|Public Protest AGAINSTGENOCIDE OF GIRL CHILDREN Date: 16.12.2014 Time: 3.00 p.m.
Venue: Chepauk Guest House, Chennai
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Campaign Against Sex Selective Abortion (CASSA) today at a Protest held at Chepauk, Chennai condemned the growing genocide of daughters and called for its immediate halt and strict implementation of Pre-Consumption and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Technics Act (PCPNDT) Act. A spokesperson for CASSA said that there is an missing of 53,158 girl children in the year 2011 alone before and after birth in the age group of 0 – 6 years. This is as per the Infant Mortality Rate of Girls in Tamil Nadu at 20 per 1000, and Under 5 Mortality Rate of Girls at 30 per 1000. If this trend continues, it can be projected that approximately 5 lakh girl children will be missing in the next census period 2021, which was approx. 3 lakh in the census period ending 2011.
This is largely due to the practice of sex selection and abortion. CASSA further said that this increase in elimination of female fetus and increasing in the declining child sex ratio is a direct cause of the failure of the Health and Family Welfare Department, and specifically the non-implementation of the PCPNDT Act 1994 (as amended up to 2002) by the State and the District Appropriate Authorities. This is despite, the Campaign said, numerous Interim Orders by the Supreme Court directing the State for the constitution of State Supervisory Board, State Inspection and Monitoring Committee, District Advisory Committees; submission of report on sale of sex determination and sex selection technologies (scan and imaging technologies) to the Appropriate Authorities by the manufacturers, distributors, importers etc.,. The Campaign said that in Tamil Nadu, it is a shame that the Appropriate Authorities do not use their powers of the Civil Court, to verify registration, and other records, including Form F, power to summon persons concerned and records required, seizing the machines and cancelling the registration etc., regarding violation of the provisions.
During the Protest, Mr Jeeva, Convenor of CASSA welcomed the gathering and detailed the facts regarding the PCPNDT Act and the reasons for the missing daughters. Dr V.Vasanthi Devi, Former Chairperson of Tamil Nadu State Commission for Women delivered the inaugural address on the theme of the protest. Advocate Sudha Ramalingam, Senior Advocate of Madras High Court, Dr G.R. Ravindranath, General Secretary-Doctors’ Association for Social Equality, Kavignar Salma, Former Chairperson of Tamil Nadu Social Welfare Board, Dr. R. Senthil, Ex. MP of PMK, Advocate Badar Sayeed-Madras High Court, Ms. P. Suganthi, State General Secretary of AIDWA, Mr K.S.Kumar, Tamil Nadu Odukkappaddore Vazhvurimai Iyakkam, Chennai, Ms Revathy – Film Director, Ms Kavitha Muralidharan from India Today, Ms Virgil – Director of Arunodhaya, Mr Thomas Jeyaraj – League for Child Rights also participated and spoke on the theme of the protest.
The declining trend in Child Sex Ratio (CSR) in 17 dstricts in Tamil Nadu in the census period 2011, the skewing Sex Ratio at Birth (SRB) in 2011 as 905 and a decline in SRB in 20 districts in 2012 comparing with 2011, clearly indicates the intensity of gender biased sex elimination by misuse of pre-natal diagnostic techniques for sex determination and sex selection and poor implementation of Pre-Conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act 2002 (PCPNDT Act).
According to National Family Health Survey 3, in Tamil Nadu, 24 per cent of the married women in the age group of 20 – 24 were married before the age of 18 years. Prevalence of anemia among school students was found to be 78 per cent. The rate of child malnutrition (two third of children are anaemic and one third are undernourished) and neo-natal mortality (three fourth of infant deaths in the state occur within 28 days of birth) remain as the major concerns. Inspite of this disturbing status of children, the Government of Tamil Nadu is planning to privatise ICDS Scheme. It only reflects the gender blindness of the State.
Inspite of these realities, the Government of Tamil Nadu has not paid enough attention for the enforcement of PCPNDT Act 1994 amended Act 2002, which is a principal legal strategy to address the declining trend. It has introduced Cradle Baby Scheme and Girl Child Protection Scheme, which are not aiming to address the root issues. Health care services for women have been reduced to reproductive health care. From Birth to Death, women are never considered as independent souls.
Moreover, the incidence of maternal deaths, early marriages, violence against women are threatening factors against the peaceful existence of women. We want our government to commit to the cause of girl children and protect and promote the children’s right to survival, especially girl children to right to be born and life.
In order to mobilize collective voice against state’s insensitivity to gender blind policies and demand the state to hall all forms of violence against women, including the extreme form of sex selective abortion and female infanticide and to raise the civil consciousness of the general public, CASSA in coordination with sever other forums for children, women and human rights, organized a Public Protest near Chepauk Guest House, Chennai on 16th December 2014.
The following demands were placed to the State:
- Strictly enforce the PCPNDT Act 2002 and Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act 1971.
- Constitute immediately the State Supervisory Board and State Advisory Committee.
- Include SRB and IMR Gender Differential as part of the health indicators.
- Government should undertake a research to study the link between the increasing scan centres and decreasing number in birth of girl children.
- Publish a white paper on the status of utilization of funds and schemes for the welfare of the girl children, adolescent girls, pregnant women and feeding mothers.
- Immediately withdraw the policy of the government to privatize ICDS Scheme.
- Take action against irregularities found in the implementation of the ICDS scheme.
- Enact a legislation to protect the rights of the Pre-School children (0 – 3 years).
- Strictly enforce the Prohibition of Child Marriages Act and Compulsory Registration of Marriages Act.
- Raise the age of marriage of women to 21 years by amendment.
- In order to include all the children under the welfare schemes for health and development, bring coordination between Rural Development Department, Social Welfare Department, Health Department and Education Department.
- Ensure an enabling and violent free environment for women and children.
Keeping the above demands in mind, the Tamil Nadu Government should take all the measures to eliminate anti girl child policy and anti-girl child attitude prevailing in the society. The State should ensure the protection of all the rights of children upto 18 years and specifically the right to birth and survival of girl children by creating an enabling social, economic and political environment to live a dignified life without violence.
Please publish this news item in your esteem media and support us in addressing the issue of declining child sex ratio and the social consequences of genocide.