‘Ladli scheme a failure, foeticides highest in MP’ | bhopal | Hindustan Times
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‘Ladli scheme a failure, foeticides highest in MP’

A report by an NGO has stated that financial incentive schemes, especially the Ladli Laxmi, have not been effective in curbing female foeticide and infanticide in Madhya Pradesh, a claim refuted by the government.

bhopal Updated: Oct 10, 2016 08:20 IST
Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan with a girl child during an event to promote the state government’s Ladli Laxmi Yojana.
Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan with a girl child during an event to promote the state government’s Ladli Laxmi Yojana. (HT File/Shankar Maurya )

A report by an NGO has stated that financial incentive schemes, especially the Ladli Laxmi, have not been effective in curbing female foeticide and infanticide in Madhya Pradesh, a claim refuted by the government.

The report by Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) noted that there were 360 cases of foeticide in the state from 2001-15 of the 1,663 in the country, whereas the numbers for infanticide were 537 and 2,266 in the state and the country from 1994-2014.

The report, released on Thursday, called for changes in Ladli Laxmi Yojana, saying it had failed to improve the child sex ratio in the state—which was 914 girls for every 1,000 boys as per 2011 Census, down from 927 in 2001.

However, women and child development principal secretary JN Kansotia dismissed the report, saying the scheme was a success. “The scheme has benefitted many families and also improved the sex ratio,” he said.

Activists, however, noted the scheme, among others in the state, and their slogans promoted a patriarchal mindset, by portraying women as “‘bahu’, ‘laxmi’ and a person for extending the family, but never as an empowered person”.

Women and child activist Rolly Shivhare rued that according to such schemes, “girls’ future is to just get married and extend families”. “How can such schemes change the mindset of people who feel that girls can’t lead a family, can’t bear responsibility and can’t protect themselves?” she asked, adding, “Infanticides and foeticides can come down only if parents feel that girls are ... born not just to get married after 18 years.”

This aspect was reflected in a 2010 study by United Nations Population Funds (UNFPA) which quoted NGOs as saying that monetary benefits given to a girl when she was 18 or of marriageable age covertly supported dowry.

ActionAid, regional manager, Sarika Sinha said the ACHR study was not surprising as many studies have suggested that financial incentive schemes are not successful in improving child sex ratio or in curbing female foeticide and infanticides.

The 2015 NCRB data revealed that Madhya Pradesh topped the female foeticide list with 17 cases.

Noting that only two convictions have been made in 46 cases registered under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act from 1994-2014, the study called for more convictions.

Action Against Sex Selection, state vice president Dr KK Dixit called for regular raids on ultrasound clinics.