Wrestling star Geeta Phogat on Monday urged that the country must have a two-child norm if the growing population is to be controlled, even as she exhorted families to 'adopt a girl' if they desire to have one after the birth of two boys.
Addressing a gathering at a function, the Dangal girl also packed a solid punch against the practice of female foeticide and infanticide, saying 'abortion should be stopped' and instead education should be used to empower women.
"The problem of burgeoning population can be addressed if we begin with women itself. And, we need to educate them and spread awareness about birth control and family planning through TV channels and newspapers.
Also, I feel the government must bring a law to control population," she said. The event was organised by Taxpayers Association of Bharat (TAXAB), a platform for citizen-driven movement for population stabilisation, which on Monday said it will appeal to the Centre to bring about a "two-child norm in the country".
Several celebrities and prominent agricultural scientist M S Swaminathan have pledged their support to the campaign, a senior official of the TAXAB said, which held the function on the eve of the World Population Day.
The 28-year-old Commonwealth Games gold medallist, who hails from Haryana, a state infamous for its skewed sex ratio, also took a pledge, along with fellow wrestler and husband Pawan, to support the campaign.
On the model of two-child per family, when asked what should a family do if they have two boys but still desire a girl child, Phogat quipped, 'adopt a girl' as she sent out a loud and clear message to the society.
"Even problems of female foeticide and other concomitant issues can be addressed if we start educating them and others about the evil practice and the value of a girl child," she said.
Phogat is the eldest daughter of Dronacharya awardee Mahabir Singh Phogat, whose life had inspired Aamir Khan- starrer Dangal film, a runaway hit. She is also the first Indian female wrestler to have qualified for Olympics.
Incidentally, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had in April said that the sex ratio at birth in the state, stood at 950 girls to 1,000 boys in March.
This was for the first time in the history of the state, he said. Wrestler and Olympian Yogeshwar Dutt, who also attended the programme, acknowledged that over population was the biggest problem bedevilling the country and people must join hands to address the issue.
"We must come together in this campaign and impress upon the government to come with a law on population control. Only with controlled population, the youth of the coming generation will be strong and prosperous," Dutt said.
As part of the campaign, a special theme song Main Bharat Bol Raha Hoon sung by leading artists, including Kailash Kher, Suresh Wadekar and Shaan, was also launched on the occasion.
"In the next three months, we plan to bring a mass youth outreach programme by visiting universities and centres of learning across the country through our 10,000 volunteers spread across 650 districts," the senior official of the TAXAB said.