Jackfruit Sapling – The New Trump Card of ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ Campaign
As weird as it may sound, parents of every newborn female child are handed over a certificate signed by the Collector along with a jackfruit sapling. This unusual gift is however restricted only to those parents whose female babies are born in Cuddalore district’s government facilities.
When asked how really does a jackfruit sapling help with the ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao‘ campaign, Kumar said, “the sapling creates a sentimental grip on the parents and they look after it as their own daughter”. “It also acts as a source of additional income and ground staff periodically monitor the upbringing of the girl child in guise of checking out the jackfruit sapling,” Kumar added.
According to Kumar, the signed certificated handed over to parents within day of birth of the female child also adds a sense of pride in minds’ of parents that goes a long way in the healthy upbringing of the female child.
This unusual move has generated success. Amudha, a proud mother of a newborn girl child said, “We always wished for a girl child, especially my husband and now we have two of them.” While receiving the unusual gifts from Mr. S Suresh Kumar, Amudha and her husband Mr. Chandrasekhar expressed their excitement stating that girl babies bring pride to the family.
A signed certificate and a jackfruit sapling undoubtedly remains the most unusual trump card ever introduced by administration for implementing any national campaign. Kumar however has not limited himself to this unconventional move. He and his army (other government officials under his command) have managed to track and shut down medical centers that were engaged in illegal foetal sex determination. They have also burdened themselves with the responsibility of child marriage prevention.
Since his time in office, Mr. Kumar and his men have managed to prevent 80 instances of child marriage. Though not a massive number, it is definitely a solid start that will help Cuddalore to recover from the wounds that have been inflicted over years by people who promote child marriages and foetal sex determination.
“We take proper measures to ensure that every girl child receives her fair share of education whenever a child marriage is stopped,” says Suresh Kumar. “We also ensure that all children get proper health care,” Kumar added.
Lying 180 kilometers to the south from Chennai, this small coastal district called Cuddalore has long been tormented by female child abuse. Malicious practices like destruction of female fetuses, child marriage and improper health care for female children dragged down the sex ratio of district in a decade’s time. In 2001 the sex ratio stood at 957 females per 1000 males. By 2011, this ratio dropped down to 857 females per 1000 males. Hopefully Kumar and his men will set things right for this female-deprived district.