HP for joint strategy to check femicide in bordering areas

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Shimla, Mar 26 (UNI) Himachal Pradesh Health and Family Welfare Minister Rajeev Bindal today said the state government was for a joint strategy with the neighbouring states to check incidences of female foeticide in the bordering areas.

Replying to a question by Kaul Singh Thakur (Congress), he said the government was concerned over the declining sex ratio in border districts of Solan and Una where people quietly cross over to private clinics in the neighbouring states for female foeticide.

Mr Bindal said the child sex ratio in the state had slightly increased from 845 in 2005 to 866 in 2006 due to multi-pronged strategy adopted by the government, but the issue needed to be addressed on priority and a continuous basis.

''In this regard, the focus of the government will be on awareness, strict implementation of PNDT Act plus incentives to the parents for sterilisation after a girl child.'' ''We are also encouraging the Panchayats showing best sex ratio in the district with financial rewards. As also, there is a need to sensitise the doctors towards this social problem and their professional ethics,'' he said.

''However, it is surprising that during previous government's tenure, out of Rs 35 lakh earmarked for creating awareness on this issue, only Rs 3.5 lakh were spent,'' he said.

''We will ensure that awareness campaigns against female foeticide is expedited. For this, we also need to restore respect for the girl child and all the females as such. The BJP government's decision to reserve 50 per cent seats for women in Panchayat Raj Institutions from next polls is a step in this direction,'' Mr Bindal said.

The government had taken action against 39 private clinics for violation of PNDT Act in the state, he said and added that in one case FIR was lodged and licences of 20 cancelled.

''In the remaining cases, notices have been issued and the action is in process.'' He informed that two cases of female foeticide were registered in past three years in the state, one in Mandi and the other in Kangra district.

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