As many as 132 villages in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand have not recorded a single girl child birth in the last three months. According to the official data, 216 children were born in these villages in last three months, but not a single girl was among the newborn babies.
The report came amidst the Bharatiya Janata Party-led central government’s huge expenditure for the ‘Beti Bachao Beti padhao (Save daughters, educate daughters)’ campaign. The campaign aimed to generate awareness and ensure effective implementation of various services for the girl children. This “ambitious” campaign was launched primarily targeting Punjab, Haryana, Bihar, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand where the male-to-female ratio is low. The report from Uttarakhand, however, questions the efficiency of the campaign.
The District Magistrate Dr Ashish Chauhan said, “We have identified areas where the number of girl childbirth is zero or in single-digit numbers. We are monitoring these areas to find out what is affecting the ratio. A detailed survey and study will be conducted to identify the reasons behind it.”
The social workers say that the numbers clearly indicate the prevalence of female foeticide. “No girl child was born for three months in these villages. It cannot be just a coincidence. This clearly indicates female foeticide is taking place in the district. The government and the administration are not doing anything,” social worker Kalpana Thakur was quoted as saying.
As per 2011 Census data, there were 1,61,489 women compared to 1,68,597 men in Uttarkashi. After that, more aggressive campaigns have been conducted in the region to improve the sex ratio.
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However, the data from the state Health Department says that in 27 villages of Dunda block, not a single girl childbirth has been recorded out of 51 deliveries in past three months. In 27 villages of Bhatwari block, 49 childbirths have been recorded and not a single girl child was among them. Similarly, in Naugaun, Mori, Chinyalisaur and Purola blocks where 47, 29, 23 and 14 births have been recorded respectively, not a single girl child was born.
Amidst this claims, the Civil Registration System Report which had been released in February 2019 said that India’s sex ratio at birth had fallen from 908 in 2012 to 877 in 2016. Sex ratio at birth (SRB) is the crucial indicator of population sex ratio. Civil society activists, back then, had expressed their fear that the SRB would reflect on India’s child sex ratio in 2021 census report.
The report clearly says that Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal have recorded a decline in the ration. Ironically, Uttarakhand was one of the five best performing states in ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhavo’ scheme as per the Ministry of Women and Child Development which had come in the first week of June.
If we consider nation’s sex ratio, it is 930 females per 1000 males. In other words, only 48.20 percent of total population is females. If we are considering it on the basis of urban and rural divide, rural India has 949 females to 1000 men. Whereas, urban India has only 929 females per males. Amongst the states, Kerala has the highest sex ratio of 1084 females to 1000 males and Haryana has the lowest sex ratio with 879 females per 1,000 males. The Union Territory Daman & Diu has the lowest of all these with the ratio of 618.
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