Female sex ratio lowest in Kangra
Even as the female sex ratio in the hill state has shown signs of improvement, to ensure that the upswing is maintained, the government will launch a special campaign focusing on “Beti Anmol Hai” in the 44 blocks that have lowest sex ratio of the state.
With the sex ratio as per civil registration system (CRS) data having fallen to 898 in 1993, efforts are being made to curb this disturbing trend, which has become a malady in the neighbouring states of Haryana and Punjab. The latest available figure of 2009 has brought some relief as the sex ratio has improved and touched 922. It was 904 as per CRS data in 2008.
Keen to ensure that the sex ratio shows signs of further improvement, the State Health and Family Welfare Department has decided to launch an intensive awareness and education programme in 44 blocks of the state which have the lowest sex ratio. Even as there are clear indications that the sex ratio has declined more in the areas bordering Punjab and Haryana, Kangra tops the list as its 15 blocks figure on the list of the worst affected.
Five blocks each of Una, Solan and Hamirpur have also been included as these parts have borders with Punjab and Haryana. Surprisingly, Shimla district, which does not have an inter-state boundary, too has five of its blocks falling on this list of 44 blocks. There are two blocks each in Bilaspur and Mandi district where the problem of low sex ratio is there.
Another interesting trend being reflected is that the problem is far more conspicuous in the urban areas than in the interior and rural parts. Clear examples of this is the fact that in Sirmour district, which shares a border with Haryana and Uttrakhand, Nahan and Paonta have the lowest ratio.
The folk media groups will give performances with a strong social message at the 44 gram sabhas on February 6 so that people can be made aware of the adverse repercussions of the trend in the long run. “During the next 10 days, these folk groups will give 440 performances in the districts where the problem is more grave than other parts,” confirmed an official.
Between February 20 and 30, seminars will be held on girlchild and the importance for checking this trend, which has gone down drastically during the nineties. On International Women’s Day on March 8, a state-level convention will be organised which will mark the launch of the second phase of “Beti Anmol Hai” campaign.