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'Antim ardas' campaign in Punjab against female foeticide
Chandigarh, Apr 1 (PTI) Concerned over the state's skewed sex ratio, rights activists in Punjab have launched a campaign against female foeticide that includes inviting people for an 'antim ardas' or last rites.

"I am daughter of India. I am like your daughters who are playing in your premises, who are bringing laurels to the nation like Sunita Williams, Kiran Bedi, Kalpana Chawla, Sania Mirza, etc. But there is difference between me and all of you as I have been killed in the womb of my mother itself," read the invite from the Universal Public Service Organisation (UPSO).

The invitation could perhaps qualify to be the most powerful message against female foeticide in a state where the obsession for a son has seen the sex ratio dip to 800 females per 1,000 males - far lower than the all India ratio of 927:1,000.

Over 400 people came for the prayer meeting at the Gurdwara Guru Nanak Darbar in Ludhiana's Daba village.

"This is not all. After a few days, we will also be going to Haridwar and Kiratpur Sahib (in Punjab's Ropar district) for performing the final rites of Punjab's unborn daughters," UPSO vice president Kulvir Singh said.

"People worship girls in all religions. And yet they don't feel shy of killing them before birth," UPSO patron K K Bawa said.

UPSO president Angad Gupta said besides educating students and others about the ills of female foeticide, "we are also planning to collect old clothes and prepare a big frock -- 200 feet long and 200 feet wide -- weighing 600 kg".

Names of famous women and of mothers of famous men will be embroidered on this frock and it will be displayed prominently at a public place.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
FILED IN: Sex Ratio |Punjab
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