LC concerned about female foeticide

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Srinagar: Minister of State for Health, Mr. Shabir Ahmad Khan today assured the Upper House that PNDT Act will be strictly implemented in the state to check attempts of female foeticide.

The Minister was replying to a discussion raised by Dr. Shehnaz Ganai regarding “the killing of female foetus going on in the state and implementation of PNDT” in the Upper House today,

Briefing the House about various measures taken up by the government to check the menace of female foeticide and implementation of PNDT Act with full might, the Minister said that after the 2001 census, decline in sex ratio was observed and concerns were raised resulting in the enactment of the PNDT act to reverse the trend. He said Government took steps to implement the Act in the State and several measures were taken in this regard. He said besides improving the Health institutional mechanism, conducting workshops, seminars, involvement of religious leaders and regular inspections, the Government also increased the reward for informing about illegal ultrasonography tests for ascertaining Child sex from Rs 25,000 to Rs 50,000

The Minister said that a whip has been cracked against un-registered USG clinics throughout the State. He said that the year 2013 has been declared as save the Girl child year and a vigorous awareness campaign has been launched in all the educational institutions about the menace of female foeticide. The Civil Society, NGOs and religious leaders are also being taken on board in this regard. He said implementation of NRHM scheme in the state and engagement of ASHA workers have helped immensely to keep a check on female foeticide as the tracking system have improved considerably.

Presenting statistical date, the Minister said that the male-female sex ratio in the state has started improving and has been reported as 913 in 2013 against 859 as per the 2011 census in the age group of 0-6 years. He said in the year 2013, 669 inspections have been made and many illegal USG centres have been sealed and cases registered against law violators.

He said as many as 270 USG clinics are registered under the Act in which 48 are Government run while 222 are Private clinics adding that registration of 27 USG clinics has been renewed and as many as 185 are registered under form F.

Earlier, the Chairman Legislative Council, Mr. Amrit Malhotra shared deep concern shown by the members and asked the Health Minister to work in a mission mode to improve the sex ratio in the State by taking all necessary steps to prevent female foeticide. He said the Health Minister should ensure that the provisions of the PNDT Act are implemented strictly and prosecution of violators done.

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