Chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar recently praised the state health department for achieving an upward trend in sex ratio. But the National Family Health Survey-4, released last week, has a different story to tell.
According to the survey results released by the ministry of health and family welfare, Haryana’s sex ratio has declined to 876 in 2015-16 from 897 in 2005-06. It goes on to say that the sex ratio in rural areas is higher than urban areas — 895 as compared to 846.
A similar trend was noticed in the sex ratio at birth, where the rural population led with 867 females per 1,000 males born in the last five years, as compared to 785 in urban areas.
“Cases of sex determination are higher in urban areas. With a hectic lifestyle, couples generally opt to restrict the size of their families and want a boy,” a city-based doctor said.
But, the chief medical officer of Gurgaon said the CM had launched several schemes to help improve the sex ratio in Haryana. “A number of schemes and policies have been launched in Haryana to empower women and improve the sex ratio. There has been a rise in the sex ratio at birth from 762 in 2005-06 to 836 in 2015-16, and a similar result will also be seen overall,” Dr Ramesh Dhankhar, CMO, said.
An upward trend was seen in the literacy rate among women. The percentage of literate women has increased by 15% in the last decade. In 2005-06 the figure was at 60.4%, which increased to 75.4% in 2015-16. “The government has laid emphasis to spread education among children and women. Several programs, workshops and events are organised every week in urban and rural areas. This has helped educate the masses,” said an official of the women and child development department said.