24th January has been declared as National Girl Child Day. To mark the occasion, Ministry of Women and Child Development organised deliberations at IARI Campus, Pusa on the theme of ‘Declining Child Sex Ratio: Issues and Challenges’ on 24th January, 2012. The celebration was presided over by MOS (I/C) Smt. Krishna Tirath.
The Minister addressed the audience and shared that there has been an improvement in social indicators such as literacy and the gender gap in effective literacy rate. A disturbing fact is that in the last decade, as many as 27 States and Union Territories have experienced a fall in the child sex ratio. Sharp falls in have been reported in child sex ratios in many States reflecting a national trend that cuts across class and the rural –urban divide. She said change of Minister towards girl children is more important than legal enforcement.
Hon’ble MOS (I/C) also highlighted the flagship programmes of the Government relating to survival, development and protection of children, in general and for the girl child in particular like Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS), SABLA etc. The Secretary, Ministry of Women & Child Development Smt. Neela Gangadharan asked for 3 ‘A;s for improvement in child sex ratio : A-Advocacy, A-Awareness, A Affirmative action.
Nutrition is critical for survival and growth. In life-cycle approach this is more important for children and especially for the girl child. On this occasion a ‘Nutrition Calendar’ of Food and Nutrition Board of Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) was released by MOS (I/C) MWCD.
There was sharing of experiences on the issue of “Declining Child Sex Ratio” with participation from Government as well as the NGO sector. The participants expressed the concerns, challenges and the way forward to address the issue.
There was a panel discussion with participants from International, National and State level belonging to multi-sectoral disciplines. The panellist discussed the various aspects of the issue of child sex ratio. They also suggested the strategies for improving child sex ratio and the inter linkages with the various stakeholders
The event was well attended and well received by Development Partners and representatives from NGOs and related Government Departments. There was a very lively interactive session, in which the participants raised a number of questions to the panel, regarding implementation of Act, awareness generation and best practices to curb declining child sex ratio.
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