The health department would project mountaineer Santosh Yadav, who scaled the Mount Everest twice, as its brand ambassador, said minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey on Wednesday.
Speaking at a national convention on reduction of infant mortality rate, maternal mortality rate and elimination of female foeticide, Choubey said: “In the last few days, we have organised poster competitions and Kavi Sammelans to make people aware of a girl child’s rights. At present, the sex ratio in Bihar is 916 females to 1,000 males, which is far lower than the national average of 940 females per 1,000 males. In some places in Bihar, the ratio is less than 900 females to 1,000 males, which is a cause of concern. Our first aim will be to make sex ratio equal to the national average.”
Deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi inaugurated the national convention. In attendance were experts from the University of Milan and Sapienza University of Rome, officials from health departments of Andhra Pradesh, Tripura and Uttar Pradesh and non-government organisation members.
Modi said the government has formed a committee — Mission Manav Vikas — to achieve the target fixed in the health and education sectors.
Dr C.P. Thakur, the former state BJP president, urged the government to form a committee for the registration of pregnant women and monitor their health from time to time to prevent cases of female foeticide.
Principal secretary (health) Vyasji said according to a Supreme Court ruling, six states, including Bihar, have to notify measures taken by the governments concerned to implement the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PC&PNDT) Act which talks about restricting the sex determination techniques in diagnostic centres.
He said the government is working on the report and a reply on the measures taken would be sent soon. He said: “Those who are not abiding by this law would have to face serious punishment.”