Using Innovative ways to improve Child Sex Ratio

Kolhapur administration in Maharashtra is using a software called ‘Silent Observer’ to help reduce the Girl Child Foeticide. It has installed this software in all 800 sonography clinics in the district. The software directly provides the information to administration and helps it identify the family which has got a sonography done at a clinic. Once the officers have undertaken necessary checks to verify the authenticity of the test / family, they approach the family to persuade them not to go for abortion, simply because the child is likely to be a girl. In a short period, the initiative has had its impact and the sex ratio which was one of the worst in Maharashtra at 839 has not further declined and marginally moved up to 845. This is far better than the declining ratio in Maharashtra as a whole, where the child sex ratio is now 883 compared to 913 in 2001. In Beed the ratio is only 801 which has come down from 894 in 2001.

Validity of the scheme was challenged in the High Court by Indian Radiological & Imaging Association. However the court has justified the scheme considering the ground reality of declining sex-ratio largely due to the impact of sex-screening by such clinics, as long as the Govt. does not share the information with third parties. Now Maharashtra Govt. is considering of replicating the scheme in other districts. Even a number of other state govts, including Punjab, Goa, etc. are keen to implement a similar scheme in their states.

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