The second Interface workshop under our comprehensive Meri Shakti Meri Beti project was held at the Panchayat Bhawan of Kurukshetra, Haryana state on March 4, with thanks to our funders: WomenPowerConnect and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Bahari Mohalla(community) residents of all ages attended the meeting with aaganwadi (daycare) and ASHA workers, and students from Kurukshetra University and the Kurukshetra College of Education. The designated “Expert Group” included Dr. Sushma Saini, Chief Medical Officer, and Ms. Deepshikha Kaushik, Domestic Violence Officer.
Initiating the workshop, our own Dr. Manasi Mishra spoke about the wider social and economic implications of pre-natal sex selection (female foeticide). To successfully address pre-natal sex selection, the status of women must increase by changing the deeply patriarchal mindset in communities and families. Chief Medical Officer Dr. Saini pointed out that ultrasound technology was invented to assist medical treatment and not to perpetuate a social malice like female foeticide. Other speakers, including members of the local community, spoke about the high cases of domestic violence in parts of Haryana and the importance of taking more responsibility to care for girl children.
To date, the Meri Shakti, Meri Beti project to reduce pre-natal sex selection has organised over 40 Community Outreach Programs, nine Community Watch Group meetings, two Expert Group meetings and one Interface Workshop in the Kurukshetra district of Haryana state.
To view more photos from event, visit Center for Social Research’s Flickr account.