Print edition : November 16, 2012

ON June 25 this year, through a directive (a copy is with Frontline) to all district programme officers at the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) cells, the Director General of the Women and Child Development Department issued an order (No. 27165-85) on the subject Khap panchayat for combating female foeticide. It was not the elected panchayat but the khap panchayat that had been mentioned in the order.

The letter, imperfectly drafted, read: Reference to the subject cited above it is to inform you that a meeting of maha panchayat was conducting in village Bibipur, distt - Jind for combating the female foeticide. Thousands of women participated the said event and came forward to debate the sensitive issue of female foeticide and seek solutions within the structure of khap panchayats. The Honble Chief Minister also appreciated the initiative taken by the panchayats and awarded Rs.1 crore for Bibipur and expressed his views that the village and khap panchayat have shown the entire country how such bodies can bring about social change for the good of humanity. Imbalanced sex ratio is a big social problem and needs to be checked with commitment and will. In this context, you are directed to organise maximum awareness camps with the help of PRIs, VLCs, SMS and Anganwadi workers and motivate people to change their mindset in favour of the girl child. The initiative taken by the Khap and women of Bibipur would motivate the other panchayats for taking such issues on their agenda. The quarterly report may be sent to this office for reviewing and taking further steps.

T.K. Rajalakshmi
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