Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh today said his government was "seriously concerned" about the low female sex ratio and that stringent steps are being taken to check female foeticide in the state.
"It is our moral responsibility to stand united against female foeticide being practiced by few in the border district of the state," he said.
Singh was addressing a sensitisation workshop on Pre Conception (PC) and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Technique (PNDT) Act, organised by the Health Department for the members of the state Legislative Assembly.
Singh added that although the female sex ratio in Himachal Pradesh was far better than the neighbouring states of Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, but strict measures were required to completely eradicate this social evil.
"I hope that the members of the Legislative Assembly will go in their constituencies and spread the message amongst the people, motivating them to fight against female foeticide," he said.
Singh said that the tribal Lahaul-Spiti district has "remarkable" female sex ratio of 1,033 girls per thousand boys but situation was alarming in some pockets in districts adjoining Punjab and Haryana.
Singh said that state government had implemented 'Beti Hai Anmol' scheme in the state for improving the sex ratio.
Besides the Health Department, various NGOs were also being involved in making people aware about the ill-effects of female foeticide, and efforts were underway to seal those clinics which were running the business of illegal abortions, he said.
Health Minister Kaul Singh Thakur, who was also present on the occasion, said that surprise checks at various labs were being conducted and regular review meetings were being held at district level to further strengthen the PNDT Act, and to take necessary legal action against those who were involved in illegal abortions of girls.
Thakur said that that with a view to promoting the girl-child, 50 panchayats of the state, which showed maximum improvement in child sex ratio as per census 2011 in comparison with 2001, were recently recognised on the occasion of International Women's Day.
Contact HuffPost India