Declining female population in India - a cause of concernThe gradually declining female population in India has gathered disheartening rates ,especially during last couple of decades.The unprecedented decline in the child sex ratio from 945 in 1991 to to 927 in 2001 and further to 914 females per 1000 males in 2011-the lowest after country's independence ,is indeed a cause of serious concern given the intense dire consequences it is likely to cause as far as development prospects are concerned.Despite several legal provisions and awareness programs designed to counter the very problem,reasonable outcomes have not been achieved.In today's era of technological advancements also we have a large section of our society who consider the birth of a girl child as a curse to their family ; why can't they feel that those innocent lives too deserve their love and affection as their boy children do and should be treated equally ? If this diseased scenario of consistently decreasing female population persists, the days are not away when the entire system of democracy and all-round development encounter tremendous setbacks.
1.The major reason behind this is the practice of "sex selection" aimed at ensuring the birth of male children only and at the same time checking any possibility of a girl's birth.This hectic use of technology prompts women resort to abortion in case of giving birth to girl children(mostly due to family pressures or financial incompetence to foster a girl).The PCNDT act bans the use of technology to decide the sex of a foetus, but still it has not been implemented with the degree of strictness actually needed .
2. It is duty of a society to protect and maintain truthfully the a healthy gender balance.But on the other side , there is woman's right under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act (enacted in 1971) to have a legal abortion.However,safe abortion in India is severely limited and unfortunately there is very scanty likelihood for things to improve.
3.The deficit of education in rural areas also account for female foeticide and the unavailability of resources to foster a girl further adds to their difficulty and they find abortion as the safest measure to deal with the crisis.
4.The practice of sex selection reside mid-way between cultural attitudes,patriarchal prejudice,modern changes,socioeconomic pressure and ill use of modern medical technology.The influence of modernization and materialism on increased daughter aversion,son-preference violence against women,property rights-these play a serious role.We desperately need to have sound comprehensive national policy competent to handle all the contributing factors.
Measure to check the crisis:-
1.The government, as an initiative to deal with the issue ,has announced cash amounts to poor sections of society to stop them from committing foeticide because of financial backwardness.This technique, to some extent, has succeeded in restraining the rate of killing female child.But on the other part of the shield ,there are financially strong sections who are little affected by the financial incentives and this move has comprehensively failed to impact their mindset.As an approach to convince them, Indian policy framers should boldly come forward and come up with ideas that can more profoundly address the crisis, irrespective of financial status.
2. A very common approach has been to highlight the path of "love the girl child" notion.It is though perfect in terms of patriarchal protectiveness.And undoubtedly,hardly there will be anybody who would not like to "love little girls in pig-tails" , including those ministers who preferably love to crush the Women's Reservation Bill time to time.
3.Notably, our neighbours South Korea and China firmly trashed the problem by adopting comprehensive approach.They have adopted strategic actions and laws to ensure gender equality,facilitate female participation in workforce and of course banning the sex selective diagnostics.Consequently, their sex ratio is displaying expected improvement.
4.Having a national communication strategy based on harnessing behaviour change communication and the nature of reproductive decision making can provide positive results.The establishment of strategic media platform -traditional as well as conventional can prove helpful in this regard.
Hence, let our country develop an environment where there is no space for gender bias and ; rather there is equal platform for both to progress and contribute to the wellness of our country.