A sleepy village in Nawanshehar, Khothran, celebrated the birth of 44 girls against 33 boys in 2005a ratio of 1,334, up from 897 in 2004. The state has a sex ratio of 886 overall and an abysmal 753 in the 0-6 age group.
The sex ratio was turning slightly skewed when the district administration stepped in. Nawanshehar DC Krishan Kumar adopted a carrot-and-stick policy towards violators of the PNDT Act once he saw the downward turn in sex ratio.
His campaign began with a federation of 50-odd NGOs in the district called Upkar Coordination Society. Recently, its members held a dharna outside the house of a woman who had reportedly aborted her female foetus.
The idea is to mobilise
public opinion against foeticide, says Kumar, who has set up a 24-hour, toll-free number (555501) for the public to come forward with information on foeticide. He himself attends the phone at night. Sarpanchs of all the 45 villages have been told that they would be booked for conspiracy if they allow foeticide in their village, and mothers-to-be are monitored.
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