There is good news for residents of Jalandhar district as the child sex ratio has shown an impressive increase from 863 in 2012-13 to 903 against 1,000 boys in 2013-14.
There has been an increase of 40 points in the sex ratio of live births, which is being seen an encouraging sign.
This increase in sex ratio shows a rise in the awareness among people towards accepting the girl child as well as the results of the government's effort to curb female foeticide by strictly implementing the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act.
To encourage the birth of girl child, the department is leaving no stone unturned and running various awareness campaigns against female foeticide with the assistance of field staff, NGOs and social activists.
The Kala Bakra and Mehatpur blocks have attained maximum points in improved sex ratio as in 2012-13, 430 and 375 girls took birth but 2013-14, 460 and 414 girls are born, respectively. The Nakodar block has also shown encouraging figures as 786 girls have taken birth in 2013-14 while in 2012-13, this figure was 619.
In Phillaur, 74 girls had taken birth in 2012-13 and the department has registered birth of 150 girls in 2013-14.
In Jalandhar district hospital, 2,272 girls have taken birth in 2013-14 against 1,767 girls in 2012-13.
A senior health officer said the state government has also floated several schemes for the girl child, which provide for financial incentives to poor parents who have a girl child. This is also playing a role in improving sex ratio.
He said the Punjab and Haryana high court had asked the state to replicate the "Nawanshahr Model" adopted in Nawanshahr district, wherein the administration motivated people by starting "Parbhat Pheris" (morning procession) in villages by involving NGOs to adopt girl child.
"Strict implementation of the PCPNDT Act, regular inspections and hard work of field staff like Asha workers, ANMs have led to increase in sex ratio," claimed Gurmeet Kaur Duggal, the district family and welfare officer.
She claimed that impressive sex ratio is a positive sign and that people have started adopting girls happily. She said, "Our state has been slowly and steadily trying to get rid of 'Kurimaar' (girl killer) tag."
She said after last year's gloomy picture of skewed sex ratio, the department launched a crusade against female foeticide.