Saving the girl child is a social necessity and the people must be made aware of the fact that saving the girl child is the need of the hour.

Rajasthan – a state that was infamous for female infanticide, discovered a new way to beat this challenge. In 2016, Rajasthan Health Department proposed the Ashray Yojana or cradle scheme to rescue abandoned female babies in the state.

UP government has also taken the initiative to save the girl child and improve the child sex ratio by implementing the “cradle scheme”.

Ever since Vasundhara Raje government launched it in 2016, around 35 infants have been saved. It’s a remarkable accomplishment for Rajasthan that was initially struggling with fast-declining child sex ratio.

Ashray Yojna was introduced in Budget 2015, to allow deprived or unwilling parents to put their baby girls at cradles set up in major hospitals and centers rather than abandoning them in unsafe places like water bodies, dustbins, hedges or roads.

Rajasthan Ashray Yojna is a pet project of local businessmen

The idea was derived from ‘Cradle of Hope’, a concept conceived by a local businessman Devendra Agarwal. In April 2006, Agarwal found female fetuses floating in Fatehsagar Lake (Udaipur). This caused him to set up a care center named ‘Mahesh Ashram’ at Bhuwada. There, they set up ‘Ashray Palna’ to accommodate unwanted girl children.

These cradles are installed with automatic alarms that ring within two minutes of placing the infant into the cradle. The bell doesn’t ring immediately to keep the identity of parents confidential. The area is devoid of cameras and watchmen to maintain secrecy.

Rajasthan hospitals are happy with the results achieved so far.

Future prospects

Ashray Yojana is a blessing in disguise for rape survivors and teenage mothers who’re forced to abandon their newborn girls due to social embarrassment, financial constraint or family pressure. The scheme provides a second chance at life to countless young buds that will hopefully blossom into a beautiful flower someday.

This initiative is also been adopted by many other states.

Apart from this, the parents must be made aware in other ways also and now such steps have started showing good results leading to improved sex ratio.

However, there is still much more to be done in this direction.


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