| Students of Magadh Mahila College take part in an activity at the thought centre. Telegraph picture |
Magadh Mahila College has initiated a thought centre on its premises keeping in mind the declining sex ratio.
The purpose of the centre is to create maximum awareness on sex ratio not only among students but also at the block-level. The new centre has been started under gender knowledge centre of the college, which was introduced in 2002.
Renu Ranjan, the head of sociology department under which the centre would function, said: “In April, during a discussion on the declining sex ratio, the idea of the thought centre emerged among the members of non-government organisations (NGOs) at ActionAid office in Patna.” ActionAid is an UK-based NGO, which works for the deprived sections of the society like Dalits and women.
Ranjan, who is the director of the gender knowledge centre and the convener of the thought centre, added that the purpose of the new body was to create maximum awareness among the students of the college. “Not only this, the centre also intends to reach communities at the grassroots level.”
She said: “The thought centre focuses on both knowledge and action and therefore we invite the views of girls too. In every three months, we have to organise activities related to the gender gap. A student recently shared a thought, which depicted how a girl feels inside a womb before and after she is killed. It was a Diary of a Girl Child.”
The thought centre has been started in association with Centre for Women Empowerment supported by ActionAid, Bihar. The Centre for Women Empowerment is an NGO with wings in Bihar and Jharkhand. It mainly works for women and children.
Ranjan added that she had visited Naubatpur block where they met Dalit women and people from well-off families.
“The Dalit women shared why they did not want a girl child. Poverty, dowry system and lack of security were cited as reasons behind not wanting to have a girl child. On the other hand, women from well-off families, too, said girls were never their choice. They said girls don’t stay with them throughout their lives like the boys. After spending on their education, parents again have to arrange for dowry,” Ranjan said.
She added: “The parents we spoke to even said that girls, nowadays, ask for share in the property after spending so much on them earlier. However, the main reason for the declining sex ratio is female foeticide. Awareness has to be created so that the evil practice could be stopped.”
Rupam, a member of the thought centre and a faculty member of the sociology department, said: “The thought centre is associated with creating awareness against the declining sex ratio. We will organise events to gather views of students, discuss issues and strive for a solution.”
During the 2011 Census, the sex ratio was 916 females against 1,000 males in Bihar, whereas it was 919 in 2001.