MP's 'Beti Bachao Abhiyan' to confront declining sex ratio
The skewed sex ratio in several districts of Madhya Pradesh has forced ruling BJP government to launch the 'Beti Bachao Abhiyan' (Save the Girl Child campaign) to raise awareness and address this nagging issue which may pose social and demographic problems in the state.
The districts where the sex ratio is alarmingly declining include: Bhind-838; Morena-839; Gwalior-862; Datia-875; Shivpuri-877; Chhattarpur-884; Sagar-896, Vidisha-897; Raisen- 899; Ashoknagar-900; Tikamgarh-901; Sheopur-902; Panna-907; Guna-910; Bhopal-911 and Hoshangabad-912, official sources said.
The position in the remaining districts is also not very encouraging. Hence, state chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan not only launched this drive from Datia district recently but also set the theme of the state's foundation day programme on the grave issue.
Besides dipping sex ratio, the child sex ratio (number of girls in the age group of 0-6 per 1000 male child) is also declining in the state, sources said.
The child sex ratio was 967 in the year 1961, while in the year 2011 it became 912 in Madhya Pradesh. The healthy child sex ratio at the time of birth should be 952 or more, experts said.
Except for tribal district of Dindori, where the child sex ratio stands at 1006 per 1000 males, the situation is highly imbalanced elsewhere and urgent steps are needed to arrest the decline, which may lead to major social problems in the near future, they said.
Both veteran singer Asha Bhosle and yesteryear Dream Girl Hema Malini, who were in the city for the state day celebrations appealed to the masses to save the girl child by highlighting their own success stories.
On the occasion, the state's culture department put up posters of successful women in their respective fields to send the message across that women are no lesser mortals and can also take care of their parents or elders as their male counterparts.
The chief minister also administered oath to doctors as part of the foundation day celebrations to encourage couples to go for a girl child and inform the administration about those who indulged in illegal pre-natal diagnostic techniques to determine the sex of a child.
However, terming the whole exercise as nothing but a publicity gimmick at the cost of exchequer, deputy leader of the Congress Legislature Party, Choudhry Rakesh Singh Chaturvedi told PTI, "instead of wasting money on self publicity, it would have been better if the government could have implemented the PNDT Act firmly in the state to arrest the decline."
Singh also said that it was also an attempt to divert people's attention from the rampant corruption that Chouhan's colleagues were indulging in and also from the issues of development, specially bad roads in the state.