Dr Rakh calls it his “tiny contribution” to improving the lot of the girl child in a country where a traditional preference for boys and easy availability of antenatal sex screening has resulted in the skewed gender ratio.
Dr Rakh who started a small hospital in Pune in 2007, said for him it was difficult to tell families they had a daughter as they and their relatives hoped the baby would be a boy.
Some mothers told him they had taken treatment from a holy man or used a medicine put into the mother’s nostril to ensure the birth of a male child.
In January 2012 Dr Rakh began his own crusade by launching the Mulgi Vachava Abhiyan (campaign to save the girl child}, and decided he would not charge if a girl was born, to celebrate a daughter’s birth.
Since he opened his hospital 464 girls have been born there and he has not charged the parents any fee. His efforts have begun to bear fruit as ministers and government officials are appreciating his work and superstar Amitabh Bachchan has described him as a ‘real hero’. Many other doctors that Dr Rakh contacted pledged to support his campaign.