At Kumbh, sadhus speak up for women

Many saints at the Kumbh Mela this year have come up with slogans and programmes against female foeticide. Most of them believe that a skewed sex ratio was one of the main reasons for rising crimes against women.

"Beti nahin to srishti nahin (without daughters, there would be no universe)"; "Phool nahin to phal kahan se paaoge, naari nahin to jeevan kahan se paaoge (If there are no flowers, how will you get the fruits; if there is no women, how will you get life)"; "Maa chahiye, behen chahiye, patni chahiye to beti kyon nahin (If you want mother, sister and wife, then why don't you want daughter)" — are some such slogans dotting different streets of the mela.

Brahmswaroop Brahmchari of Shri Jai Ram Trust, Haridwar, says: "The Delhi gangrape was a horrible incident. The Sant samaj (saints' society) is aware of the situation. Soon you would hear a strong message going against issues like female foeticide." Beginning February, many conferences on the issue would be held, he informs.

Some other ashrams, like the Parmarth Niketan, will be holding pooja of 40 girls from the Nishad community on Thursday. Dati Maharaj of Shani Dham, too, would be holding a huge programme, tomorrow in which girls who have benefited from many of his schemes would be present.

Talking about his "beti bachao, beti padhao abhiyaan (save daughter, teacher mission)", which he has brought to the Kumbh for the first time, Dati Maharaj says: "It is about having a balance in numbers first and treating them as equals. Agar bachpan se ladki pant pehne to kya dikkat hai.? Lekin hum use pehle hee ghar ke andar rehne ko kehte hain., aur ladke belagaam ghoomte hain (What is the problem if girls wear pants right since beginning? But we only force them to stay inside, while boys roam about unbridled). This is the reason why women are not safe."

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