Conference to mobilize medical community in support of the girl child

Alabama, United States
10th September 2009

Against the backdrop of India’s rapidly declining sex ratio, the Art of Living foundation (AOL), in partnership with United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and Indian Medical Association (IMA) will organize a two-day national conference of doctors to champion the cause of the girl child. The conference titled, ‘Doctors for Daughters: Faith in Action against Sex Selection’ will be held at the Art of Living International Center in Bangalore on September 12 & 13, 2009.

Over 100 leading doctors from across the country will take part in the conference which will also be attended by senior UNFPA officials, National Mentoring Group (NMG) members and IMA members. His Holiness Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar will inaugurate the conference. The chief guests / speakers will include Dr. Ashok Adhao, President (IMA), Dr. Dharmaprakash, Secretary General (IMA) and Mr. Nesim Tumkaya, Country Representative of the UNFPA.

Commenting on the significance of the conference, Mr Nesim said,“This conference is a result of a unique partnership between AOL, IMA and UNFPA. UNFPA has supported work with the medical community to curb the misuse of technology that promotes discriminatory pre-natal sex selection. IMA has identified specific doctors who will work as ambassadorsIMA has identified specific doctors who will work as ambassadors across key states to address sex selection and ensure self-regulation within the medical community. The idea is to have as many voices from within the medical fraternity that protest against the unethical use of technology by peers.”

The Art of Living Foundation has been actively campaigning against sex selection and female foeticide. In 2005, it hosted India’s Missing Daughters: Faith for Action Against Sex Selection, a conference which brought together religious and spiritual leaders of different faiths, representatives of the Government and civil society to work towards creating awareness and combat the growing practice.

In addition, padyatras were organized in various states to raise the level of awareness among the general public. The organization has also been educating youth on the issue of sex selection and female foeticide through its programs.