Bijlipur village cares for its girls Sarbjit Dhaliwal Tribune News Service Samrala, September 7 Situated at a short distance from here, Bijlipur, with a population of 650, has more girls than boys. Its panchayat wants the village should get recognition at the national level.Whereas in almost 99 per cent villages of Punjab and Haryana and some other parts of the country, except Kerala, the male-female sex ratio is highly skewed with the number of girls being far less than boys, in this village it’s other way round.“If tabulated on a per thousand basis, in our village there are 1,880 girls for 1,000 boys,” claims Charanjit Singh, Sarpanch of the village. “In other words, the number of girls is almost double that of the boys in the village,” he says, adding the government should promote our village as a model one and should give special status to it. Punjab and Haryana have earned a bad name due to skewed sex ratio as low as 900 girls for 1,000 boys. Whereas the number of girls continued to increase till 1991, a decline in their number first came to light in 2001 census in Punjab. It was recorded 876 girls for 1,000 boys in 2001 compared to 882 girls for 1,000 boys in 1991. Female foeticide is said to be behind the falling number of girls.“Our village is named after a woman, Bijli,” asserted Charanjit. Village girls also outshine boys in studies. “Certain girls have done MBBS.” In the primary school of the village, there are 31 students. Of these 14 girls and 10 boys belong to the village.The sarpanch, whose son is settled in the US, has become an example for the village. He gives Rs 5,100 as shagun from his own pocket whenever any poor girl gets married in the village. “I started it after winning the elections,” he said. And other members of his family, who live in Canada, have set up a Natha Singh Trust in the memory of one of their elders. They also help poor and needy girls and boys of the village. “Natha Singh was my taya (uncle) and my cousin brothers have set up the trust in his memory. They would come in December and then activities of the trust would be expanded,” adds Charanjit, who is a member of the trust.