''Laadli'' awarded for spreading awareness against female foeticide

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Kolkata, Jul 18 (UNI) 'Laadli', an animation film on the consequences of prenatal sex selection, has won the UNFPA National Creative Excellence Award for Social Change, 2008.

The short film, created by leading animation studio Metaphor Studios, won the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) Award in the category of Story Boards of TVCs/Films/Animation Films.

The awards have been constituted by the UNFPA in a nationwide initiative with the aim to create a pool of promotional material that could be used for campaigns against sex selection for stakeholders working on the issue.

''The short film Laadli was essentially created with the objective of generating awareness through the involvement of social workers supporting the cause and creating social consciousness on the issue collectively,'' a Metaphor Studios release issued here yesterday said.

''This three-minute animated film exposes the horrific picture of the world that pre-natal sex selection can create. Beginning with the plight of mothers who are forced to abort their girl child even before she is born, it goes on to imagine a picture of a desperate world without women,'' the release added.

Expressing concern on the social evil of female foeticide and infanticide, COO of Metaphor Studios Ranjini Mukherjee said, ''Despite the technological and economical progress made by India, the country still suffers from unequal sex ratio because of pre-natal sex selection. A girl child is still considered a burden in India.'' She informed that in Asia, at least 60 million girls are 'missing' due to prenatal sex selection or neglect.

In India, as per the Census 2001, there is an alarming decline in the 0-6 years age group sex ratio.

The number of districts with a sex ratio of less than 800 girls per 1,000 boys was 14 as compared to zero districts in 1991. The number of districts with a sex ratio in the range 800 to 849 increased from one district to 32 districts in the same decade.

''Delhi, the political capital of India, and Mumbai, the commercial capital of the country, have 0-6 years age group sex ratios much below the national ratio of 927. Delhi has a sex ratio of 865 and Mumbai 898,'' Ms Mukherjee disclosed.

UNI DPM PL RD 1036

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