Co-opt civil society in fight against female foeticide: Report

  • Saurabh Chauhan, Hindustan Times, Shimla
  • Updated: Apr 25, 2015 00:14 IST

NGOs campaigning against the growing menace of female foeticide on Friday made a strong pitch for including civil society actors in efforts to check sex determination tests that have been banned under the Preconception & Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act of 1994.

A civil society report card released on Friday has suggested civil society members should be inducted in various committees under the Act to reduce political interference. The report is an assessment based on the Supreme Court's directive to states to ensure effective implementation of the PCPNDT Act at the state, district and subdistrict levels. The report pointed out various lapses in state machinery owing to which effective implementation of the Act was not possible.

The report card also pointed out that the political bias was evident as most nonofficial members of district advisory committees belonged to the ruling party. The report pitches strongly for induction of social activists and civil society's members working in the relative field in the committees and board related to the PCPNDT Act so that political interference could be kept to the bare minimum.

Despite contrary claims by the Himachal government, the report stated all the required eight members of the state advisory committee had not been appointed in Himachal and members did not attend meetings regularly. Since 2013 the state government had not appointed nonofficial members in the state supervisory board and no meeting of the board was held in 2013, the report added.

The report also pointed out various committees under the PCPNDT Act in Himachal were either incomplete or yet to be constituted. It said multi-members state and district appropriate authority had not been appointed in the state While releasing the report, Rizwan Parwez, national coordinator of Girls Count, an NGO campaigning against gender biased sex selection and the declining child sex ratio, said the state inspection and monitoring committee (SIMC) could be expanded by including some civil society member instead political appointees.

"During the assessment it was also observed that a clinic is visited by SIMC again and again but no irregularities pointed out while national inspection and monitoring committee took action against same clinic in single visit," Parwez said.

Further, the report also underlined the need of reviewing the female feticide cases across the country so that the basic trend could be understood. Though the Himachal government claims to conduct over 700 inspections through "appropriate authorities" and SIMC in 2013 alone, no court complaint was filed in the state.

Kinnaur, Una included in girl child scheme
The child sex ratio in Una district improved from 837 in 2001 to 875 in 2011 while in Kinnaur district the ratio declined from 979 in 2001 to 963 in 2011. Both districts have now been included under the 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao (save girl child, educate girl child) scheme. Lahaul-Spiti district had the "best" child sex ratio in 2011 at 1033.

State scan
Total population: 68.65 Lakh
Total district: 12
Budget received (PCPNDT Act): Rs. 1.10cr (2013-14)
(2011) (2001)
Child sex ratio 909 896
Urban 881 844
Rural 912 900

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