Over eight million girls are estimated to have been killed in the last decade alone leading to a dipping in the child sex ratio from 927 in 2001 to 914 in 2011. Sabu George is an activist who has been working on the issue of the girl child for over 25 years and tells this writer why there is a need to act immediately to boost the child sex ratio by the next Census in 2021: Why do you insist that the killing of the girl child is a crime and not just a social evil? It is not a few hundreds, the killing of girls is happening in millions. It is genocide. In China, an estimated 1.2 million girls are killed every year in their obsession for sons and the one-child policy. In India, an estimated 0.7 million girls are killed each year. In the coming decade, we will exceed the Chinese in killing girls. We will then have the dubious distinction of being the country eliminating the largest number of girls every year along with the distinction of holding other dubious world records like having the largest proportion of starving children, highest maternal mortality and so on. In recent history, Partition is considered to be the most traumatic and violent event when over a million people were killed. But it is an even bigger tragedy that an estimated eight million girls were killed in the last decade. In the coming decade, over 10 million girls will be killed if something is not done immediately. In a historical context, we havent seen this magnitude of violence in our society or an event of this magnitude in terms of future consequences. Is the government doing enough to improve the sex ratio? Obviously no. In 1991 it was evident from the Census that in Gujarat, Punjab and Haryana five per cent of girls were eliminated. But nothing was done till 2001 when this went up to 10-15 per cent of girls being eliminated. The government and the country sat up and took notice, but little has been done. This is evident from the fact that even in parts of the country which were helping to keep the countrys overall sex ratio high, we are seeing a huge drop in the sex ratio. This shows that the practice of killing the girl child, instead of being curbed, is actually spreading everywhere. Why do you think the government does not do enough to curb sex selection? Many people in the government and among the elite believe sex selection will bring down population growth. From the 1970s doctors and many policy makers have been advocating sex selection as a way to bring down population. Of the five million less children born in the last decade, boys accounted for two million of the reduction and girls for three million. This means the relative decline of girls is more than 50 per cent of the reduction rate of boys. Yet, no one seems to care that the population reduction has come at the cost of girls who are being systematically killed. What, in your opinion, is the most effective way to improve the child sex ratio? There is only one way and that is to implement the law. We have a strong law meant to punish those engaged in the practice of sex determination and sex selective abortion - the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act 1994. Doctors have always promoted sex determination. The government has to start with tackling the criminal malpractice among doctors. You have to make it tough and not at all worth their while to indulge in this malpractice. Times of India