Despite stringent laws to prevent female foeticide and a number of welfare and awareness schemes, the sex ratio in Sandhol of Sarkaghat sub-division in Mandi district has declined to 622 females per 1,000 males, the lowest in the state, as per the Socio Economic and Caste Census 2011.
Ironically Sandhol area has produced the highest number of doctors, administrative officers and army officers in the state and has a better literacy rate as compared to other backward areas of the state whose overall sex ratio is 909 females per 1,000 males.
On the other hand, Seraj assembly segment, considered to have a lower literacy rate and backward, has recorded 1,200 females per 1,000 males, one of the highest sex ratios in north India.
Realising the seriousness of the issue, the district administration launched an awareness campaign, "Meri Ladali", at Sandhol on Monday.
The campaign is aimed at implementing the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PNDT) Act effectively by creating mass awareness and raising public conscience against the reprehensible practice of sex selection.
Presiding over the function, Mandi deputy commissioner Sandeep Kadam said the poor sex ratio was a matter of concern and people who considered the girl child a bane should be discouraged, adding that girls were equivalent to boys and were equally making their parents proud with their achievements.
Kadam warned health centres and doctors who conducted sex determination tests and female foeticide of punitive action.