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Female Foeticide Continues To Be On Rise In India

, west (-55), northeast (-50), east (-50) and north (-50).

Clearly, the girl child is a casualty of technology becoming more advanced and access to it getting easier. The law exists, of course. The Prenatal Determination Tests Act bans misuse of modern technologies for selective abortions, but that has made no difference.

"It is likely that the more educated the couple there is less chances that the girl child would survive because they not only understand the use of technology better, but also because aborting a girl child has become accepted in the society," said Bedi.

He also said the problem had intensified because medical tests had become cheaper.

Added Behram Anklesaria, president of the Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI): "The use of ultrasound or sonography is not being done just by medical professionals specialised in these techniques but also by those not so highly qualified."

Sex determination tests was not an urban phenomenon any more with ultrasound technology available in many rural areas.

According to Anklesaria, the tests were being misused more in states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab and Haryana, which have strong records of women being oppressed.

Analysing the trend, an expert in the Registrar General and Census Commissioner's office said: "Easy access to ultrasound is the main reason for selective medical termination of pregnancy. As studies show, the fear among weaker sections of having to give dowry, shortage of working hands in rural areas and inheritance all play a role."

He said the government had been asked to involve NGOs for awareness programmes in colleges aimed at India's youth who would be tomorrow's parents.

Is the government, preparing to observe another women's day Wednesday, listening? The day has become another tokenism, but will the years to come be any different?

--Edited IANS
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