| Health minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey kicks off the campaign in Bhagalpur on Wednesday. Picture by Amit Kumar |
Bhagalpur, May 30: A day before chief minister Nitish Kumar is scheduled to start his Seva Yatra in Bhagalpur, health minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey today managed to establish that he still has a good command over a large section of residents here.
Taking cue from Aamir Khan’s serial Satyamev Jayate, Choubey undertook a 30-km ride on a tonga (horse-driven carriage) from Sultanganj to Bhagalpur under the scorching sun this afternoon after launching the Bitiya Bachao Andolan (Save the Girl Child Movement) in the state. The march was part of his strategy to launch a mass awareness drive against the rising incidents of female foeticide cases.
A large number of people, including women and children from poverty-stricken hamlets on the flanks of National Highway-80, trailed Choubey’s tonga and pledged him support for the movement. “Choubeyji, aap mat ghabrana, aap ka peechhe hai pura zamana (Choubeyji, you need not worry, we all are with you),” slogans rent the air in Akbarnagar.
Slogans like “Bitiya bachao, prakriti bachao (Save girl, save environment)” and “Bitiya bachao, shristi bachao (Save girl, save nature)”, rent the air along the 30-km stretch from the historic Ajgaibeenath temple in Sultanganj to Budhanath temple in Bhagalpur town today.
Choubey addressed roadside gatherings at different places on way to Bhagalpur from the tonga during the march.
“I was always against female foeticide and always tried to prevent it. This illegal practice has triggered the problem of decreasing number of girls in the society. If you kill the future mothers, then imagine what would happen next?” he said. He said that during his early Jan Swasthya Chetna Yatra, he always focussed on this problem. “But now we have put it in our agenda,” he said, addressing an impressive gathering at Rannuchak locality, around 12km from Bhagalpur.