Millennium Post

Improvement in child sex ratio in 49 districts, says Maneka

As many as 49 out of 100 districts in the country, where government’s ambitious ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ campaign to save and empower the girl child was launched last year have recorded a significant improvement in child sex ratio at birth, Union Minister Maneka Gandhi said on Tuesday.

“There has been a significant improvement in child sex-ratio at birth in 49 districts, which is much beyond our expectation,” the Minister for Women and Child Development said, while speaking at the launch of the campaign in 61 additional districts.

She emphasised on the need for compulsory registration of pregnant women by village panchayats to put a check  on female foeticide. “Sarpanches (village heads) should be made the nodal person in every village for monitoring pregnant women,” she said.

Setting a target for improving the child sex-ratio at birth by 10 points minimum every year, Gandhi asked the deputy commissioners and district magistrates to adopt a “proactive approach” by launching initiatives to change the mentality of people towards girls.

“Our goal is to improve sex ratio at birth by 10 points minimum every year. It will lead to 50 points in five years bringing it at par,” she said.

A 10-point raise would mean the number of girls going up by ten vis-a-vis every 1000 births of male children.

The minister appealed to the states to achieve 100 per cent institutional deliveries and put boards displaying the number of girls and boys in every village. “It is very difficult to kill a child in hospital, but easier through midwives at home and then say the child was born dead. So, 100 per cent institutional delivery is very important,” she said.

“Secondly, the sarpanch in every village has to have a board of how many girls and boys are living there,” she said.

The Minister also asked them to map and register all ultrasound machines to keep a check on illegal sex selection and monitoring of Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act. “District authorities need to tell all village sarpanches about PCPNDT Act and provide them legal counselling about laws protecting women against violence. They have to instill the fear of PCPNDT Act as Haryana has done," she said.
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