Prime Minister concerned over declining sex ratio

Last Updated: Thursday, September 1, 2011 - 23:54

New Delhi: Viewing with serious concern the
declining sex ratio, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has written
to all chief ministers asking them act in a swift and
concerted manner to check pre-natal sex determination which
continues to be a "challenge" in most places.

Singh has asked the Chief Ministers to provide personal
leadership as he laid emphasis on spreading awareness on the
issue by involving civil society, including religious and
community leaders, besides political representatives as part
of "policy and programmatic action" to end discrimination
against females.

The child sex ratio, measured as the number of girls
between the ages of 0 and 6 years to 1000 boys in the same age
group, has declined from 927 to 914 in 2011 as per the
provisional census 2011 data, he pointed out in his letter.

"This is a matter of serious concern and it is with great
anguish that I write to you on this very important subject,"
the identical letters said asking the CMs to respond.

"The disaggregated data for states and UTs reveal a
picture that is even more alarming than the average child sex
ratio for the country," Singh said while highlighting the data
of individual states.

Asserting that discrimination and social prejudice
against women needed to be tackled at all stages, he said "we
need strong action against pre-birth sex selection using
modern diagnostic technologies and neglect of the girl child
once she is born."

Noting that implementation of law on pre-natal sex
determination "continues to be a challenge in most areas", he
said "the need of the hour is to strengthen monitoring and
inspection mechanisms for strict and effective implementation
of the law by states and UTs."

"I would earnestly request you to consider putting in
place a concerted plan of action to strengthen the
implementation of the PC (pre-conception) and PNDT (pre-natal
sex determination) Act and involve all sections of civil
society, including religious and community leaders and
political representatives, to spread awareness and remove the
lingering prejudices against women in our society," the PM
told the CMs.

"I would also urge you to provide personal leadership in
this matter and ensure swift and stringent punishment against
violators of the law," he said.

In addition to strong implementation of the PC and PNDT
Acts, there is a need to take a series of steps to make the
society a better place for girls to be born, survive and
prosper, the Prime Minister said.

He stressed the need for "policy and programmatic action"
on several fronts to end discrimination against the female
foetus, the girl child, the adolescent girl and the woman.

"We already have many programmes to deal with these
issues. There are central programmes for the benefit of women
and children. I am sure you have special programmes in your
states.

"The need of the hour, however, is take a holistic look
at them, strengthen their implementation from the perspective
of problems on hand and identify and fill programmatic, policy
and legislative gaps," Singh said.

The sex ratio in some states has seen greater decline.
Among these are Andhra Pradesh with 18-point drop,
Chhattisgarh with 11-point drop and Bihar with 9-point
decline.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, September 1, 2011 - 23:54

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