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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 March, 2005, 14:47 GMT
Cash offer to one-girl families
By Omer Farooq
BBC News, Hyderabad

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Rajashekhar Reddy
Chief Minister Reddy announced a range of benefits
Families having a single girl child in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh will be given 100,000 rupees ($2,300) in an attempt to boost the female population.

The money will be given to the child when she turns 20 and both parents would have to undergo verified birth control operations.

The state government says it is concerned at the falling female-to-male ratio - in 2001 it was 943 to 1,000.

The rise in sex determination tests to abort female foetuses is also a worry.

Publicity campaign

State Chief Minister YS Rajashekhar Reddy said there would be several other benefits for families having a single girl child.

They include an annual grant of 1,250 rupees for education for the girl in classes nine to 12 (ages 14-17).

Sania Mirza
Local girl Sania Mirza will head a publicity drive

In case of the death of either parent, the family would get up to 50,000 rupees immediately.

Dr Reddy said both parents would have to undergo operations certified and verified by government hospitals to qualify for the scheme.

The Andhra Pradesh government says it is also planning a major publicity campaign to promote female children.

It has named the rising Indian tennis star and local girl, Sania Mirza, as the "ambassador of the girl child of Andhra Pradesh".

The authorities are planning to erect hoardings featuring Mirza and espousing the cause of the female child.

"Your daughter may be the next champion", one of the hoardings says.

This year Mirza became first Indian woman to get to the third round of a tennis Grand Slam, with her performance in Australia.


SEE ALSO:
Indian girls 'more likely to die'
18 Jul 03 |  South Asia
Aid for Indian suicide families
19 May 04 |  South Asia
Why peace collapsed in Andhra Pradesh
20 Jan 05 |  South Asia


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