Mumbai: After megastar Amitabh Bachchan lent his name for saving dwindling tigers, the Maharashtra government wants him to become a brand ambassador for its ‘save the girl child’ initiative, Health Minister Deepak Sawant said here on Tuesday. “We shall request him to become the brand ambassador for this initiative which can help prevent female foeticide and save the girl child,” Sawant said. He was addressing a high-level meeting in Mantralaya in the wake of the recent shocking incident of female foeticide unearthed in Sangli where 19 female foetuses were found buried outside a private hospital carrying out illegal abortions.
On the occasion, Sawant said in some districts like Bhandara the male-female ratio had shown an upward trend but in others like Washim it had declined, which is a matter of concern. In this connection, the state had already strictly enforced the laws banning pre-natal sex determination tests. “However, pregnancy tests are carried out in the border areas of neighbouring states like Karnataka, Gujarat and others, while abortions are performed in Maharashtra. We have written to these states to work out an effective solution,” Sawant said.
With a view to create mass awareness about the need to save the girl child, improve the male-female ratio and related issues, the state government will request Bachchan to become the brand ambassador for the initiative, he added.
Present at the meeting were Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Vijay Satbir Singh, Family Welfare Commissioner Ramesh Devkar, Director Health Satish Pawar, State Women’s Commission President Vijaya Rahatkar and other elected representatives and stakeholders. If Bachchan accepts the invite to ‘save the girl child’, it will be his third cap as a brand ambassador in the state after tigers and tuberculosis. Besides endorsing various private products and services, he is tourism brand ambassador for Gujarat and the Government of India’s pulse polio campaign.