Case Study and the Best Practices
The Context and the problem and the decisions taken to start the initiative:
Following the Census 2001 report that the sex ratio had been declining in the entire State of Punjab at an alarming speed as compared to the previous census held in 1991 and that in the Nawanshahr district (afterwards rechristened as Shahid Bhagat Singh Nagar in 2005), it stood at just 808 (In other districts of the state,the sex ratio was 797 in district Gurdaspur, 793 in Amritsar, 782 in Kapurthala, 817 in Jalandhar, 815 in Hoshiarpur, 808 in Nawanshahr, 793 in Ropar, 757 in Fatehgarh Sahib, 815 in Ludhiana, 818 in Moga, 822 in Ferozepur, 814 in Mukatsar, 820 in Faridkot, 795 in Bathinda, 783 in Mansa, 779 in Sangrur, 777 in Patiala and 793 in whole of Punjab) , the then deputy commissioner Krishan Kumar in May 2005 decided to launch an initiative to effectively check the menace with the help of government departments and NGOs. Initially, departmental machinery in the departments of Child Development and Health were identified to intensify measures against clinics indulging in the illegal sex determination tests. However, as initial results indicated that efforts were not only inadequate but also temporary and personality oriented ones, in order to give some sustainability to the drive, it was thought proper to involve all NGOs in the district in the process. With this idea, a federation of NGOs named UPKAR Coordination Society was constituted and registered under the appropriate law. Deputy Commissioner was made ex-officio Chief Pattern of the Federation. Each of 35 NGOs of the federation were assigned particular areas of their choice to work in. The block level and village level committees of the Upkar Coordination Society were also formed and in case, district level society intended to organize a function or rally in a village, village level committee was made responsible for the successful organisation of the event. This was done with a view to strengthening the societies and the Federation at the grass root levels, besides ensuring sustainability of the campaign at large. It was also meant to ensure the participation of the community in campaigns against social evils in large numbers. (All this has resulted in registering of over 4000 members with the Upkar Coordination Society while special campaigns continue to be launched from time to time to enroll more and more people particularly adults and young couples with the Society to give a fillip to its various movements). * On the enforcement front, all district heads of various departments i.e. SSP, Civil Surgeon, DDPO, DSSO, DEO and NGOs Coordination Society under the command of Deputy Commissioner were involved in decisions taken to enforce the laws to check this social menace. So it can be said that Awareness Campaigns and Enforcement measures comprised the two-pronged strategy of what has now famously been termed the “Nawanshahr Model” throughout the country to check the menace of female foeticide. Registration of Federation of NGOs
* Setting the Scene( Pre-initiative activities):
To begin with, block level public meetings were held wherein all concerned including village Sarpanches, Lamberdars (village headman) , Chowkidars, Child Development workers ( Anganwari workers), ANMs and LHVs of health department participated. Along with them, other local populace was also made to participate. During such public meetings, cultural programmes and Nukar Nataks highlighting the menace of female foeticide and its future implication on the Society were arranged. During these meetings, all senior officers of the administration i.e. Child Development Department chief, Civil Surgeon and Deputy Commissioner used to address and appeal to the public in general that they should not indulge in female foeticide. Demi-official letters by the Deputy Commissioner to the sarpanches requesting them to...