Haryana community groups to fight female foeticide

Saturday, January 9, 2010

NEW DELHI - To improve the low sex ratios in Haryana’s Kurukshetra and Ambala districts, two Delhi-based non-government organisations have roped in community groups to become watchdogs against gender determination and female foeticide.

The project, initiated by the Centre for Social Research in collaboration with Women Power Connect, aims at achieving gender equality.

“Many instances of sex-selective abortions are coming to light with a simultaneous decline in the sex-ratio in the 0-6 years age group in affluent states like Haryana and Punjab. There is an urgent need to curb and reverse this trend to save the human race and we are taking every step in that direction,” said Ranjana Kumari, director, Centre for Social Research.

As per the 2001 Census, Kurukshetra district had 770 girls per 1,000 boys, while the figure in Ambala was 784. In Haryana, five districts had less than 900 females per 1,000 males.

The project has been launched in the rural Bahri Mohalla of Kurukhestra district and urban regions like Manav Chowk and Kotwali Sarai of Ambala district.

The NGOs appointed motivators within the active community who can initiate dialogue and play a crucial role in changing the community mindset and attitude regarding the girl child. Expert committees with chief medical officers, doctors, protection officers, primary healthcare workers, auxiliary nurses and midwives were also formed.

The community leaders disseminated information about the ill-effects of sex-selection, the importance of the girl child, and improving the status of women in society as equal partners, Kumari said.

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