Abandoned Odisha newborn girl rescued from graveyard
The ratio of girls has witnessed a steady decline in Odisha in the last five decades since 1961—by 94 points till 2011.
An abandoned newborn girl, with ants crawling over her body, was rescued from an Odisha graveyard on Thursday morning.
The infant was rescued by an old man of Balaramprasad Basala Sahia area under Nalco police station limits of Angul district, who was passing by the graveyard when he heard a newborn cry.
“Trying to locate the source, the man found the newborn wrapped in a bag. He later brought the girl to his home,” said Gourshankar Behera, district child protection officer of Angul.
District child protection officers later took the baby to the special newborn care unit at the district headquarters hospital. Officials said a complaint has been lodged against the person who abandoned the baby in the graveyard.
On International Women’s Day, a newborn girl was similarly rescued from roadside in Bolangir town.
Women activists said the abandonment of the girl child in Angul district reflected the growing preference for boys in Odia households. The ratio of girls has witnessed a steady decline in the last five decades since 1961—by 94 points till 2011. From 1035 girls per 1000 boys in 1961 census, the ratio came down to 941 girls per 1000 boys in 2011 census.
“There has been a continuity in decline in child sex ratio. While most infamous states, such as Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh have shown an improvement in the child sex ratio between 2001 and 2011, Odisha appears to be moving in the opposite direction. Schemes like Beti Bachao Beti Padhao have not been that successful in Odisha,” said Mamata Samantray of State Progressive Women’s Forum, an NGO.
Officials said the problem was uneven in the state. In 2011, the lowest child sex ratio was recorded in Nayagarh (855) followed by Dhenkanal and Angul, while tribal districts like Nabarangpur and Koraput showed a higher child sex ratio.