Encouraged by the success of its campaign to combat female foeticide in Delhi, a non-government organisation has extended its social mobilisation programme against sex selection at birth to two Haryana districts having lowest sex ratios.
Targeting Kurukshetra and Ambala—districts with the most skewed sex ratios in Haryana—the two-year campaign by the Centre of Social Research includes creating vigilant community watch groups to check the menace of selective abortions and creating value for the girl child.
"States like Delhi, Punjab and Haryana have earned a bad reputation for killing daughters in wombs. We will work with community workers to change the mindsets and create more value for the girl child," Director of Centre for Social Research (CSR), Ranjana Kumari, said.
The organisation first started the 'Meri Shakti Meri Beti' campaign in 2004 in Punjabi Bagh, Najafgarh and Narela districts of Delhi. Ambala with a sex ratio of 784 girls per 1,000 boys and Kurukshetra with 770 girls for every 1,000 boys are at the bottom of the sex ratio ladder in the country.
Fresh statistics submitted to Delhi government by the Office of Chief Registrar of births and deaths have shown that the capital for the first time witnessed a positive sex ratio-- 1,004 girls for every 1,000 boys. Referring to reports that sex ratio had improved in Delhi this year, Kumari said: "We believe we had a role, may be small, to play in the recent success. We now want to replicate the Delhi model to Haryana".
"We started the campaign from colleges where we mobilised students against female foeticide and through them mobilised the communities against female foeticide," she said. The campaign, with the help of as many as 15 community groups, will see a host of community-based awareness campaigns like rallies, discourses and 'nukkad nataks' in the coming days to combat female foeticide in the state.
In 2001, several of Haryana's districts including Kaithal, Sonepat and Rohtak recorded figures of less than 800 girls per 1,000 boys.