In the Barmer district of western Rajasthan, there are only two girls in the entire clan of 200-odd Rathore families. A conservative estimate puts the sex ratio here at 400 male children to two female children. The village of Devra in Jaisalmer district shot to fame in 1997 when, after a period of 110 years, Devra celebrated the marriage of the first female in the village to have survived to see her wedding day.
Source: The Pioneer, October 28, 2001
According to data published by a United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) study entitled 'Sex-Selective Abortion and Fertility Decline in Haryana and Punjab', nearly 62,000 sex-selective abortions were conducted in Haryana during 1996-98, while 51,000 such tests took place in the state of Punjab. The report claims that female foeticide in urban Haryana comprises 81 per cent of all abortions, while in Punjab the figure is 26 per cent. Data from the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) and the Sample Research Survey (SRS) states that there was a five-fold increase in female foeticide in Haryana as compared to 18 per cent in Punjab. This has lowered the total fertility rate (TFR) in both states. According to the 1991 census, these two states registered the highest number of missing children within the age-group zero to six years.
Source: The Indian Express, October 15, 2001
Punjab has shown a continued decline in female sex ratio. In 1991, there were 875 females per thousand males. As per last year's records, the figure fell to 793 females per thousand males -- the lowest in the country.
Source : www.tehelka.com
Forty-seven babies, unwanted by their parents, have been received in Tamil Nadu's cradle baby scheme. That's 47 babies saved from infanticide In 1992, the Tamil Nadu government launched an innovative programme called the cradle scheme to save baby girls. If a mother did not want her child, she could leave it in a cradle placed outside the social welfare department. The scheme did not evoke much response initially and only 183 babies were received after its launch.In the months since the new government took office in May 2001, however, 47 babies have been received in the cradle scheme.The babies in government care are either sent to authorised adoption centres or to state-run homes. If the parents come back with a change of heart within two months, the babies are returned to them. However, no one has come back so far to reclaim a girl-child.
Source: The BBC, December 12, 2001
The onus on Ultrasonic machine producers
On December 10, 2001, the Supreme Court (SC) issued notices to five multinational companies supplying ultrasound machines in the country to identify the purchasers of these machines. The five companies - Philips, Symonds, Toshiba, Larsen & Toubro and Wipro GE -- have been asked by the court to supply the names and addresses of the clinics and individuals in India to whom they have sold these machines in the last five years. The move is aimed at helping the government identify whether these clinics or persons were registered under the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) (PNDT) Act, 1994. And to track down clinics where sex determination tests are conducted illegally.
Source: The Indian Express, December 12, 2001
On February 22, the union cabinet approved three amendments in the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act (MTPA) of 1971. They are aimed at reducing the large number of deaths caused by illegal/unsafe abortions. Abortions in India account for more than 10 per cent of maternal deaths and illegal abortions are responsible for most of these deaths. One of the proposed amendments seeks to make illegal abortions a punishable offence.
Source: The Times of India, February 23, 2002