Plan to welcome 7 billionth baby in the world with a girl child

India must urgently tackle its ‘vanishing’ girl population as the nation awaits the birth of the world’s 7 billionth baby, says child rights organisation Plan India.

Plan will mark October 31- the day when the global population is projected to pass 7 billion – by celebrating the birth of a girl in India’s most populous state of Uttar Pradesh.

According to India’s 2011 Census, the growing gap between the population of girls and boys aged 0 to 6 years has now reached 7 million. The ratio of girls to boys has dropped to an all time low since records began. Today, the sex ratio in this age group showing 914 girls for every 1,000 boys

Despite the Indian Government having enacted the law against using ultrasound technology for sex-selective abortions, its continued practice is believed to be resulting in more than 500,000 female foetuses being terminated every year.

As part of its commitment towards the girl child, Plan India has launched ‘Let Girls Be Born’ initiative to address the issue of female foeticide and infanticide and ensuring the right to identity, name and citizenship for girls.

Bhagyashri Dengle, Executive Director, Plan India said: “We are the world’s most rapidly growing nation, yet among the most challenging for girls. Plan has been working in India for the last three decades and the survival, protection and development rights of girls have been a key focus of our community development work. With ‘Let Girls be Born’ we hope to reach out to people to make them realize the consequences of the declining sex ratio, and encourage them to be active in celebrating girls.”

Plan India which has made registration of birth an integral part of its girls’ rights campaign will advocate with the state government to reiterate its commitments to the girl child and to issue a birth certificate to ‘Baby 7 Billion’ – a girl child, at a public function on October 31.

Asif Mohammad, Director, Program Implementation, Plan India said: “A birth certificate is recognition of a valued life. In India particularly, it gives live data on the gender gap and serves as a vital indicator to track where girls are being lost.”