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Declining sex ratio attributed to misuse of medical technology

Demographers and development specialists Sunday identified the misuse of advanced medical technology as a major factor responsible for the decline in the sex ratio in Rajasthan and other northern states.

They underlined the twin needs for raising social awareness on the issue and strictly implementing the laws against sex determination and female foeticide.

The occasion was a one-day state-level media workshop on the subject organised by the Shikshit Rojgar Kendra Prabandhak Samiti (SRKPS), a voluntary organisation working on development issues for the last 23 years, under the project ‘Let Girl Be Born’ launched with the support of Plan India.

Media persons who attended the workshop in large numbers were informed that Jaipur has emerged as the foremost place in Rajasthan denying the girls the right to be born.

Over 250 small sonography centres in Jaipur alone are reportedly indulging in sex determination tests of foetuses and aborting the female unborn children.

‘Jaipur has the highest number of sonography and abortion centres and the laws against sex selection and female foeticide are being flouted with impunity at these places,’ SRKPS secretary Rajan Choudhary said.

According to the 2011 Census figures, the number of girls per 1,000 boys in Rajasthan is still less than 900.

Choudhary said about 300 female foetuses are aborted every day in Rajasthan after the sex determination test and this abhorrent practice is making a serious impact on the sex ratio in 0-6 years.

During April 2010-March 2011, a total of 13,36,505 children were born in Rajasthan and they included 7,08,383 males and 6,28,122 females, revealing the sex ratio of 887.

While affirming that the main cause for the decline in sex ratio was the sex determination tests, Choudhary said over 1,800 sonography centres are functioning in Rajasthan and of them, 1,000 regularly violate the Pre conception and Pre Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex selection) Act (PCPNDT Act).

‘Jaipur is the biggest ‘mandi’ (market) in Rajasthan for sex determination and murder of female foetuses in the womb,’ he said.

It was pointed out at the workshop that 50 percent of the 600 sonography centres in the Rajasthan capital had never been inspected by the authorised officers.

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