Chandigarh, Jan 21: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has chosen Haryana to launch the nation-wide 'Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao' campaign for the girl child and against female foeticide. But this may be nothing for Haryana to be proud of!
Modi will Thursday launch the campaign from Panipat city in Haryana to sensitize people about the safety and education of the girl child, skewed sex ratio, prevention of female foeticide and women empowerment.
As a state which has the worst sex ratio (number of females per 1,000 males) and child sex ratio in the country, Haryana has been chosen for it dubious record on this front. Out of the 15 districts in the country having the worst sex ratio, Haryana accounts for nine, Modi had pointed out earlier.
In fact, out of the 100 worst districts in the country for sex ratio, Haryana has 12 districts while neighbouring Punjab has 11. These are the only two states which have the number of districts in double figures. Added to these 23 districts, Chandigarh - the joint capital of both states, too is part of the list.
With Jammu and Kashmir (five districts), Uttarakhand (two) and Himachal Pradesh (one), these five northern states and one union territory (Chandigarh) account for 32 worst districts in the country.
Haryana's sex ratio stands at just 879 females per 1,000 males.
According to government figures, the trend of decline in the Child Sex Ratio (CSR), the number of girls per 1,000 of boys between 0-6 years of age, has been unabated since 1961. The decline from 945 in 1991 to 927 in 2001 and further to 918 in 2011 is alarming.
Haryana and Punjab are notorious for sex determination tests to know the gender of the unborn child.
The CSR remains adverse in 21 states and union territories.
However, on the positive side, 11 states and 2 UTs have shown an increase in CSR during the past decade.
Out of the 640 districts in the country, 429 districts have experienced decline in CSR.
"The Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) scheme will be implemented through a national campaign and focussed multi-sectoral action in 100 selected districts, covering all states and UTs," a government spokesman said here.
The campaign is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Women and Child Development, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
The campaign will be aimed at ensuring stricter implementation of existing laws to prevent sex determination tests, ensuring proper education for girls, improving sex ratio and empowering women.
"The declining sex ratio in Haryana and the country is a cause of concern and the campaign will seek to correct this imbalance. As part of this campaign, a massive effort would be made for the welfare and safety of girl," Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said.