Generally considered an urban phenomenon, sex determination seems to be making inroads in rural areas of the state, and that too in a big way.
According to Census 2011, more rural people are going for pre-natal sex determination tests than urbanites. Region-wise this trend is more prevalent in eastern and central districts of the state. Till some time back only western Uttar Pradesh districts were considered as hub of this social evil.
A comparison of districtwise census figures on child sex ratio (CSR) (0-6 age group) of Uttar Pradesh in 2001 and 2011 shows that situation has turned from bad to worse in previous ten years.
Sample this: In 2001: the rural and urban CSR was 921 and 890 respectively. Census 2011 puts the figures at 906 and 885, respectively.
This means that the rural CSR has come down by 15 and that of urban by 5.
“It is not true that only the educated class goes for sex determination tests.
The practice is catching up in rural pockets of UP as well. Census 2011 bears testimony to this fact,” Dr AL Sharda, director of Population First, a Mumbai-based non-profit organisation told newsmen on Monday.
She was here to announce the Laadli Media and Advertising Awards for Gender Sensitivity 2012-13 (northern region).
Dr Neelam Singh of Vatsalya, a Lucknow-based NGO, said before 2001 western UP districts were considered killing fields of unborn girl children but the 2011 figures show that the social evil has made inroads in eastern and central parts of the state.
“Too many ultrasound machines are being set up in clinics in rural UP. The worrying part is that non-professionals do these screening tests,” she said.
Singh said a survey by Kashi Vidya Peeth students found that a tea stall owner had an ultrasound machine at his house in Varanasi’s rural area.
As per Census 2011, the CSR in Bundelkhand had reduced from 867 in 2001 to 844 in 2011. It means 844 girls were born per thousand boys in this district.
Similarly in Banda the CSR had come down from 917 in 2001 to 898 in 2011 Census.
In Lucknow the number has come down from 915 to 913.