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Slums prefer girl child, says survey

Wednesday, 21 November 2012 - 4:00am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

This year, 13% more families opted for girl, as per data put up on Universal Child Day.

It’s a small change; one that heralds hope for the girl child.

At least 13% more families from slums in Agripada and Byculla have said they would prefer a girl child over a boy.

This was revealed in a survey released on the occasion of Universal Children’s Day, which was observed yesterday. The survey was carried out by students of the Rotaract Club of Lala Lajpatrai College, Haji Ali.

Of 180 families who were asked whether they prefer a boy child or girl child, nearly 22% of the families said they’d prefer a girl child.
The students said this could indicate awareness of the importance of the girl child has indeed gone up.

The students have been on a mission to educate people about the highly skewed ratio and are educating people against female foeticide.

Priyank Savla, 20, a third-year student who spearheaded the project, said that the survey speaks of a minor change in attitudes and perception of people vis-à-vis last year. “Although most of those who said they prefer a girl child were those who have a son, surely, people have realised the importance of having a girl child.”
Priyank said the preference for a son among such families is to support the family. “Such families, in their desperation for a son, often indulge in female foeticide. We want to educate them that girls are on par with boys and capable of supporting a family,” said Priyank.

He added that they will gradually conduct such surveys in other slum pockets across the city.

“Presently, we’re just a team of 15 students who have been at work on this survey. We definitely need support for this operation to grow,” he said.

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