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State hopes social networking will save the girl child

Health dept, having scored glumly on gender ratio tests, explores social networking options to develop awareness among youth and masses on sex determination laws

The state health department has updated its status and is taking the information superhighway to bring the younger generation abreast of the laws regarding sex determination.

Concerned that determination of the gender of the foetus has rendered the sex ratio in the state, and particularly in the city asked, the department has decided to get a Facebook and a Twitter account to educate the masses, specially the youth, about the Preconception and Prenatal Diagnostic Test (PC-PNDT) Act.

"The dismal sex ratio is a social problem and what better than a social networking site to help us build awareness.


The State health department believes that the public needs
to get firsthand information about laws regarding sex
determination and that social networking websites like
Facebook and Twitter will help spread the word


To improve the sex ratio and fight female foeticide, we need to garner the youth's support as they are the future citizens," said Dr SC Gupta, additional director, state public health and family welfare department.

According to Census 2011 figures, Mumbai has the lowest sex ratio with 838 females per 1,000 males. It is followed closely by suburban Mumbai, which has 857 females per 1,000 males, and Thane with 880 females per 1,000 males.

Tip-offs play an important role in effective implementation of the Act. "In sex determination, the expecting couple as well as the doctor conducting the test are at fault, and getting tip-offs is not easy.

Though non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are helping the state, there is a need for the common man to get first hand information, and here, social networking websites will be helpful," said a senior official from the department.

Initially, the health department has planned to have a Facebook page with details of important women, from the annals of history as well as those in the present, who have brought glory to the nation. The page will have detailed information on the PCPNDT Act, and a list of convicted cases.

The department has already started a website, www.amchimulgi.gov.in, and launched a helpline (1800-233-4475) to create public awareness about the laws restricting the determination and disclosure of the sex of a foetus, as laid down.

"The young generation spends a substantial amount of time on websites, and if these topics become important issues for discussion, there will be awareness. We will continuously monitor the page so we can work on people's suggestions,' added Dr Gupta.

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