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Maharashtra Faces a Decline in Sex-Ratio, Beefs up Efforts to Save Girls

Infant girl child

Maharashtra state health minister Deepak Sawant said in a written reply before the assembly that there has been a decline in sexratio in the state. The number of girls was 930 per 1,000 boys in 2015 to 899 girls per 1,000 boys in 2016.

According to the state health department report this year, the sex ratio has plummeted by 49 in Washim district, 46 in Pune and 34 in Osmanabad. However, Mumbai observed an upward trend in 2016. The city’s ratio jumped three points from 933 in 2015 to 936.

“If the state doesn’t wake up now and start implementing the PCPNDT Act with all seriousness, there will be far fewer girls born,” says Sabu George

Read Also : Reward For Whistleblowers, Decoys To End Sex Determination Tests In Delhi

Sawant acknowledged that the secondary status of women in the state as the reason for its low sex-ratio. He said that the state has now appointed 608 officials for the implementation of the Pre-Conception and Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques [Prohibition of Sex Selection] (PCPNDT) Act.

Vigilance squads have also been set up under collectors for the implementation of this Act. The officials have been put in charge of implementing the Act. They will be conducting random checks on sonography centres and punish those who violate the law.

“If the state doesn’t wake up now and start implementing the PCPNDT Act with all seriousness, there will be far fewer girls born, “says Sabu George, an activist and researcher who has studied female foeticide across states.

He appreciated the success in the Sangli incident where a foeticide racket run by a homoeopath.

Also: Punjab Gears Up To Improve Its Sex Ratio

In March this year,  Punjab was declared as the “worst performing state” in terms of child sex-ratio. The state also came to a cropper in implementing “Beti-Bachao Beti Padao” effectively.

Reasons like delayed release of funds, poor utilization, noncompliance and lack of proper monitoring are responsible for the scheme’s failure.

While Maharashtra and Punjab are failing to save its girls, Rajasthan has shown great strides. The ratio of girls to boys at birth has reportedly increased from 888 in 2011 to 925 in 2015.

READ MORE:  Punjab Scores Low On Sex-Ratio, Beti Bachao Scheme Implementation