IPH minister expresses concern on declining sex ratio


Palampur: District level convention of International Women Day 2008 was held at SM Convention Centre, Palampur. The participants called for women’s empowerment to end female feticide and fight HIV/AIDS. Chief guest Ravinder Ravi, IPH Minister, said that the government was committed to women’s empowerment and gender budgeting. He expressed concern about the declining sex ratio in the state: The sex ratio has improved from 816 in the year 2006 to 846 females per 1,000 males in 2007 due to efforts by all sectors of society.
Dr JS Chandel, CMO, elaborated the various schemes under the National Rural Health mission for protecting the girl child. In the patriarchal society, son preference is leading to skewed sex ratio which will lead top various social problems. He told that 10,000 cash prize is given to any informer on female feticide. Also those couples adopting sterilization after one child are given 25,000 incentive. The government is committed to reducing female maternal mortality rate and a sum of Rs 700 is given for institutional delivery to BPL, SC, ST families. BMO Gopalpur Sumanju Dhiman told the women about various schemes of the health department to improve women’s health. Over 250 participants attended the meeting and were given training kits on HIV.
Meena, counselor ICTC Dharmasala, said that anybody can get free and confidential HIV test at the ICTC centre in Zonal Hospital, Dharamsala. Dr Surinder Singh, DAPO Kangra, further said that children of HIV positive patients are given monthly financial assistance of Rs 300 to Rs 700 and Rs 80,000 have been disbursed to various beneficiaries in the district under the scheme.
Condoms have been given for free distribution at all Indian Oil Petrol Pumps. Red ribbon clubs have been constituted in colleges and ITIs to increase awareness about HIV/AIDS. All Self help groups and trained anganwaris workers will be forming Red Ribbon Clubs shortly. He added that stigma and discrimination is a barrier to access to services, and we should accept the people living with HIV AIDS as the disease is not spread by causal contact.

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