Haryana achieves highest ever sex ratio
In what could be seen as a stride forward in a State known for skewed sex ratio, for the first time Haryana has logged the highest ever ratio of 914 girls against 1,000 boys in 2017. “This is a huge leap forward on the road to improved sex ratio at birth (SRB),”officials said.
The ratio was 900 in 2016 and 876 in 2015. While 17 districts achieved SRB of 900 or more, no district was below 880 in 2017.
“Needless to emphasise, this marked improvement in the sex ratio recorded by the CRS system of registration of birth in the State since the launch of the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao campaign by Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Panipat in 2015 is an outcome of the concerted and consistent efforts made by the State Government led by Chief Minister Manohar Lal,” a spokesman said.
Officials said soon after the launch of the campaign, the present Government embarked upon a multi-pronged drive to erase the black dot of skewed sex ratio state from the map of the State by conducting raids on illegitimate ultrasound centres, decoy-trapping of ultrasound/scanning institutes, registration of FIRs against the offenders, unearthing of the unholy nexus of culprits engaged in sex selection and female foeticide and a regular follow-up of the registered FIRs until judgment was handed.
The drive was accompanied by an overarching campaign to promote, celebrate and institutionalise holistic growth of female child and her monitoring.
“It was found that apart from qualified radiologists and doctors, an unholy nexus existed in the state comprising quacks, untrained health workers, laboratory or X-ray technicians or operation theatre assistants to conduct illegal sex determination tests,” the statement said.
It said the racket was busted and portable, affordable, handy ultrasound machines found illegally used by these quacks or untrained paramedics for sex detection purposes were confiscated during the raids in various parts of the state as well as in inter-state raids.
Many instances of unqualified personnel without ultrasound machines befooling pregnant women and their families by performing sex detection using jelly, scanned images, TV screens and rubbing objects like mobile phones posing as ultrasound probes were detected and those involved booked.
A massive drive was launched against sex selective abortion/female foeticide after the launch of BBBP by the Prime Minister under which extensive interventions by way of enforcement of PC-PNDT Act and MTP Act were undertaken to nail the culprits engaged in this illegal trade in the state leading to skewed sex ratio.
During the campaign, inter-state joint raids under the PNDT Act were also planned and executed with the help and support of counterpart State authorities for the first time to nab the offenders engaged in cross-border sex determination followed by female foeticide. About 550 FIRs were registered under the PC-PNDT/MTP Act against the offenders after successful raids deploying decoy operations, including 126 cross-border raids in adjoining five States.
More than 200 FIRs under the MTP Act were registered during the last more than two years in the State involving illegal abortion services, including cases of illegal use of MTP kits for abortion found sold without prescriptions and rampantly used by many BAMS and other unauthorised practitioners for illegal abortions across the state.
More than 60 cases of sex selection drugs being sold or supplied by quacks, paramedics, to couples desirous of having a male child in various districts were unearthed and offenders were booked under the PC-PNDT Act for unethical and illegal practices.
The PC-PNDT Act emerged as a looming cloud on the offenders and strengthened the arm of administration. So far, the State has been able to achieve conviction in more than 20 cases, while many are pending trials in various courts.
It is a matter of pride and a major jump from 2011 for Haryana, having worst gender ratio among all States at 834:1,000 (as per census 2011). The State witnessed a remarkable increase of 82 points in its sex ratio at birth during the last 5 years with 9 districts improving SRB by 100 or 100+ points.
Out of the 5,09,290 children born in the State during the year (January 2017 to December 2017), there were 2,66,064 boys and 2,43,226 girls witnessing a marked improvement of the sex ratio at birth, which jumped from 871 to 914.
While 17 districts achieved SRB of 900 or more no district was below 880 in 2017. Panipat with SRB of 945 tops the list, followed by Yamuna Nagar with 943, close to 950 considered ideal from the perspective of public health. Mohindergarh, Rewari, Sonipat and Jhajjar districts having child sex ratio below 800 mark (as per 2011 census) have shown marked improvement of 136, 91, 88, 96 points respectively, in their SRBs.
The gains in SRB will most certainly show up in the CSR of 2021 census. The efforts and success have reaped worldwide recognition for Haryana and registered Haryana as a torch-bearer in the mission to normalise sex ratio.
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