Save The Baby Girl
Submitted by bhavinjoshi on Tue, 01/18/2011 - 15:04
Launched by the District administration of Kolhapur, the Save the Baby Girl initiative is an attempt to tackle the malpractices of sex-determination and selective abortion. Despite many laws framed to deal with the issue, government agencies have been unable to keep in check the illegal abortions performed by medical practioners. The solution offered by Save the Baby Girl campaign consists of a monitoring solution for medical centres having sonography machines. To ensure that no under reporting or false reporting takes place, a device called The Silent Observer is connected to the the sonography machine. This device captures the output stream from the equipment and the captured data can then sent to the authorities. Although true equality will come about only when there is a change in the collective psyche of the people, yet this project can also have a positive impact and help to restore gender balance in the society. Selective abortion has been in existence ever since gender-identiﬁcation became possible through ultrasound technology. It is estimated that the birth of nearly 10 million girls may have been prevented by selective abortions in the past 20 years. The gender composition in India has worsened in last few decades. Demographically the sex ratio has increased from 927 females per 1000 males to 933 from the Census of 1991 to that of 2001, however, this ratio is alarmingly decreasing among children in the age group of 0-6. The child sex ratio in Kolhapur district of Maharashtra, is one of the worst in the state, i.e. 839, next to only Mumbai and Thane. The number of ultra-sonography centres here, in 2010, is 232. Save the Baby Girl project does not only overcome the shortcomings in enforcement of laws but also addresses issues like improper maintenance of records by sonography centers and strict monitoring on all centers. What we deliver - - - We have two customers for the same project, the genetic centres and the Government authorities. The Genetic centres get the facility to report daily sonography F form, delivery report and MTP report. They can also generate monthly report mandatory for them to submit automatically from the portal. The Government authorities can get the reports of all cases related to PCPNDT Act. The Active Tracker device contentiously records the video data of each USG machine and government can access that data from time to time and compare it with the online F form submitted by centres. Whom we deliver - - - There are 6 districts in Maharashtra, Mumbai, Kolhapur, Sangli, Jalgao, Nanded, Solapur using this project and Maharashtra state has announced to use it across the state. Gujarat State has started a pilot in Surat district and another 4 district will be added in the month of Oct, Punjab Government has announced to implement it across the state and has taken appropriate actions, Uttrakhand Government has decided to implement the project and pilot is being run in Deharadun district, GOA state has announced to implement the project, and MP state has decided and approved the pilot in Gwalior district. There are approximately 1500 private genetic centers that are using the project for daily reporting sonography, MTP and deliveries and all appropriate government authorities are using this from district to tahasil level. Why is the project unique? - - - Female feticide and declining sex ratio is a problem India is facing for more than two decades. There are number of agencies, government, individuals, NGOs working on these issues. There has been a law in place but nobody had thought of what we did. It turned out to be a hitting nail on the head type of the solution. It is innovative as such system was innovated, implemented for the first time in India and probably in the world. It has show great success. Roadmap - - - Currently we are expecting the states to take the initiative by identifying the districts where the sex ratio is worst and start this project as a pilot in around 4-6 districts. Since this is a long term cycle project, we need to wait and watch for the result indicators. Different states have different problems, culture, attitude, resistance and solution and implementation protocol needs to customize as per the local knowledge and problem. Technically, the project objective is not only the curbing female feticide, but also to make sure home deliveries are shifted to institutional deliveries, and IUD control. There is a large scope for making sure that this data of 0-6 year’s kids to be used by various departments for various reasons such as vaccination drive etc. The scope is unlimited and we are working out integrating UID into the system.
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