As many as 116 villages of Patiala district have more girls than boys below six years of age - a welcome sign in a state that is known for skewed sex ratio.
As per the 2011 census, Patiala district was tipped as the leader for showing improvement in sex ratio. At 835 girls per 1,000 boys (below 6 years of age), the sex ratio was still skewed, but marginally better than the previous census (2001) when the number of girls per 1,000 boys stodd at 798.
The number of villages with more girls than boys is increasing rapidly. The number of such villages was 52 in 2010, which went up to 72 in 2011. Now the figure has already touched 116, while the reports of some blocks are still awaited.
Civil surgeon Dr Usha Bansal said that Patiala was slowly and steadily trying to get rid of the 'kudimar' slur. "The increasing number of villages with more girls is a positive sign and affirms that people have started desisting from killing girls in the womb. We are strictly enforcing the PNDT Act and conducting surprise checks regualarly," she said.
As per the figures, the Rir Kheri village has the highest number of girls in the district. The village has 1,652 girls against 1,000 boys in below 6 years' age group. Village Bir Kheri has 1,353, Dadhera 1,256, Babu Singh colony 1,327, Hazimajra 1,235, Maruri 1,230, Harpalpur 1,200 and Sillwatti 1,254 girls per 1,000 boys.
The health department honours village sapranches and gives a grant of Rs. 1.5 lakh to a village having more girls than boys.
Dr Surinderpal admitted that the sex ratio was still far from satisfactory, but the trend in child sex ratio and rise in number of villages with more girls is a positive sign. He said that list of all such villages would be forwarded to the health directorate, so that the village panchayats could be honoured.