Concern over falling sex ratio in Ganjam

Berhampur: Despite numerous schemes and programmes of Odisha government along with the efforts to create awareness on the importance of girl child, the widening sex ratio in Ganjam district has raised serious concerns.

It is alleged that the district administration has failed to implement government schemes like the Biju Kanya Ratna Yojana in the region… And thus, the administration has failed to improve the sex ratio.

The number of females per 1000 males was 902 in 2010. However, instead of improving, the number worryingly declined to 869 in 2017.

It is also alleged that illegal sex determination and female foeticide are carried out unabatedly at several clinics in the district. Though boards have been put up against sex determination, declaring it unlawful, lack of steps being taken to punish the lawbreakers has failed the law itself.

However, Berhampur Sub- collector Digant Routray said that stringent actions will be taken against those involved in illegal sex determination and female foeticide. “We have received reports that some clinics are violating the diagnostic norms and determining sex of foetus. We are serious about the issue and hence planning to conduct surprise raids at the clinics,” said Routray.

Secretary of Ganjam district Private Clinic Association, Dr. Subash Sahu refuted the charges of sex determination and female foeticide at clinics in the district. “No complaint of sex determination and female foeticide has been registered against any clinic in Berhampur. That might be happening in the remote areas where the administration is failing to reach out to people,” Sahu said.

On the other hand, in a bid to bridge the widening gap in sex ratio, the district administration has launched ‘Mo Gelha Jhia’ programme on January 14. Under the programme, a first of its kind in the country, the Ganjam district administration will celebrate birthday of each and every girl born in the district. Similarly, the mothers along with the new born will be distributed sweets, felicitated with gifts and flowers and handed over a citation.

“Several programmes have been undertaken by the State government like the ‘Biju Kanya Ratna Yojana’ to deal with the issue. We are also giving emphasise on Infant mortality rate (IMR) and Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) to increase the sex ratio,” said Ganjam CDMO Dr Sadananda Mishra, adding that the sex ratio is gradually increasing in the district since 2014,Mishra added.