State govt steps fail to make impact as child sex ratio falls

  • Sachin Saini, Hindustan Times, Jaipur
  • Updated: Dec 29, 2014 15:31 IST

Despite a number of initiatives by the state government to save girl child, Rajasthan has registered a decline in the child sex ratio from 882 (2010-12) per 1,000 live births to 874 in 2011-13, according to the sample registration system (SRS) report.

The state has also not shown any improvement in sex ratio. The child sex ratio (age group 0-4) in rural areas of the state has dipped from 883 to 873 during this period. However, in urban areas there has been a marginal rise of two points from 878 to 880, the data show.

Rajasthan is among four states with worst child sex ratio, Haryana (835), Punjab (866) and Uttar Pradesh (868) being the other three.

In indicators for sex ratio, Rajasthan is among the worst five states and has shown no improvement. The sex ratio (female per 1,000 male) has stuck to the same figure of 893. The sex ratio in urban areas is less (874) than of rural areas (898). The national average sex ratio has increased by one point from 908 to 909.

The state government has taken various initiatives to save girl child like Shubh Laxmi Yojna, Hamari Beti Express, greeting cards by Chief Minister on birth of girl child, appointing brand ambassador, Janani Suraksha Yojna etc.

Rajasthan has shown a slight improvement in its under-five mortality rate, infant mortality rate and estimated death rates of children aged between 0-4 years.

The infant mortality rate (IMR) in the state has come down by two points to 47 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2013 as against 49 in 2010-12. The IMR for males has dipped by two points from 47 to 45 and for females, from 51 to 49.

The under-five mortality rate (U5MR) has improved by two points from 59 to 57. The U5MR of male child has declined from 52 to 50, while for female it has dropped from 67 to 65.

Dr Ashok Gupta, a senior child specialist at JK Lon hospital in Jaipur, said a major reason for under-5 mortality is low birth rate and pre-mature birth, pneumonia and diarrhoea.

“A newborn could be more prone to infections and other complications in case of a pre-mature delivery. Improper immunization, pneumonia and diarrhoea are major reasons of under-5 deaths,” he said.

Gupta said sensitisation, education of girl, proper nutrition, proper care of newborn, strengthened transport mechanism and timely immunisation of preventable diseases are some of the measures to be ensured to curb under- 5 deaths. “The government is aggressively working over the issue with various mechanisms to sensitise. Initiatives like Janani Suraksha Yojna has helped to get 85% institutional deliveries. Immunisation as a programme is available in Rajasthan but people need to be sensitised.”

As per the SRS statistical report 2013, the estimated death rate for children aged 0-4 years has also declined marginally from 14.3 to 13.4. For males the drop is from 12.4 to 12, and for females it is from 16.4 to 15.1.

Rajasthan has shown a significant decline in average infant mortality rates between 2001-03 and 2011-13, the data show.

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