Panaji, Nov 12 (IANS) With an eye to the poor sex ratio in the state, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar in his Diwali message Monday asked Goans to light a lamp in the "name of our daughters".
"Our future is safe only when there are daughters," said Parrikar, whose government only recently unveiled the Laadli Laxmi Scheme, under which all girls born in Goa would get Rs.1 lakh as marriage expense at the time of getting hitched.
The state has a literacy percentage of 87.40, and a sex ratio of 968:1000, slightly above the national average of 940:1000.
As per the 2011 census, the coastal state, however, ranks 11th among Indian states and union territories when it comes to sex ratio, with Kerala topping the list at 1084:1000 and Daman and Diu at the bottom with 618:1000.
The Laadli Laxmi Scheme has been politically criticised, but huge numbers of women have been queuing up for applications.
The Goa government has allocated Rs.150 crore for the scheme.
Talking of the low sex ratio and explaining the need for the scheme, Chief Minister Parrikar said: "If this trend continues, it would lead to various problems. We need to curb infanticide and help women's empowerment."