Tracking pregnancies helped improve girl child ratio

Una, Sep 4: Tracking of pregnancies in Una district have led to bouncing of sex ratio in the past one year among the vulnerable groups. The sex ratio in Una was lowest in Himachal Pradesh at 911 females for every 1,000 male children. However, after the district administration monitored the pregnancies among the vulnerable groups, the sex ratio bounced to 972 girls for every 1,000 male children. Vikas Labroo, Deputy Commissioner, Una, while talking to The Tribune said that due to low sex ratio in the district, the administration had started the initiative of tracking the pregnancies among vulnerable groups.

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The vulnerable groups were those women who had single girl child and two girl children. The women who had single girl child were kept in yellow group and those having two girl children were kept in red group. The administration decided to track the pregnancies among these groups as their desire for male child was more than other groups, Vikas Labroo said.

The Deputy Commissioner said 670 pregnancies were registered with the district health authorities in yellow category (females having single girl child) and 132 under red category (females having two female children). Initially, the administration organised a campaign to make the registered women aware of female foeticide.

We identified women from Una district who had done exceptionally well in different professions. We were able to find women IPS and Army officers from the district. The posters of these successful women were put on display in various parts of the district. Their mothers were invited and made to counsel the women from vulnerable groups. The groups were also addressed by me, the Deputy Commissioner said.

Thereafter, anganwadi workers were hired to keep track of the pregnancies in these vulnerable groups. The jump in sex ratio after tracking was a very positive sign, Vikas Labroo said.When asked, the Deputy Commissioner admitted that the jump is ratio was not indicative of entire district of Una because only pregnancies that were registered with the Health Department were tracked. However, one thing that has come out of the entire exercise was clear that there was something wrong as there was impressive jump in the sex ratio when the pregnancies were tracked.

Labroo said he would be submitting his suggestions to the state government so that the exercise of tracking of pregnancies could be extended to other parts of the state and groups where the sex ratio was alarmingly low.Una district has been under vigil of the health authorities due to low sex ratio in Himachal. The state health authorities had been alleging that the sex determination tests were being held in border areas of Punjab which were affecting the sex ratio in Una district.

The national health authorities had conducted raids in the recent past on scanning centres on both sides of the state borders. Some traps were also set in which a scanning centre located in Una district was sealed.The recent exercise carried out by the district administration, however, revealedthat much more needed to be done to improve sex ratio in Una.

Source Tribune India

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