More girls die in Madhya Pradesh within one year after birth than boys, data released by Sample Registration System (SRS) revealed. Activists have attributed the high infant mortality rate (IMR) to gender-selective infanticide and poor treatment to girls.
According to the IMR data compiled by sample registration system, 53 girls die within one year of birth per 1,000 live births in Madhya Pradesh, while 52 boys die during the same span.
This is when post-birth death rate in boys is 8.3 and girls 7.2.
State tops the chart in IMR in the country
The data also suggest that Madhya Pradesh tops the chart in IMR in the country.
Women and child rights activist Rolly Shivhare said, “Government has put a check on female foeticide, but no one is paying attention to the fact how girls are being treated after birth. Unlike male child, a female child isn’t treated well. Despite having more immunity than boys, more girls die in the absence of proper care and nutrition.”
‘Several families don’t provide proper medical treatment to their daughters’
According to child rights activist Upasana Behar, several families, especially in the rural areas, do not provide proper medical treatment to their daughters even if she falls ill.
“When family members expect a boy, but a woman gives birth to a girl child she is not even allowed to breastfeed the child,” Behar said.
Activists say the government departments should coordinate to improve female child sex ratio.
According to 2013 Census, child sex ratio in the state (up to 6 years) is 918 girls per 1,000 boys — worst in three decades.
Principal secretary (health) Gouri Singh said anganwadi and Asha workers are being told to counsel parents in cases where discrimination are noticed.
Sample Registration System
Activists attribute the high infant mortality rate to gender-selective infanticide and poor treatment of girls
53 girls die within one year of birth per 1,000 live births in Madhya Pradesh, while 52 boys die during the same span
In rural areas, 58 girls die within one year of their birth, while in urban areas the figure is 35
In rural areas, 55 boys and in urban areas 34 boys die within a year of birth.