Call it the impact of Beti Bachao Beti Padhao campaign launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi or result of strict action by the Haryana health department officials against the doctors involved in pre-natal sex determination tests, sex-ratio is improving in the khap lands of Haryana.
Though the improvement in gender ratio is slow, the medical officers are of the view that continuous efforts to change the social mindset of 'preference to boys' and strict implementation of the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act would help remove the stigma of skewed sex ratio from the face of Haryana.
As per the available data, an increase in sex ratio at birth has been registered in districts of Jind, Jhajjar, Sonepat and Rohtak.
The sex ratio at birth in Jind, the capital of khap
panchayats, which issued extra-judicial diktats against young couples for marrying against the wishes of their parents, increased to 905 this year (till June 2015) against 805 of the last year.
Similar improvement has also been registered in Jhajjar district, which had the worst sex ratio of 776 in 2011
census, with gender ratio going up to 846 (till June) from 825 of the last year and 816 in June 2014.
Registering a rise of around 40 points, the sex ratio is also showing improvement in Sonepat district as it has gone up to 850 this year against 811 of the last year. The officials of the district health department are expecting that it will improve to 890-900 by the end of this year.
Though the monthly report of sex ratio showed a decline in Rohtak district, but it has improved continuously in the past few years.
Rohtak chief medical officer (CMO) Shiv Kumar said, "The sex ratio during the past month has come down to 847 against 879 of 2014, but it is still above 804 of 2010, 813 of 2011, 822 of 2012 and 827 of 2013".
"The result of the campaign to improve sex ratio cannot come so soon, we have to wait for it," he added.
Though leaders of khap panchayats, social organisations and government officials associated with Beti Bachao Beti Padhao campaign are claiming credit for bringing much needed social change in the region, officials of the health department claim that fear of police and strict action by health officers against the doctors conducting pre-natal sex determination tests are big factors behind improving sex ratio.
"We have launched special drives against ultra-sound centres. Several ultra-sound clinics were sealed and more than six doctors were booked under PCPNDT Act in the past few months. This campaign is also helping in improve sex ratio," said Sonepat CMO JS Punia.