Expressing concern over the “alarming decline” in in Jammu and Kashmir’s sex ratio – 883 females per 1,000 males – a minister said the government will continue to crackdown on illegal sex determination clinics. Health Minister Sham Lal Sharma said that his department was taking steps to strengthening measures to balance the sex ratio.
Sharma said: “One of the main steps required to curb the menace is to stop illegal sex determination in various ultrasonography (USG) centers across the state. For this government has enhanced the reward for the whistleblowers providing information about such activities from Rs 25,000 to Rs 50,000.” The health minister said this while chairing a thematic workshop on public private partnership to restore gender balance Sunday.
The workshop dwelt at length on declining sex ratio and measures to capture the trend in light of pre-conception and pre-natal sex determination techniques (PCPNDT) act and public private partnership to restore gender balance, social aspects of PNDT and other related issues in implementing the act in letter and spirit.
Sharma appealed to all the sections of the society to help in curbing the menace of female foeticide. “The recent figures of census are eye opener for all of us. We have to give serious thought on this issue and take corrective measures to improve the ratio,” he added. The sex ratio in Jammu and Kashmir is at 883/1,000 while the national average is 940/1,000.
He asked the people to create awareness among the masses against the female foeticide and gender inequality. He said there was a need to act tough on perpetrators of female killing and besides, punishment, registration of such clinics can be cancelled who violate the PCPNDT Act, he added.