'Sex selection now spreads to Hayana's rural poor too'

Indo Asian News Service

New Delhi, Sep 2 (IANS) Prenatal sex selection, which was earlier restricted to the urban and wealthy class in Haryana, has now spread its tentacles to the rural areas as well, thanks to easy availability of portable ultrasound devices, a report said Friday.

The Centre for Social Research which conducted a survey in two of the lowest sex ratio districts in Haryana - Ambala and Kurukshetra - said that prenatal sex selection is becoming a serious problem, especially because the government is 'not allocating enough funds' to check such cases.

'In Haryana, as part of the project, it was observed that prenatal sex determination was initially an urban-centric practice as the wealthy had access to ultra-sound technology. But, of late, sex selective practices are also spreading their tentacles to rural areas due to the easy availability of portable ultra-sound devices,' the study said.

It said till date, over 460 cases have been registered under the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PNDT) Act, but only one conviction has been seen.

The major lesson learnt from the field-level studies is that the issue of sex-selection has led to a declining sex-ratio in both the districts and could not be addressed as separate issues.

'It has to be looked into and addressed from the socio-cultural perspective and as an inclusive issue with local sanitation facility, alcoholism, lower status of women, dowry issues, rise in domestic violence cases and so on,' the report added.