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Thursday, Nov 14, 2019

Gurugram’s sex ratio falls to 857 from 901 in 2018

Sex ratio at birth indicates the gap between registered male and female births, calculated as the number of females per 1,000 males, and is recorded monthly by the health department.

gurugram Updated: Aug 21, 2019 00:05 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Gurugram
The average for the year is taken as the annual sex ratio.
The average for the year is taken as the annual sex ratio. (HT image)
         

After crossing the 900-mark for two consecutive years, Gurugram’s sex ratio at birth has fallen to 857 girls per 1,000 boys this year, shows the data available with the district health department.

Experts said inactive policing of sex determination centres in the district could be a factor responsible for the sharp fall in the sex ratio, which stood at 966—the highest ever recorded in the district—till July last year.

Sex ratio at birth indicates the gap between registered male and female births, calculated as the number of females per 1,000 males, and is recorded monthly by the health department. The average for the year is taken as the annual sex ratio.

Gurugram’s sex ratio for 2018 was recorded at 901 and didn’t see any change from the sex ratio in 2017. In 2016 and 2015, this ratio was 883 and 875, respectively. The department did not share the monthly figures for these years.

“So far this year, the sex ratio has been around the 850-mark, which is lower than last year’s during the same period,” confirmed senior officials of the health department, adding that activities of the committee that monitors unregistered ultrasound clinics has taken a back seat.

Prenatal sex screening and female foeticide is banned and punishable under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994 (PC-PNDT Act). A district committee conducts raids at clinics not registered with the health department under the Act. The committee, according to officials, hasn’t conducted a single raid this year. Last year, at least five raids were conducted and cases were filed against offenders, records show.

“We haven’t got any reliable tip-offs on any such illegal activity happening in the district so far which is the reason behind us not conducting raids. When we get any information, we will act on it,” said Amandeep Chauhan, district drug control officer.

Sabu George, an activist against female foeticide, said stricter enforcement of the PCPDNT Act on the ground level is needed. “The Haryana police have been conducting raids on clinics outside the state, but the focus should also be on activities in cities within the state. More raids are needed to maintain the sex ratio,” he said.