It's a woman's world in Haryana village

It's a woman's world in Haryana village

A village in Haryana is on a mission to set right the state’s appalling sex ratio. And the outcome was heartening: Child sex ratio in Bibipur village nearly doubled in one year, from a deplorable 561 girls every 1,000 boys in 2012 to 1,114 girls in 2013. 

In a token gesture, the village panchayat has decided against having a chief guest for its Republic Day function on January 26. Instead, a woman with a girl child will hoist the tricolour. The panchayat has invited applications from women to zero in on the right candidate.

Sunil Kumar Jaglan, the 32-year-old sarpanch, told Deccan Herald that the village on January 1 honoured 100 women who gave birth to girl child. Jaglan, a post graduate in mathematics, said female foeticide could be contained by a series of persistent efforts backed by a scientific plan. In 2012, only 32 girls were born in the village while the number of boys was nearly double. In 2013, the village saw the birth of 51 girls while the number of boys was far less.

The data was tabulated by district health authorities. Iswanti Devi, in-charge of the local health center, said the child sex ratio figures were based on childbirths in the last two years. She said every pregnant woman was registered with the center and issued a personal health card irrespective of whether she delivered the child at the local hospital.

Jaglan said he banked on a pool of villagers, who doubled as undercover observers. They used to get information about expecting mothers, especially those with a girl child. The idea was to get such women registered with health authorities to prevent abortions.

Those who resisted were named in gram sabha meetings and counselled to get themselves registered. “Campaign to save the girl child has been a constant feature in the village.

How else did the numbers of girl child increase in one year?” Jaglan said.
The village first shot to fame in 2012 by organising the country’s first all-woman gram sabha. A couple of months later, it organised a mahapanchayat with women representatives from five states participating.

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