in villages and hamlets in the block on Thursday.

Organised by its NSS wing and Salem Youth Red Cross Society, they had split into 12 groups and fanned out in Sarakkapillaiyur and near-by hamlets for an intense ‘pro-girl child campaign’.

The students also betrayed no hesitance to issue stern warnings against those who preach and justify their ‘son-preference attitude’ at the cost of girls.

It was a soul-satisfying experience, said a student after her day-long campaign under the scorching sun that touched 37.6 degrees Celsius, the highest in Tamil Nadu on Thursday.

Vice-Chancellor M. Thangaraju, while expressing his anguish at the alarming fall in the birth ratio of girl children in the block near which the university is situated, said the institution, following the high ideals of social reformer Periyar, would take the fight effectively against the social scourge to every doorstep in the days to come.