RTI shows Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar’s sex ratio figure claim skewed
The state saw an increase in sex ratio at birth under the BJP government as it cracked down on illegal practices to successfully implement Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Beti Bachao Beti Padhao campaign.Updated: Sep 02, 2017 12:45 IST
Belying the claims of chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar who earlier this year had said Haryana’s sex ratio had touched the 950-mark for the first time in its history, the figure has been found to be exaggerated in a Right to Information (RTI) query.
The figure the CM cited — 950 girls for 1,000 boys — was the sex ratio at birth recorded only for March this year. Data procured from the health department through RTI revealed the number is incorrect. The RTI plea was filed by this reporter.
The record shows that in the numbers the government publicised in its 950-mark claim, the figures for Narnaul district were inflated. The figures for few other districts were also inflated slightly.
The government data stated that Narnaul recorded a sex ratio at birth of 1,279 for March. The revised number, however, is 858. This, clubbed with other “errors” brings down the March sex ratio at birth to 939 from 950. Though this number is not bad for a state ranked abysmally low in terms of gender gap, the government’s lack of will to correct its error for which it continues to claim accolades is worrisome.
The state saw an increase in sex ratio at birth under the BJP government as it cracked down on illegal practices to successfully implement Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Beti Bachao Beti Padhao campaign.
Rakesh Gupta, additional principal secretary to CM and coordinator of Beti Bachao Beti Padhao programme, said, “It was a manual error which could happen to anyone. It was corrected and, therefore, it appeared correct in the data provided by health department.”
But the CM, his ministers, MLAs and even BJP national president Amit Shah have apparently not been apprised of the error as they continue to boast of their government for touching the 950-mark in their speeches.
Gupta said the data they gather for every month is provisional until the end of the year, when their internal inquiry reports are checked to correct the numbers. "Even if some numbers are corrected, we can say the state has come a long way. We are expecting the final number at the end of 2017 could be 925. This is good progress from what the numbers used to be before the implementation of the Beti Bachao scheme, and all coordinators working hard should be appreciated."