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Technology to the Rescue of the Girl Child

Female foeticide is an issue which our country has grappled with for ages. The gender composition in India has worsened over time. Demographically, though the ratio has increased from 927 females per 1000 males to 933 from census of 1991 to 2001, this ratio is rapidly decreasing among children in the age group of 0-6.

Kolhapur District, Maharashtra has a ratio of 839 females per 1000 males, alarmingly low even by the national standards. The District Administration of Kolhapur sprung into action and started an innovative initiative called  “SAVE THE BABY GIRL” or STBG for short.

Selective abortion has been in existence ever since gender-identification has become possible through ultrasound technology. The birth of an estimated 10 million girls may have been prevented by selective abortion in the past 20 years.

Sex determination of a foetus is today possible with the sonography machine. So STBG developed a monitoring solution for medical centres having sonography machines. Every centre is provided with a secure login using which they can submit the relevant information in accordance with the standard formats prescribed by the administration.

But there was a lacuna in the solution: the centres may not enter the patient record and subsequently perform an illegal abortion. To counteract this problem, STBG introduced a device called The Silent Observer. This device is connected to the VGA port (essentially a communication medium) which resides in between the sonography machine and the monitor.

This technological device captures the output stream from the various equipment including PCs, projectors, medical equipment etc.  The captured data can then be broadcasted over the web or archived for later viewing. What this means: the exact view which was seen by the technician performing the sonography is captured and can be used for later viewing.

Save the Baby Girl results in fool-proof tracking of the foetus thereby providing support, care and economic security to the pregnant woman. A wonderful way of using technology to solve a social problem!

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