In its ongoing crusade against female foeticide, the Manohar lal Khattar Government in Haryana is now relying on out-of-the-box initiatives in various districts of the State.
From distributing free gift vouchers to oath certificates to the public, Haryana Government is adopting innovative campaigns to promote the cause of the girl child and combat the gender imbalance in the State.
The State Government has come out with initiatives like organising ceremonies to celebrate birth of girl child at health institutions and villages, unfurling of National Flag by educated girls on Republic day and Independence day celebrations, honouring parents of girl child at village level celebrations, observing ‘Female Foeticide Conservation Day’, signature campaign and oath ceremonies against female foeticide in education institutions and Government offices, cash award for villages successful in improving skewed sex ratio, organising baby shows, prabhat pheries, celebrating lohri of girl child, appointing girl ambassadors and mascots to create awareness, to name a few.
Such innovative initiatives carried out in the past one year to promote birth of girl child have led to some positive results in terms of child sex ratio in many parts of the State.
Apart from this, with initiatives like Rs 1 lakh cash award to the informers providing information about people involved in female foeticide, special drives to nab the culprits with the assistance of decoy customers, constitution of special teams to keep a check on illegal ultrasound centres and portable ultrasound machines among others, the State Government is making efforts for the strict implementation of Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994.
The sex determination and female foeticide have been partly blamed for the low sex ratio in Haryana, although sex selection is outlawed by the PCPNDT Act.
Haryana, which had the worst sex ratio among States in the 2011 census, was chosen by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to launch the nationwide ambitious ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ in 2015, which is now implemented in 20 districts of the State.
Haryana had the lowest child sex ratio of 834 compared to the national average of 919 (according to census of India 2011).
A year later, the State had recorded sex ratio at 903 in December — the first time in a decade that it had crossed 900 in Haryana. The State is now aiming to achieve the target of more than 950 females per 1,000 males in the sex ratio at birth (SRB) by the end of this year.
According to the latest data with the Haryana Health Department, Mahendragarh continued to hold to distinction of being the ‘worst’ district of Haryana recording low sex ratio at birth of 747 girls per 1000 boys while Kaithal topped the charts with 965 girls per 1000 boys.
Overall, the sex ratio has improved from 869 in May 2015 to 881 girls per 1000 boys in May 2016 in the State. The highest sex ratio of 906 has been recorded in the month of March this year.
As per the data, from May 2015 to May 2016, Ambala witnessed increase in sex ratio (893 to 930), Bhiwani (823 to 889), Faridabad (768 to 892), Fatehabad (926 to 948), Jind (811 to 910), Palwal (827 to 851) Panchkula (821 to 954), Panipat (870 to 903) and Yamunanagar (830 to 916).
The districts recording decline in the sex ratio included Mahendragarh (786 to 747), Mewat (911 to 872), Karnal (936 to 891), Jind (936 to 891) among others.
“The State has seen an improvement in overall sex ratio since the launch of BBBP programme as several initiatives are being taken at district level under the campaign,” said Dr Renu Pahal Malik, Haryana Deputy Director (PNDT) while talking to The Pioneer.
Dr Renu said, “District commissioners are planning, implementing and monitoring the progress of the campaign. Under BBBP, Bhiwani district administration started an initiative to give gift vouchers to the parents on the birth of a girl child in Government hospitals while Jind Administration has planned to launch a campaign against female foeticide on July 22 and distribute oath certificates among people.”
“Similarly, many such innovative initiatives are being planned at district level under BBBP programme. To further push BBBP programme, the Government has asked to conduct pledge and oath ceremonies at school, colleges and Government offices to save girl child,” she said.
Dr Renu also informed that Rs 12 lakh has already been released by the State Government to 12 individuals in the State for providing information about those involved in female foeticide.
About PCPNDT Act, she said that under this, more than 200 FIRs have been registered in the State during the period of programme implementation.
Notably, the BJP led Haryana Government had last year appointed actress Parineeti Chopra as brand ambassador for the ‘BBBP’ programme to promote the cause of the girl child.