Guj's Save Girl Campaign to be Replicated at National Level?

Published: 06th July 2014 01:43 PM  |   Last Updated: 06th July 2014 01:43 PM   |  A+A-


NEW DELHI: The 'Beti Bachao Abhiyan' of Gujarat government could soon be replicated at the national level as the Union government feels it has been a success in improving the child sex ratio in the state.      

The Women and Child Development (WCD) Ministry is mulling implementation of the Gujarat model of the 'save the daughter campaign' in all the states as part of its efforts to improve the skewed child sex ratio (CSR) of the country, senior ministry officials said.

WCD Ministry officials will soon start studying the model as implemented in Gujarat, where the campaign was initiated in 2005 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he was the Chief Minister of the state.  

"We have our own action plan to halt the decline in the child sex ratio, but we also want to examine and study the Beti Bachao Abhiyan campaign to see if that can be replicated across the country," said an official.          

The campaign was started after the 2001 Census revealed an overall drop in sex ratio from 934 to 920 women per 1,000 males along with a drop in CSR from 928 to 883 in Gujarat.      

The state government launched an intensive campaign as part of which people were educated about the importance of saving the girl child by ending the abominable practice of sex selection and female foeticide and maintaining a healthy gender balance in society.       

The activities under the campaign included large rallies, poster campaigns, wall paintings, billboards and television commercials and short animation films and videos. Also, community and religious leaders, women's groups, NGOs and even celebrities were roped in to help with the drive.       

Further, the official said that proper implementation of the provisions of Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PNDT) Act was important.

The Act prohibits sex selection before and after conception. It also regulates pre-natal diagnostic techniques for detection of genetic abnormalities, restricting their use to registered institutions and registering all clinics possessing ultrasound machines.         

"To improve the CSR, it is important that every pregnant woman in India gets tracked and registered so that we have a record. Then, we have to track each and every pregnancy till birth and even after," said the official.   

Other states, too, have initiated the campaign to improve the CSR.

India's CSR (the number of females per thousand males in the 0-6 year age group) has declined over the years and, according to the last Census (2011), the ratio dropped to 919 from 927 girls for every 1,000 boys in 2001.            

Haryana was found to have the poorest male-female ratio among all the states, according to the 2011 Census. The number of females per 1,000 males in Haryana in 2011 was 879 followed by Jammu and Kashmir (889) and Punjab (895).

The other two worst-performing states in terms of skewed sex ratios are Uttar Pradesh (912 females) and Bihar (918 females).           

Even Delhi's sex ratio for children up to six years dropped from 868 girls per 1,000 boys in 2001 to 866 girls.    The national average dropped from 927 to 914 girls during this period.

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