Writers should take up the issue of female foeticide: this was the refrain at the women’s literary meet organised on the eve of the national Marathi literary meet.
The three-day 85th Akhil Bhartiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan starts on Friday in Chandrapur, on the border of naxal-affected Gadchiroli district in Vidarbha.
“It is high time that we face facts and go to the root of the problem of foeticide. Why is it that pregnant mothers agree to eliminate the baby girl? Is it because she feels it is better for the girl to die in the womb rather than live the life that she has got?” asked Prabha Ganorkar, writer and chairperson of the women’s meet even as preparations for the Sammelan went on in the campus of the Rajeev Gandhi Engineering College.
Students of the college, dressed in traditional nine-yard sarees and jewellery, and boys dressed in saffron turbans and kurtas stood near a sculpture of a baby girl in hands placed at the entrance of the auditorium.
Attended by women’s activists such as Pratibha Shinde and doctors such as Dr. Milind Naik of Indian Medical Association, the women’s meet set the tone for the upcoming programme.
Organised in Chandrapur after 33 years, the meet is being noted for its agenda on social issues such as rise in pollution in Chandrapur because of thermal power plants, naxalism and its impact on tribal rights.
“It is the duty of the writers to address these issues in contemporary work so this meeting is setting a new precedent by having women meet and special focus on social issues,” said Usha Tambe, chairperson of the organising committee.
The three-day festival has panelists such as Dr Abhay Bang, Pratibha Shinde and Deepak Ghaisas.