Women achievers including Naina Lal Kidwai, country head of the HSBC Group in India and singer Anoushka Shanker have come forward to address the problem of falling child sex ratio in India.
Last month, a child sponsorship programme covering 11 states of India including Maharashtra was launched by Plan India, the India chapter of Plan International, a non-profit.
“It is disappointing that the sex ratio is dropping among educated middle class. It is crucial to raise a voice against it,” said Abha Narain Lambah, conservation architect and one of the programme’s sponsors. Maharashtra’s child sex ratio dropped to 883 girls per 1000 boys in 2011 from 913 girls per 1,000 boys in 2001. The national child sex ratio is 914 girls per 1000 boys.
Plan India started the programme, “Saath Saath” in Uttar Pradesh in December 2011. This will now start for other states such as Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Rajasthan.
“It is observed that rights of girls are violated more than that of boys,” said Bhagyashri Dengle, executive director, Plan India. “A long-term commitment to health and education of a girl child, her family and the community will help the falling sex ratio.”
The programme involves identifying donors in India to sponsor a child with around Rs 12,000 per year.