Health minister Deepak & secretary Pradeep did not reply to calls and text messages regarding the falling sex ratio of the girls in the state.
Mumbai: Despite claims made by the state government on how it has stemmed female foeticide, Maharashtra’s female sex ratio has fallen sharply to 899 in 2016 from 960 in 2015. The areas, which have seen the highest decline in the ratio, are Washim, Pune and Osmanabad. Activists have laid the blame squarely on the government, claiming it has no control over abortions taking place in private clinics.
The state government revealed this information in the assembly via written answer. The numbers, which are based on the Civil Registration System under the Birth and Death Registration Act, said that there is a sizable decrease of 49 in the female sex ratio in Washim, 46 in Pune and 34 in Osmanabad district. The reason given in the written reply just says - “the secondary treatment given to women.”
Health minister Deepak Sawant and secretary Pradeep Vyas did not reply to calls and text messages regarding the falling sex ratio of the girls in the state.
However, All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) joint secretary Kiran Moghe said that the implementation of the Preconception and Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques act (PCPNDT) is not proper. “There is no doubt that the there is a strong notion in the society against girl child. But the government has no control over illegal abortions. The authorities allow the malpractice as they are under pressure from private doctors. Hence the government has not given any reason for the decline in the sex ratio. There are many court orders regarding the declining female sex ratio to which the government has turned a blind eye,” Ms Moghe said.
Shiv Sena MLA Neelam Gorhe, who raised a similar issue in the legislative council, called it violence against women. “Nowadays, women are forced to opt for a Cesarian and are given unnecessary hormonal treatments. The number of abortions has gone up due to social norms. Female foeticide is also a form of violence against women. There has to be a gender policy from the government. Also, the government’s work should be complimented by social awareness about female foeticide,” she added.
Further in the written reply, the government has said that it has appointed 608 officials for better implementation of the PCPNDT. A committee of eight members has been appointed for suggestions on how to cut down female foeticide.