We woke up to the familiar tunes of the patriotic songs blaring from loud speakers, children rushing to school for the parade and citizens wearing the various combination of the Indian Tricolour greeting each other with Vande Mataram and JaidHind! This is the day our Constitution came into force. Undoubtedly one of the most extensive and comprehensive text on running a country across the world, what’s the significance of the Constitution today?
Let me start with the Preamble of the Constitution. Literally the Mission statement of this massive document, it promises every citizen the basic rights of:
Somehow I got stuck at EQUALITY. As a woman in this country, I have grown up with this sub-conscious thought of always being in danger, of having to take the tough road to reiterate my equal social standing and the innumerable instances of inhuman violence against women in this country only stands to reinstate the fact over and over once again. Perhaps that is why it came as a surprise when I read that Haryana, a state with one of the lowest sex ration in the country, infamous for the many million foeticides committed here, sent invitations to families of infant girls for Republic Day events in their localities, where they will be seated in front rows. Invitations have gone out to families of more than two lakh girls for events in schools in their respective villages. They are in the name of the girl child .What is striking is the Haryana Education Department has taken the effort to oversee this entire exercise and ensure not one such family is excluded. Well before you rubbish it off as another publicity gimmick, it is time the country acknowledged the effort the state Government is making through its Beti Bachao Beti Padao.
Compared to the 2014 Census where the the child sex ratio of state was 846 girls per 1,000 boys, the current sex ratio is a distinct sign of the changing times. At the current ratio of 889 girls to every 1000 boys, the Haryana chief minister said they are not satisfied yet and target 900:1000 is the near future. They have also flagged off initiatives like Sashakt Beti Sashakt Bharat’ awareness march . Close to 150 girls across 18 districts participated in this and undertook the awareness march covering 23 locations in 12 districts. This is the first time an initiative has been taken to set the rising imbalances in a society that has seen a constant decline in the number of girls since 2005. The sex ratio is being monitored every month and efforts are being made to generate support from all quarters including citizens, educationists, social and non-government organisations.
Not just that in an effort to curb down the heinous crime of infanticides and foeticides, the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PNDT) Act is being implemented and strong measures are being taken against those found violating it. Another interesting initiative has been the number of separate women’s police stations that have been created across the state to empower women to come and lodge complaints without fear or any taboo.
Well perhaps if Equality is what we are talking of this is a great initiative in the right direction. Of course Change takes time but this sure is the right time to salute the Changemakers and celebrate the true spirit of the Republic.