People providing information on female foeticide and clinics conducting sex determination tests, will now receive a reward from the Jammu and Kashmir state government.
The reward of Rs25,000, announced on Thursday, is an effort to control the sharply declining sex ratio in the state. The declining sex ratio came to light during the recently concluded 2011 census.
Announcing the reward at a press conference, health minister Sham Lal Sharma said, “The census figures were shocking.”
From 941 in 2001, the sex ratio for children below the age of six years has dropped to 859 in 2011. This difference of 82 points is the worst drop in the country in two decades.
The sex ratio for the overall population goes against the national trend. The countrywide figure has gone up from 933 women per 1,000 men in 2001 to 940 in 2011. In the same decade, the state figure has dropped from 891 to 883.
Of the 265 ultrasound clinics in the state, 78 have been shut down for conducting sex determination tests, which is banned in the country. “Fifty-four of them were located in Kashmir and 24 in Jammu,” Sharma said.
To ensure safe births in remote areas, separate rooms will be built in district hospitals for pregnant women. Eleven such facilities will be built in the state, for which R1 crore has been sanctioned. The project is part of the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM). In 2011-2012, the state will receive Rs263.6 crore from the Centre for the NRHM, Sharma said.