Women empowerment is a demand in many nations across the world. In many parts of India, however, the very existence of women comes into question with female feticide having become a major concern. In Haryana too, this is perhaps the greatest challenge of the day. Girls are killed before birth, and suffer much neglect if born.
Female feticide is a rampant evil right across India. In Haryana, however, the threat of a skewed sex ratio is much higher than other states and is an imminent one. The 2011 census reports suggest that the state of Haryana has 846 girls per 1000 boys. Parents who are charged with protection of their child's health and security are the ones who are responsible for the destruction of unborn children. About 37,000 unborn girls are killed each year in Haryana. Even when a girl child is born, they are not cherished and nurtured as they should be.
The discrepancy between the male and female literacy rates is a matter of alarming concern. According to the census male literacy is 81.55 % in rural tracts and 88.63 % in urban sectors. Among women these figures take a major dip and hover at 51.96 % in rural areas and 65.98 % in urban sectors. In most households, even educated and affluent ones, educating the girl child is deemed unnecessary.
Lack of education, poverty, and social evils such as the dowry system have added to the problem. Effecting any change to improve the sex ratio in the state and to promote education of the girl children, work must be initiated at the grass root level. Awareness about the progress of women and the necessity for girl children must be created in partnership with NGOs, education systems. Incentives for the birth and education of girl children can be instituted to promote these.
To build a bright and industrious state, Haryana must start to focus on women's rights with a resolution and urgency that shall determine the future of the citizens. Protecting and safeguarding the life, education, and development of the daughters of Haryana is perhaps the singularly most important agenda that the state should embark upon. It remains however, a fundamental duty of the citizens to ensure Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao at every level. Starting from eradicating feticide due to prenatal gender determination to promoting literacy, education, and empowerment of women, a common trajectory of growth is the demand of Naya Haryana.