Cuddalore district is one among the 100 districts in the country to have an
unfavorable sex-ratio. This district has at present only 896 females for 1000
males as against the national average of 914 females for 1000 males.
Unfortunately, this is the only district in TamilNadu having this image despite
the State being one of the forerunners in the progress of women.
As soon as this fact came to be known, the district administration in
Cuddalore launched an all-out war to remove this stigma. Rightly, the Centre
also pitched in. As the Central Government launched the Beti Bechao Beti Padhao
movement, a decision was taken to mount a massive awareness programme on the
theme in Cuddalore. The three-day programme Public Information campaign
organized by Press Information Bureau, Chennai in collaboration with the
district administration was a great success, as people, particularly women and
girl students enthusiastiacally participated in all the events. Interactive
sessions in between the events are indicative of the women being determined to
bring about a change.Most of the participant women expressed their view that
dowry was the prime reason for the imbalance in the sex-ratio, though they cited
the protection of girls in the prevalent social milieu and economic burden of
bringing up them and the belief that only boys will look after parents in the
evening of their life.
Speakers at various forums of the campaign drove home the point that
these are all myths and are no longer valid in the background of massive
transformation taking place in the life of women. Smt. Amuthavalli, Managing
director, Tamil Nadu women development corporation, participating in one of the
seminars underlined the point that girl child is no longer an economic burden,
as the Government is implementing programmes for pregnant & lactating women,
providing free education and reserving jobs and facilitating opportunities to
get gainful employment.
The district administration's effort to prevent the incidence of
foeticide is unparalleled. It has constituted committees at all villages in the
district for creating awareness as well as preventing foeticide. Shri S.
SureshKumar, District Collector said that the functioning of scan centres were
being vigorously monitored and disclosed that four scan centres had been ordered
to close down the shutters for the illegal act of determining the sex of foetus.
Speaking about the economic security for the girl child, the collector said that
a good amount of awareness had been created in the district about the Sukhanya
Samrudhi Yojna and the response had been good. So far, about 47,000 girl
children have been enrolled in the scheme.
The District employment officer Shri M. Karunakaran, who has visited
various colleges in the district for disseminating information about the
availability of training facilities, said from his own experience that the
response from girl students was good.
Everybody connected with the mission, working hard, the ignominy of the
district having an unfavourable sex ratio, will sure to be removed earlier than
expected. In fact, when the Field Publicity Officer, Pondicherry Shri T.
Sivakumar, who was anchoring a programme in which top officials of the district
administration were present, said that Cuddalore district would be the first one
in the country to rebalance the sex ratio, there was a thunderous applause both
from the audience and officials at the stage.
The response augurs well for the trends of transformation taking place.
Almost all the participants were optimistic about a bright future waiting for
the women. A college girl Ms. Rani puts it "the future is ours, we will dominate
every field".(This feature was prepared by the PIB team from the venue of PIC at