Ladli Laxmi scheme fails to deliver, MP records highest sex selection and infanticide cases


BHOPAL: Madhya Pradesh government’s flagship scheme for the girl child, Ladli Laxmi Yojana (LLY), has failed to deliver on its promise as the state leads in female foeticideand infanticide in the country, claimed Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) in a report released earlier this month. The rights body made a recommendation to the government to revise the scheme.   Of 2,266 cases of infanticide in two decades — 1994-2014 — Madhya Pradesh topped with 537 cases or 24% of all infanticide cases in India, ACHR report said. Of 1,663 cases of foeticide registered between 2001 and 2015, the state once again topped with 360 cases, it said.

The report, released in September, is part of ACHR’s National Campaign for elimination of female foeticide in India — a project funded by the European Commission under the European Instrument for Human Rights and Democracy.

ACHR proposed the state government should raise post-birth benefits and scholarships for girl child and provide additional aid for their marriage. Also, the government should upload data on list of beneficiaries, funds sanctioned and utilization certificates for effective review. The report stated that Madhya Pradesh was the first state to launch the LLY in 2007 to improve child sex ratio. Other states followed MP.

By December 16, 2014, more than Rs 4,500 crore had been deposited in bank accounts of over 18.62 lakh girls under LLY, aimed at protecting girls. However, after an audit of LLY scheme for 2010-2013, CAG report in the Assembly on July 2, 2014, highlighted problems in implementation of the scheme. Consequently, LLY had no impact on child sex ratio in age-group of 0-6, report stated. Despite a deplorable track record in female foeticide, there has been only two convictions under Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act in 20 years.

“On September 15, 2014, chief judicial magistrate, Gwalior, had to order registration of a case against then principal secretary health, Praveer Krishna, another bureaucrat Suraj Damor and suspend health director, Dr Ashok Sharma, for violating PC&PNDT Act for not holding meetings of State Supervisory Board,” an ACHR release said.

“This calls for immediate overhaul of policies and programmes of Madhya Pradesh to address female foeticide in the state,” said Asian Centre for Human Rights. As per Annual Health Survey (AHS), sex ratio at birth was 904 during 2011-2012 and 905 during 2012-2013. SRB is lower than child sex ratio of 918 girls per 1,000 boys in Madhya Pradesh as per 2011 Census.csr

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