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Following upon the heels of northern states like Haryana and Punjab, now the sex ratio is skewed against the girls of the southern Indian states too. A worrying development.
In a disheartening news, the Civil Registration System (CRS) data of 2016 show that the sex ratio (the number of girl child born for every 1000 boys) has declined in most of the Southern states. The worst hits have been Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. In fact, Andhra Pradesh along with Rajasthan is leading in having the worst sex ratio (806).
The Northern states of Haryana and UP have been notorious for female infanticides and having skewed sex ratios till now, but this is a surprising and saddening change of facts. Southern states have always been seen as more progressive and futuristic in our nations till now. Kerala has the stellar reputation of having the highest literacy rate, and is the only state which has shown an increase of 10 points in this particular case.
There is some positive news for us in other states. The state of Sikkim has a ratio of 999, Andaman and Nicobar has 987 and Chhattisgarh has 980.
Though ascertaining the sex of a child before birth is a punishable offence, it is still rampant. In some states there has also been a lack in implementation of the law by doctors. More so, with technological advancement, expectant parents also have many other ways to ensure they have a male child such as – implantation of male embryo via IVF and sperm sorting, none of which is illegal.
People prefer a boy child, as the archaic dowry system still exists in most parts of our country. Parents of a girl child also have to worry about the safety of their daughters due to the increasing crime against women. They prefer to have a boy child with whom these worries are not associated.
Where there are no specific reasons that have been stated for these drastic numbers, Andhra Pradesh has tried to justify itself, saying that the decline could be due to the formation of Telangana, although this split happened in 2012.
There has been some dispute regarding the authenticity of data as well. Activists have urged that these numbers be re-looked at and compared with those calculated by the National Family Health Survey (NFHS). However, even if these numbers are wrong, the sad reality is that our sex ratio is still skewed and disturbing.
There is a need to take initiative and implement serious measures to correct these numbers, or else one day we will lose all our daughters.
Image source: HeatheronherTravels.com
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