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Affluent areas have poorer sex ratio

mumbai Updated: Apr 25, 2012 01:41 IST
Menaka Rao
Menaka Rao
Hindustan Times
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While the city’s sex ratio at birth improved marginally in 2011 compared to 2010, certain pockets of the city saw the ratio dip during the same period. Sex ratio at birth is the number of girls born per 1,000 boys.

Worli saw the worst dip, from 875 girls born per 1,000 boys in 2010 to 813 last year.

The other areas that witnessed a drastic fall include Santacruz (East), Chembur and Bandra (West).

The sex ratio at birth in the city has increased marginally from 913 girls per 1,000 boys in 2010 to 917 girls in 2011.

“We plan to have a targeted programme for some areas where the sex ratio is low or has come down drastically. We are still working out the plans,” said Manisha Mhaiskar, additional municipal commissioner, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

In Santacruz (East), the sex ratio dipped from 926 girls per 1,000 boys in 2010 to 898 last year, in Bandra (west) from 967 girls per 1,000 boys in 2010 to 917, and in Chembur (East) from 907 girls per 1,000 boys in 2010 to 879 girls in 2011.

Activists say the areas which saw a dip have a common factor — they are home to a young, upwardly mobile population.

“These areas, particularly Worli, Bandra and Santacruz have an upwardly mobile, young population. They are young couples who follow a one-child norm, and they want a boy. This is also the trend in Navi Mumbai, where the residents are younger,” said Vibhuti Patel, professor and head of economics, SNDT University, and part of the Forum Against Sex Determination and Sex Pre-selection.

Besides, this is the population that can afford the ultrasound technology, added Patel. While Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai belt has the highest number of sonography machines in the country, 2500, their highest concentration is in Santacruz, Bandra, Chembur and Jogeshwari.

“We have seen that when there are more ultrasound machines in an area, it has a direct bearing on the sex ratio of the place. These areas also have the maximum number of invitro fertilization (IVF) clinics that also practice sex selection. This shows the misuse of technology in these areas,” said Varsha Deshpande, founder of Lek Ladki Abhiyaan.

Improved sex ratio