//Girl child left in the lurch

Girl child left in the lurch


BANGALORE: Among the 1,980 questions raised in the assembly during the 2005 monsoon session, only 283 were child-related.

Similarly, in the council, legislators were not too interested in voicing issues related to children — 263 questions out of 1,850.

And the replies received from ministers were anything but informative — "It has not been brought to our notice; it is before the government;we will take steps when funds are released."

Facts and figures are telling. Children's issues in the state have always taken a back seat, be it female infanticide, declining sex ratio, physically disabled girls or trafficking.Why otherwise would a seminar on the occasion of 'SAARC Day of the Girl Child – 2006', not have active participation of the government? The women and child development secretary, whose name figured in the invitation, failed to make it to the seminar on Friday.

Vimochana's Donna Fernandes,while giving inputs on perception of the girl child in society, stressed on the declining ratio. In Bangalore, the ratio of girls to boys is 800 and 1,000; in south Delhi, Haryana and Punjab, the ratio is in 700 levels. "Advanced science and technology has had its adverse effects.Well-qualified doctors conduct sex determination tests using latest gadgets and terminate pregnancy if the foetus is found to be a girl. In Mandya, where the girl ratio is abysmally low, sex determination tests are done for Rs 10,000," she explained.

Indumati Rao of CBR Network said parents of physically disabled girls are reluctant to send their daughters to special schools, but the attitude is not the same with boys. "Physically disabled girls are abandoned in the railway station. Discrimination at workplace and sexual exploitation are common," she pointed out.