Chandigarh, Jan 13 (IANS) For the first time, sex ratio in Haryana has improved to 914 girls against 1,000 boys, the government said on Saturday.
“It has happened for the first time in Haryana. In what can be billed as a huge leap forward on the road to improved sex ratio at birth (SRB), the state has logged the highest ever ratio of 914 girls against 1,000 boys in 2017.
“It was 900 in 2016 and 876 in 2015. While 17 districts achieved SRB of 900 or more, no district was below 880 in 2017,” a state government spokesman said here.
Haryana had the dubious distinction of having the worst sex ratio among states in the country in the 2011 Census with just 834 girls per 1,000 boys.
The spokesman said that the improvement is linked to the ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ campaign launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Panipat in 2015.
“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 and 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 spokesman said.
Out of the 509,290 children born in the state during the year (January to December 2017), there were 266,064 boys and 243,226 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,” he said.
The drive was accompanied by an overarching campaign to promote, celebrate and institutionalise holistic growth of female child and her monitoring, the spokesman added.
“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 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,” he said.
During the campaign, inter-state joint raids under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PC-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, the spokesman said.
About 550 FIRs were registered under the PC-PNDT/MTP (Medical Termination of Pregnancy) 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.