Delhiites join hands to take female foeticide head on

Even a metro city like Delhi is not alien to the practice of female foeticide. To address the issue of skewed sex ratio in south-west Delhi, second phase of Meri Shakti Meri Beti was launched in Vasant Kunj on Tuesday.

Campaign addresses issue of skewed sex ratio. DH Photo

This campaign against female foeticide in high risk areas has garnered 1,00,000 euro from German Embassy.

The program aims to bring down female foeticide through multiple interventions which include sensitising families and engaging with other stakeholders to correct the existing sex ratio imbalance in Delhi.

The Centre for Social Research (CSR), an organisation working for women empowerment and welfare launched the second phase of the programme at Kishangarh in Vasant Kunj.

“Despite a massive economic growth in Delhi, there has been little or no change in the mindset of a majority of city’s population. The preference for  the boy child will push Delhi on the brink of social, and law and order challenges in the near future,” said Dr Ranjana Kumari, director CSR.

At least 50 women were felicitated with gifts and shawls for being mothers of girl children. CSR members say this will help in encouraging women to save the girl child.

According to a social audit done by CSR, 10.3 per cent people in Narela, 2.5 per cent people in Najafgarh and 6.5 per cent in Punjabi Bagh said they abort the foetus if it is a female.

Delhi's sex ratio stands at 866 females per 1,000 males according to the 2011 census, compared to 971 per 1,000 in 2001. The situation in the south-west district is worse with the child sex ratio of 836 girls per 1,000 boys.

Forced termination
“With low levels of awareness and nuclear families, the desire for male child has grown. At least 25-50 per cent of females in villages of south-west Delhi are forced to abort or get a sex determination test,” said Sumitra devi, an Anganwadi worker in Kishangarh village, Vasant Kunj.  
German Ambassador to India, Cord Meier Koldt said, “Support for this programme is a small commitment from German government to forward its agenda of inclusive growth in its partner countries and we are hopeful that the programme will set a roadmap for addressing the problem. The key to healthy society is fair gender balance.”

The first phase of the programme was carried in 2007 in the three lowest sex ratio districts of Delhi namely Najafgarh, Narela and Punjabi Bagh with the support of the Union ministry of health and family welfare and ministry of women and child development.

The second phase will cater to six more districts in Najafgarh, Narela, R K Puram, Vasant Kunj and Vasant Vihar.

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