In a bid to draw attention to the cause of female foeticide, Population First, a non-governmental organization, plans to send a petition signed by one lakh citizens to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh by the end of this month.
The petition lists six demands including the setting up of fast track courts to try all cases filed under the anti-sex selection law and appointment of a special prosecutor at the state level to handle such cases.
The petition also demands a social audit of all documents received from sonography clinics and making the data regarding sale of ultrasound machines, which are used for illegal sex determination tests, available online.
One million girls are killed through sex selective abortions every year, according to estimates. The 2001 census had revealed that there are 927 girls for every 1000 boys in the 0-6 age group. In Mumbai, the ratio was more skewed with 898 girls for every 1000 boys.
Population First had launched an online and SMS signature campaign against female foeticide, called ‘1 million signatures for 1 million missing girls’, in the last week of June and has managed to collect over 53,000 signatures from across the world.
A. L. Sharda, programme director for Population First, admitted that they were “disappointed” with the response. “We had run a advertisements on corporate websites, social networking sites and a television channel. We expected many more people to support the cause but unfortunately that did not happen,” she said.
Many who have signed have left angry comments, too. One person has asked the government to stop foeticide “for the world’s sake” and another has suggested capital punishment for killers of the girl child.