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Bihar likely to rope in Aamir Khan to 'save daughters'
PATNA: Strongly pleading for a Padma award to Aamir Khan, state health minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey on Monday said the state government was actively considering making the Bollywood actor the brand ambassador for the state government's campaign against female foeticide, to be launched in the state from May 30.
Inspired by Aamir's debut venture on television 'Satyameva Jayate', Choubey said people like Aamir should be given the highest award for raising socially-relevant issues in such a strong manner. "We have made Bhojpuri singer Manoj Tiwary and cancer specialist Dr J K Singh the brand ambassador for our cancer awareness programme," he said.
According to the minister, there are altogether 1,145 registered ultrasound centres in Bihar of which around 60% are located in Patna. A fresh survey would be conducted across the state to find out how many new such centres have opened. "We will convene a meeting of Indian Medical Association officials in June to formulate a fresh strategy to check female foeticide," he said.
The health minister also announced deputation of a liaison officer in Mumbai to assist patients coming from Bihar to Mumbai for cancer treatment. The decision follows Choubey's recent visit to Mumbai where he saw the miserable condition of Bihari patients in Mumbai's cancer hospitals. Among 80% of the patients in cancer wards there are from Bihar and most of them do not know what help they can get from their native state, Choubey said and added he would talk to the chief minister in this regard. Help for the purpose will also be taken from NGOs and Biharis living outside the state, the minister said.
He said the 'Bitiya Bachao', or save daughter, campaign would be launched from Sultanganj (Bhagalpur) on May 30 by taking oath on the bank of Ganga to prevent female foeticide. He expressed concern over the declining sex ratio in the state. According to 2011 census, the male:female ratio was 1000:916 as against 1000:919 in 2001.
"I admit the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Test Act has not been implemented properly in the state," Choubey said. Action has been taken in only three cases so far. Among these three cases, the two hospitals which were closed down for violating the law, resumed functioning, he said. "Action will be taken against the Patna civil surgeon in this regard," he said and added a committee would be constituted under the chairmanship of health secretary which will inquire into the charges against the civil surgeon and the private hospitals concerned. The committee will submit its report within one week, the minister said.
According to the minister, two new bodies have been constituted to check female foeticide in the state. One is the state supervisory body chaired by the health minister himself and the other the state advisory body. He said the services of CID and other agencies would also be taken to check female foeticide in the state.
Source: Times of India