Express News Service
CHANDIGARH: Haryana government’s proactive measures to tackling female infanticide protected the lives of 30,000 newborns, including 8,000 last year alone, in six years. The efforts have boosted its sex ratio (number of girls per 1,000 boys) at birth from a worrisome 871 in 2014 to 922 in 2020. Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said his government aims to bring the ratio to 935 plus this year through a sustained fight against female foeticide.
Nodal Officer of the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Programme, Dr Rakesh Gupta, said that the majority of the districts with sex ratio of below 900 are now above the 920 plus mark. As of now, 20 out of 22 districts in the state have the sex ratio above 900. Gupta said that Sirsa with the sex ratio of 949 at birth is closing in on the 950 mark, which is considered the ideal sex ratio at birth.
Gupta said that 5,37,996 births were registered in 2020, including 2,79,869 female births. “The main objective of the state government is to ensure a visible decline in the incidence of female foeticide, which will result in better sex ratio. While Covid-19 pandemic severely hampered the efforts in 2020, the campaign gained momentum by August,” he said.
Regular inspections at ultrasound centres, massive raids at illegal units under the PC-PNDT/MTP Act, strict action against offenders both in Haryana and neighbouring Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan helped in containing illegal scans and foeticide, Gupta said.