SURKHET, June 10: “New born girl child means that a separate bank account in her name should be opened right away,” newly elected mayor of Birendranagr Municipality, Devkumar Subedi announced on Friday. Apart from this, he announced safe motherhood program, Chautari program for elderly people, one house - two plants campaign, help desk for victim of domestic violence and support fund for media persons on the occasion. To the great excitement of people, he added that the plans would be implemented without delay.
“Bank account for new born girl child would be implemented from the next month. Other programs will follow the suite,” Subedi said. “This bank account is for the safety and dignity of girls. We hope that this will give a strong and positive message,” he added.
The municipality will open bank accounts for girls with a balance of Rs 1,000 as soon as their birth is registered at the office.
The parents will be provided with bank account papers along with the girl’s birth certificate. Subedi stated that the savings account is expected to encourage parents to add to their daughter’s saving accounts.
Though illegal, sex-selective abortion is practiced in towns and villages across the country. Despite efforts to curb it, government and non government bodies working on this issue have not been able to bring much needed change to the scenario. According to Subedi, threat to life while they are still in womb remains greater even in Surkhet. Clinics that attract such couples who go for female feticide are widespread, and until and unless the mindset of the people changes, they will find one or the other ways to continue with the crime, he said.
“So, as a step to make people accept girl child and celebrate their presence, we came up with this idea of opening bank account for them. When parents come to municipality for making birth certificate of their girl child, we will counsel them to empower girls by educating and saving for them. This can make a difference,” he said.
Even though the government has been implementing the safe motherhood program across the county, he said that there are lapses in it that should be addressed.
He asserted that the municipality is going to make the program very effective. “Health is wealth. If mother’s health is robust, the entire house benefits. We have brought separate programs for pregnant women, mothers and babies,” Subedi stated.
Apart from other facilities, the municipality has decided to bear the cost of one time video x-ray of pregnant mother if she is visiting government hospital. Under the safe motherhood program, needy mothers will be able to access the facility even at a later stage.
According to the Deputy Mayor, Mohanmaya Dhakal, it will be great help for pregnant woman if the municipality supports one time cost of their video x-ray. This, she said, will not only encourage them to go for the check up but will also raise health awareness among them.
“Many women never go for such tests in lack of money and awareness. So we expect the support will encourage them to go for it.
Expecting mothers will be able to see their baby’s image, they can see the progress their baby’s has made when they see the video,” said Dhakal. “In cases of critical conditions, the municipality will extend its support to needy mothers,” she added.
Dhakal said that internal resources of the municipality are sufficient for the girl bank account program and safe motherhood program. Apart from that, the municipality also has one ward-one wifi zone as well.
“Within 100-days all the 16 wards of the municipality will have wifi installed. Internet and communication are essential part of our daily lives and they should be available. Basically, youths can make a lot of progress if such facilities are availed to them. It opens door to many opportunities,” she said.
The one house-two plants program, she said, is expected to make the town green and raise awareness to conserve environment among the residents.
She added that the programs are expected to have wider impact on the society as all the communities, including Dalit’s participation would be promoted.
“Chautari platform for elder citizens, help desk for women needing support to fight against violence, promotional programs for differently-abled people, children’s park in wards are in the pipeline.
Most of these programs would be implemented within 100 days, and we expect them to bring about positive changes across the municipality,” said Dhakal.
Mayor Subedi stated that separate fund for journalists is also a well thought plan. The fund of Rs 101,111 is dedicated to the welfare of journalists.
“The funds for the program will be increased in the years ahead. Journalists who play crucial role in bringing positive changes in society would be offered this help. It will be aimed at providing them health and security benefits,” Subedi said.
The duo expressed hope that these and other programs in the pipeline will change the face of the municipality for the better in the years ahead एंडand called on for support from stakeholders.