Posts Tagged ‘female foeticide’

Dwindling Sex Ratio in Odisha – A Disturbing Trend That Needs Immediate Attention

Sex Ratio in Odisha

Dwindling Sex Ratio in Odisha

Steep fall in child sex ratio and population in the age group of 0-6 age group has become the major cause of concern of government of odisha. The current sex ratio which by any figure is simply anti girl-child stands at 950 girls for every 1000 boys. The data itself is a pointer to a steep decline from 1991 when the sex ratio stood at 967 girls for every 1000 boys.

Though compared to other states, Odisha has better sex ratio, it is a trend that is disturbing and points to a number of facts.  First, It indicates that an increasing number of people in the state are resorting to female foeticide, thus preventing the birth of girl-children.  This point is substantiated by figures from Nayagarh district which recorded the lowest sex ratio in Odisha i.e. 857 girls for 1000 boys. The district in fact was in storm eye in 2006 when several dead foetus were found here in 2006.

Second the trends indicate that there has been no substantial change in the attitude of the people even after government’s efforts to educate the people on the importance of the girl child. Economic support extended by sons to parents in their old age, the prevalence of the dowry system and increasing instances of violence against women are some  of the common  reasons  that lead to reluctance of people to bear daughters.

On the back drop of such attitude among the people , the availability of the advanced technology  for sex determination has only led to rising vulnerability of new born female child. Interior areas of the state which are bereft of such facilities have shown healthier sex ratio. Nabarangpur, for example that is considered among one of the not so advanced  districts of the state and is primarily dominated by the tribal , has shown the healthiest sex ratio of 999 in rural areas and 971 in urban areas.

The above argument is further justified if one considers the dwindling sex ratio in city areas which have better access to medical facilities. The fall in child sex ratio in fact was higher in urban areas and it rose from 933 to 913, when compared to rural areas where it fell by nine points from 955 to 946.

The 2011 Census results for Orissa, released by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday, shows that the child population in the 0-6 age-group has declined by 85,616 and now stands at over 52.73 lakh. While the child population increased in urban areas by 84,872, it fell in rural areas by 1, 70,488. Child sex ratio has decreased in 26 out of 30 districts in the state since 2001. In 19 districts of the state, the ratio is less than 950. The state average has declined from 953 in 2001 to 934 in 2011.

The statistics are a sort of warning bell for the government. The government should now take concrete steps to improve the sex ratio of the state.