Pithoragarh and Beed new culprits in vanishing girl child story | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Pithoragarh and Beed new culprits in vanishing girl child story

delhi Updated: Jun 23, 2011 22:39 IST
Chetan Chauhan

Pithoragarh in Uttarakhand and Beed in Maharashtra are among several districts in India where vanishing girl child is a new phenomenon.

As per 2011 census, child ratio in zero to six age group was 914, lowest since Independence, as compared to 927 in 2001 census.

The number of girl child below six years of age has fallen to 800 for 1,000 boys in 2011 as compared to around 900 in 2001 in these districts.

"It is one of the sharpest falls in the child sex ratio for any district in India," said Dr Sabu George, an activist working in the area of vanishing girl child in India.

Beed had witnessed a dip of 93 points from 894 girls for 1,000 boys in 2001 to 801 in 2011. Pithoragarh had 902 girls for 1,000 boys in 2001. A decade later it fell to 812.

Both these districts are away from traditional hotspots – Punjab, Haryana and Delhi – but the census validated the claim of activists that sex determination malaise was fast spreading in the country.

A recent study published in Lancet had shown that between the 2001 and 2011 censuses, more than twice the number of Indian districts showed declines in the child sex ratio.

"Each 1% decline in child sex ratio at ages 0—6 years implied 1·2—3·6 million more selective abortion of girls," the study said.

Varsha Joshi, Director of Census Operations (Delhi) blamed the poor implementation of law to prevent female foeticide as a cause for more selective abortions in India. "The law is not being implemented fully and until that happens, child sex ration would be on a decline," she said.

In between two census, Pithoragarh and Beed witnessed a demographic and economic change. With it came a number of private diagnostic clinics with ultrasound machines and its obvious impact was visible in the findings of 2011 census. "Prosperity is turning out to be biggest reason for selective sex determination," George said.

Even in southern states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, girl child ratio has witnessed a fall in districts where prosperity has increased. For instance in Karur district of Tamil Nadu, the dip in girl child sex ration was of 62 points whereas in Ariyalur district it was of 57 points.

The new district wise census data shows similar trend in richer districts of Andhra Pradesh such as Warangal, which had best child sex ratio in 2001 for any district in India. Two districts of Manipur in north-eastern India also fall in the same bracket.