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Measure – 01: Cradle-Scheme

February 29, 2008

Several measures have been proposed towards stopping the practice of kudimaari in India. I intend to collect here as many of those measures that I can find.

I will list these measures not in any order of importance but in the order I read about them. Here goes the first one.

Cradle-Scheme or Palna Scheme:

The underlying idea of the scheme is as follows: if parents do not want a girl child who has been born to them, then they should – rather than killing the girl child – leave their girl child in the care of the government. This scheme, introduced by Renuka Chaudhary, Union Minister for Women and Child Development, has been described by Swapna Majumdar in her article.

Under the scheme, baby girls can be dropped off at government cradle centres – akin to orphanages – that would be set up in each district in the next couple of months. Cradles will be placed at various government agencies including primary healthcare centres, hospitals, nursing homes and short-stay homes. Later, these babies would be transferred to specialised adoption agencies for rehabilitation.

Concerns regarding the scheme: (taken from the same article)
1) Can (and should) the government be a substitute for a parent?

2) The scheme may address female-infanticide but not female-foeticide. “Where is the option of abandoning girls if they are not born at all?”

3) The scheme does not address the core issue of discrimination or the mindset against girls. “In a way, it reinforces the fact that girls are not valued.”

4) “This step will absolve parents of their responsibility towards their daughters. More girls will be abandoned and my fear is that with so many girls being abandoned, it will lead to their being trafficked. So how will it end discrimination against girls?”

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