Alarming fall in female ratio

PALAMPUR: The alarming and dismal scenario of falling sex ratio in the state particularly in Palampur sub-division has caused concern among the health authorities and other social organizations here. According to a recent survey conducted by the state health department, it has been revealed that the sex ratio of females has come down to 836 as compared to 1000 males in Thural area. The survey revealed that various doctors who have installed portable ultra sound scanning machines in the region have been indulging in pre natal sex determination test followed by unethical termination of pregnancies resulting in the fall of sex ratio of females.

Though there is a provision in the law for regrious imprisonment of six months who is found guilty of having done sex determination test but till today police has not even registered a single case against the defaulters in the region. It has come to notice that in Palampur sub division alone over three dozen women daily visit various ultra sound scanning centers for sex determination test which is done there through back door by charging huge fees. Before the enactment of law to deal with this menace the private radiliogist were charging rupees 500/ only but now the rate per ultra sound scanning test has gone to rupees 1500 to rupees 2000.

I visited the Thural area of the region and met the cross section of society and was told that despite the fact the state government has enacted a law long back in 1994 and also imposed ban on the sex determination test still number of private medical practiconers have been doing sex determination test openly by charging rupees 2000/- to 3000/- Mr. Vijay Singh a resident of changer area told at Alampur that the ban on sex determination test was only confined to official files and still private doctors working in rural areas were openly resorting the sex determination test followed by the termination of pregnancies, which is very serious matter.

In past three months the health department has taken various steps to educate the people in this regard but still there was no serious check on the sex determination test in the region. Recently Dr. H.K. Vasisth, Block Medical Officer, Gopalpur, organized a camps to make people aware of the Pre natal diagnostic techniques and provisions of law which were being misused. Over two hundred women from various parts of the region attended the camp and assured the organizers that no women from their villages would go for pre sex determination test in future. They were told that number of females in the region is coming down day by day and in future they would not find any female for the marriages of their sons.

Dr G. Kapoor, an eminent social worker and member state Red Cross Society while addressing the women warned that disturbing female sex ratio would spell the disaster leading to social crimes. She stressed the need for priority in employment to the women, economic upliftment of woment and better education facilities particularly in rural areas which could help in checking the menace of female feticides.

Health Department has also constituted a vigilance committee under the chairmanship of Dr. H.K. Vasisth, which included Zila Parishad Members, Panchyat pardhans and and social workers. The committee would keep strict watch on the persons involved in this heinous crimes of female child abortion.

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