'Law alone can't save girl child'

'Law alone can't save girl child'

Concerned over the adverse sex ratio in the national capital, Social Welfare Minister Kiran Walia on Monday expressed anguish over the fact that educated, middle class people and not the so-called poor are indulging in foetus gender determination and killing the girl child.

Speaking to reporters, Walia also accepted that law alone is not helping the cause as witnessed by the skewed sex ratio in the latest survey.

“Law alone is not enough as the doctors and the people who indulge in these things, both has vested interest. We need to change the psychology of such people who surprisingly are  educated and well to do middle class gentry,” said Walia adding that poor uneducated people do not have the means and the money to go for ultrasound checks, etc.

She revealed number of activities that the Delhi government has planned to bring awareness among the people  to consider a girl child as an asset rather than a liability.

“The government in collaboration with Sun Foundation has launched a video van service to carry the messages relating to protection of the girl child in every district of the city. It will distribute pamphlets highlighting the achievements of girls in various fields and also how they can be an asset to the family,” said Walia.

The Delhi government has also launched a week-long programme on January 18 to spread awareness in protecting the girl child with the help of 10,560 anganwadi centres across the city. Besides, the government has also entered into an agreement with UN Women to carry out various measures to improve safety and security of girls and women in the city.

According to the provisional census statistics 2011, there are 866 girls to 1,000 boys in Delhi. It was 868 in 2001. The child sex ratio of Delhi is much below the national average of 914 which has also seen a decline from 927 in 2001. Walia said lack of medical infrastructure in neighbouring states forces pregnant women to come to Delhi for safe deliveries and when a baby dies, it reflects on   Delhi’s statistics.

“In most of our hospitals, especially in border areas, you will find that 30 to 35 per cent patients come from outside Delhi. The maternity wards in these hospitals are full. When women from the neighbouring areas come to Delhi hospitals and if a baby dies during or after delivery then it reflects on our statistics," she said.

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