When Dr Ganesh Rakh started delivering baby girls for free seven years ago, he did not mean for it to become a campaign. But now, there are 17,000 doctors in India who have joined him in supporting women who give birth to girl children, either by charging very low fees or no fee at all.
Dr Satish Andhale Patil from Pune told The Sydney Morning Herald,
"I have seen 15 suicides of women who had given birth to their second daughter and were in despair. When Dr Rakh started, I knew I had a social responsibility to do the same."
He has been delivering girls free of charge for one year now, be it a normal birth or Caesarian section. On the other hand, there is Sunil Sainiji, a social worker from Gurgaon who was inspired by Dr Rakh and is on a mission to persuade other doctors to do the same. So far he has convinced two doctors to deliver for free and he is also persuading chemists and labs to give a discount of a certain amount for prescriptions and tests when it involves baby girls.
Dr Rakh, the son of a coolie and a maid, wanted to be a wrestler as a child, but his mother convinced him to study and in the process, he had to endure a lot of hardship and discrimination. This made him even more compassionate when he saw how the society was treating mothers who give birth to a girl child. He doesn’t just stop at charging no fee for a female child. He also celebrates along with the hospital staff when a male child is born. And he goes one step further and prepares the parents in advance to accept the child, irrespective of the gender of the child.
"I tell families from the start that it's a baby girl even though I don't know the gender of the baby. I keep saying this and the effect is that it prepares them mentally so that they are not so upset when it happens,"
he told the Topyaps.