DESCRIPTION Launched by the District administration of Kolhapur, the Save the Baby Girl initiative is an attempt to tackle the malpractices of sex-determination and selective abortion. Despite many laws framed to deal with the issue, government agencies have been unable to keep in check the illegal abortions performed by medical practioners.
The solution offered by Save the Baby Girl campaign consists of a monitoring solution for medical centres having sonography machines. To ensure that no under reporting or false reporting takes place, a device called The Silent Observer is connected to the the sonography machine. This device captures the output stream from the equipment and the captured data can then sent to the authorities. Although true equality will come about only when there is a change in the collective psyche of the people, yet this project can also have a positive impact and help to restore gender balance in the society.
EVALUATION Selective abortion has been in existence ever since gender-identiﬁcation became possible through ultrasound technology. It is estimated that the birth of nearly 10 million girls may have been prevented by selective abortions in the past 20 years. The gender composition in India has worsened in last few decades. Demographically the sex ratio has increased from 927 females per 1000 males to 933 from the Census of 1991 to that of 2001, however, this ratio is alarmingly decreasing among children in the age group of 0-6. The child sex ratio in Kolhapur district of Maharashtra, is one of the worst in the state, i.e. 839, next to only Mumbai and Thane. The number of ultra-sonography centres here, in 2010, is 232. Save the Baby Girl project does not only overcome the shortcomings in enforcement of laws but also addresses issues like improper maintenance of records by sonography centers and strict monitoring on all centers.