Laadli - A girl child campaign

What is the impact of sex selection?

Myths and Misconceptions about sex selection

How can you help?


BulletAbout Laadli

Laadli – A girl child campaign is Population First's campaign against sex selection and falling sex ratio.

The falling sex ratio of the country is a demographic disaster that is waiting to happen... Compared to 1991 when there were no districts having less than 800 girls per thousand boys, the census data of 2001 revealed that 16 districts are having sex ratios below 800 in the country. The Sample Registration System data also indicates that the trend is not only continuing but is actually intensifying ever since\ Medical malpractices, desire for small families coupled with strong son preference, along with the undervaluing of women in society and media is largely responsible for this phenomenon.

The objective of the One Million Signatures for the One Million Girls Missing is to get one million signatures against the practice of sex selection. This will help us advocate with all the stakeholder groups like the political parties, medical associations, government agencies, and others to implement the PCPNDT act effectively. It is also a means of creating mass awareness and raising public conscience against the reprehensible practice of sex selection.

The Issue

Laadli 1The child sex ratio is a powerful indicator of social health of any society. Calculated as number of girls per 1000 boys in the 0-6 years age group, the ratio has shown a sharp decline from 976 girls to 1000 boys in 1961 to 927 as per the 2001 census. In certain parts of the country, there are less than 800 girls for every 1000 boys.

The declining child sex ratio has its roots in the practice of sex selection or what is commonly understood as determining the sex of the foetus and eliminating it if found to be a female. Sex selection has seen many faces and forms: from female infanticide to female foeticide and the recent technologically sophisticated sex selection at the pre-conception stage itself. The use of technology to determine the sex of the foetus and easy access to it since the early eighties has contributed to the rapid decline in the child sex ratio.

Where is it Happening?

We see this practice prevalent right across the country. It is not limited to certain parts or regions though there are regional variations. According to the 2001 census, this ratio has declined to less than 900 girls per 1000 boys in States such as Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and Gujarat.

Is it limited to the less Prosperous or Backward Regions?

No, this is a myth. The ratio stands at a mere 754 in Fatehgarh Sahib district of Punjab - Kurukshetra district of Haryana has 770, Ahmedabad 814, and South West district of Delhi 845 - even though these regions are amongst the most prosperous in the country. The commercial capital of the country – Mumbai, has a sex ratio of 898.


- Sex determination is a cognizable, non-bailable and non-compoundable offence

- Use of Pre Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PNDT) only allowed on medical grounds, not for determination of sex

- PNDT to be conducted only by registered clinics

- The sex of the foetus cannot be communicated to anyone by words or signs or any other method

- The Act prohibits all forms of advertisement of services, techniques and kits for sex determination.

SOURCE - Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
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