Though the last year's child sex ratio (CSR) data in the state indicated improvement in gender balance, a recent survey conducted by the district health authorities on the gender ratio of second child has reaffirmed the notoriety of the khapland for preference for male child.
Of the total 149 villages in which the survey was conducted by the district health authorities, 38 villages were marked as critical areas where people are suspected of indulging in rampant female foeticide by resorting to illegal practice of sex determination tests in the sheer desire of having a son to run the family's name.
Sample this: In Bhalot village, wherein the CSR on the first child was 826/1,000, it has dipped to a shocking 66/1,000 on the second child. In Matodi village, the CSR on first child was 3,250/1,000 and it has reduced to just 382/1,000 on the second child. In Nonand village, it was 736/1,000 on the first child and has dipped to 190/1,000 on the second child.
In Sanghi, the native village of former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, the CSR on the first child was 1,115/1,000 boys and it has dipped to 607/1,000 on the second child. At Baketa village, it was 2,500/1,000 on the first child, but has shockingly reduced to 667/1,000 boys on second child.
Currently, the CSR of Rohtak district is 879/1,000, which in itself is alarming. To explore the reason behind the bias against the girl child, HT spoke to Satish Bhalot, the head of Bhalot village which registered lowest CSR on the second child. Satish admitted that patriarchal mindset still dominates the psyche of the people in this part of the society.
"It is not that people do not want to bear girl child, but the rampant crime against women in the country forces people to opt not for the fair sex," he said.
Dr Kuldeep Singh, deputy civil surgeon, who played a key role in conducting the recent survey, said that the data on second child as boy doubles the number of girls, which once again reaffirms the mindset of people against acceptance of girls as their second child. "It reveals that they may accept girls as first child but they cannot accept girls as their second child", he said.
Thriving business of sex determination test
Expressing concern over the dismal CSR, Dr Kuldeep Singh said that besides taking corrective measures, the health department has information that a large scale sex determination test racket is being run in the district.
Notably, the state health department had raided 82 illegal abortion centres in different districts of the start last year to keep a check on sex-determination tests that promote female foeticide.
The seizure of a portable Chinese ultrasound machine by police from a private doctor in Sirsa also exposed the large-scale illegal sex-determination practice prevalent in the region.