Child sex ratio improves in rural Uttarakhand, Bageshwar tops the list
Uttarakhand has achieved a child sex ratio of 934 in the 0-6 year category in rural areas, found a recent survey conducted by the health department.
The results of the survey come at a time when the state is facing criticism over decreasing child sex ratio. Recently, the NITI Aayog and the National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-4 had revealed that the child sex ratio in the state has been witnessing a decline over the last one decade.
The NITI Aayog in its report on the state of health in India has revealed that between 2014-15 and 2015-16, the child sex ratio decreased from 871 to 844. The report was released in February. Similarly, NFHS-4 recorded a decline from 912 in 2004-05 to 888 in 2015-16.
In the health department’s survey, Bageshwar has recorded the highest child sex ratio of 1,036, followed by 978 in Nainital and 958 in Rudraprayag. Meanwhile, Haridwar lags at the bottom with a child sex ratio of 912.
“The results of the survey are very heartening. We have seen that the child sex ratio is 934 for 0-6 year. All chief medical officers (CMOs) have sent the reports. The survey covered mostly rural areas,” said Dr Archana Srivastava, director general, health.
ASHA workers were roped in to conduct the door-to-door survey in all rural areas of the state. Health officials claim that result of this survey is a better reflector of ground situation because the central surveys are based on a limited sample size, as opposed to the door-to-door data collection in this survey.
However, even though the findings of the survey are heartening, the real challenge to child sex ratio lies in the urban areas.
Commensurate to the findings of the present survey, NFHS-4 had also registered a child sex ratio of 924 in 2015-16. However, the same year, the figure for urban areas was 817, thus bringing down the overall figure for the state to 888.
Since the present survey has not covered urban areas, it is difficult to gauze the ground reality of child sex ratio in the state.
“The urban areas have not been covered in the survey but we will undertake a similar survey there too,” said Dr Srivastava.
Among blocks, Chamba in Tehri Garhwal district has the lowest child sex ratio of 771 in the state. It is followed by 792 in Khirsu block of Pauri Garhwal and 834 in Kotabag in Nainital districts.
However, results of the present survey are still behind the findings of the Census 1991, according to which the state had a child sex ratio of 949. This decreased to 908 in Census 2001 and went further downhill to 890 in Census 2011.