Stating that he remembers “begging” the people of Haryana to protect lives of their daughters by stopping the practice of female infanticide, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said the people of the state have “respected that sentiment” and lauded steps taken by the state government towards improving the adverse sex ratio.
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Addressing a function to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Haryana’s foundation, at Gurgaon’s Tau Devi Lal Stadium on Tuesday evening, Modi said, “I have always been bothered by the fact that in a cultured and capable state like Haryana, which is always open to accepts new things, why are daughters killed in mother’s womb?”
He said, “For Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (programme), I begged the people of Haryana to protect the lives of daughters. Today, I can say with satisfaction that the people of Haryana have respected this sentiment. Today, in the entire country, if any state is bringing improvement in the gender ratio at a fast pace, it is Haryana.”
On the occasion Modi launched three new schemes for the state, declared seven rural districts Open Defecation Free (ODF), and eight districts ‘kerosene-free’.
Speaking on the issue of open defecation, Modi said, “Even today, our mothers and daughters in villages have to defecate in the open. What is more shameful than that? Out of embarrassment, they either go for defecation before sunrise, or wait for sunset…. What can be a greater injustice than that?”
The Prime Minister also honoured Rio Paralympics silver medalist Deepa Malik by handing her Rs 4 crore.
Among others who spoke at the event were Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, who gave a call for unity and moving forward with the motto “Haryana Ek, Haryanvi Ek” and Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki, who stressed on the need to maintain an “atmosphere of peace, virtue and brotherhood”.
The new schemes launched are kerosene-free Haryana, automation of fair price shops to ensure Aadhaar-based biometric identification of online transactions, and Deen Dayal Jan Awas Yojana, which aims to check development of unauthorised colonies and achieve ‘Housing for All’ by 2022 at reasonable rates in small and medium potential towns.