The sex ratio in Kashmir for the age group six and below has become skewed sharply against the girl child, reinforcing suspicions of female children ‘vanishing’ in the valley.
From a healthy ratio in 2001 of more than 1,000 girls for every 1,000 boys in six districts of the valley, all the ten districts in the region this time have shown the numbers going down to fewer than 900 girls for every 1,000 boys in this age category.
This is surprising because abortion does not have religious or social sanction in the region, where Muslims are dominant in numbers.
The sharp downward trend has taken the overall sex ratio in the state for this age group from 941 in 2001 to 859 in 2011.
The gender ratio for the overall population in the state has gone against the national trend, with the state having only 883 females for 1,000 males from 891 reported in 2001, and the country reporting an improvement to 940 from 933.
“In 2001 six districts out of 10 (in Kashmir) had more than 1,000 girls for 1,000 boys. Today the very same districts are 100-150 points down. Pulwama in south Kashmir, which ranked third in the sex ratio in 2001 with 1,046 girls for every 1,000 boys born, has gone down to 836 girl children for 1,000 boys,” said Chander Shekhar Sapru, joint chief principal census officer, Jammu and Kashmir.
The situation is worse in the Jammu region, however.
Samba district there has the lowest girl-child ratio in the state at an alarming 787. Jammu district is also precariously placed at 795.
“Jammu and Samba districts have been cause for concern and the trend is continuing in the current census also, but Kashmir, which seemed untouched by female foeticide, is cause for worry,” Sapru added.
Number of girls in the age group 6 and below per thousand boys have dwindled in last decade.