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Maharashtra’s missing girls

mumbai Updated: Mar 24, 2010 00:54 IST
Ketaki Ghoge
Ketaki Ghoge
Hindustan Times
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The Economic Survey of Maharashtra (2009-2010) has predicted a highly skewed sex ratio in the state by 2011. The report, tabled in the Legislature on Tuesday, reported on projected population trends ahead of the census.

These trends projected by the Registrar General of India note that the sex ratio is likely to decline from 922 women per 1,000 men in 2001 to 915 women per 1,000 men in 2011.

Maharashtra ranks 15th among India’s 28 states with its current sex ratio of 922 (women):1,000 (men), lower than the national average of 933 (women):1,000 (men).

Officials admitted Maharashtra needed to take serious steps to turn things around.

“The economic growth is at the cost of the human face. There are lakhs of ‘missing’ girls in the state. With more money and better technology, there is an increase in female foeticide in well-to-do districts like Sangli and Kolhapur in the sugar belt,” said Shiv Sena MLC and activist Neelam Gorhe.

She added that Maharashtra needed to focus on inclusive development and look at vulnerable sections of society with a different perspective to balance the sex ratio.

The report said that in 2006, the population of the state was 10.48 crore and is expected to rise to 11.27 crore in 2011. It also predicted a significant jump in the potential workforce in the age group of 15 to 59 years. This is likely to rise
by 64.4 per cent in 2011 from 59 per cent in 2001 and 62.5 per cent in 2006.

Male life expectancy is likely to rise from the current 66.4 years to 67.9 by 2010. For women, it will rise to 71.3 years from the current 69.8.