The Millennium City may have witnessed meteoric rise in terms of development and infrastructure over the last few years, but the declining sex ratio is a major blot on its success story.
In the district-wise census report of 2011, Gurgaon city scored the least in terms of sex ratio, with only 879 women for every 1,000 men. On the other hand, Mewat, one of the most backward districts with the lowest literacy rate, has topped the state in terms of sex ratio, with 907:1000, followed by Fatehabad at 902 women per 1,000 men.
Dr BK Rajora, civil surgeon of Gurgaon district, said, “While for Mewat, it has been an increase in generations, for Gurgaon it has been an increase in migration.”
The report further reveals that NCR districts of Haryana have the least sex ratio —Panipat (833:1000), Gurgaon (854:1000), Sonipat (856:1000), Bahadurgarh (858:1000) and Jhajjar (862:1000). All these districts have scored lesser than New Delhi, which has 866 women for every 1,000 men.
“The high awareness and availability of advanced health facilities is the reason for the skewed ratio. Everyone is aware of abortion procedures and sex determination tests. Moreover, proximity to the National Capital, which has good health facilities, ensures easier access,” said Anjali Makhija, group leader at the Institute of Rural Research and Development.
Meanwhile, experts from the district administration and rural research agencies have attributed this trend to increased migration and urbanisation. “With the sudden increase in the migrant population in Gurgaon, the calculation of the census has become a daunting task. Therefore, sex ratio, too, has been very tough to calculate,” said Dr Neelam Thapar, deputy civil surgeon, National Rural Health Mission.
There is, however, a silver lining. Gurgaon has recorded the highest decadal urban growth of 236.45% in the entire state. Most of the migrants flocking to the district, who work as labourers, come from neighbouring states such as Rajasthan, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, etc. They mostly come alone, thereby increasing the number of men in the district.
A classic example would be that of Manesar tehsil — the industrial pocket of Gurgaon district — that has recorded the least sex ratio of 779 in the entire district.
This is because a majority of the population residing there are migrant labourers, who have come in search of daily wages.
According to the 2011 census, Gurgaon’s population rose to 15.14 lakh from 8.70 lakh in 2001. This suggests that there has been a 73.93% population growth in the district.
In the last decade, the health department has registered only six cases of illegal sex determination, with none solved till date.
“Sex determination tests are mostly undertaken by people of the affluent class, who can afford it. The practice is not prevalent among the poor as they cannot pay for such an expensive test,” added Thapar.