Monday, Dec 29, 2003
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By Our Staff Reporter
"The problem of declining sex ratio especially in the Northern Indian States seems to have been a direct fall-out of the population control policy including the thrust on the two-child norm," says A.R. Nanda, Executive Director, Population Foundation of India. "It is now increasingly being realised that population stabilisation and control requires a multi-dimensional approach and it involves a whole host of other issues including the question of meeting the unmet needs."
Interestingly, a recent survey among 3,500 female respondents carried out by Action India with the support of MRYDO in Najafgarh and Child Survival India in Kherakhud has pointed to the preference of sons over daughters. "The stress on the two-child norm and a patriarchal attitude has led to a notion that of the two children, one must be a boy," the survey report says. PFI, which in collaboration with Plan International has launched a national campaign against pre-birth elimination of females, says that the fight is as much against the patriarchal attitude and changing mindsets as it is for achieving the goal of population stabilisation. "We have launched a campaign in schools and colleges educating both boys and girls on various issues of female foeticide. By doing so, we hope that it will set in motion a chain reaction where they will become carriers of the message to their parents and others in their surroundings," says Mr. Nanda.
Other activities launched by the PFI include a serial on the issue of female foeticide which is expected to be launched in Ahimsa Channel soon. The serial entitled: "Atmajaa: Born from the Soul" also approaches the population question from the female foeticide point of view. "It is time we realised that the two-child norm will not work. States which are giving an aggressive thrust to this norm must stop doing so," he adds.
In fact, if the Action India survey is to be believed, adequate number of girls were not found for Kanya Puja this year in Najafgarh and Kherakud - a disturbing enough trend to begin a re-think on the population stabilisation strategy!
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