New Delhi: In 132 villages in Uttarkashi, a district in the state of Uttarakhand, no girl children were born in the last three months, according to a report in the Times of India. The only children born here were boys, 216 of them.
The imbalance has raised the possibility of sex-selective abortions or the killing of girl children that may be occurring in these villages. The situation is “suspicious and has highlighted female foeticide”, said Uttarkashi’s district magistrate Ashish Chauhan.
“We will monitor the data and activities of all these villages for next six months and will take strict action against ASHA workers if the situation does not improve. Moreover, we will also take legal action against the family who will be found guilty,” said Chauhan.
These 132 villages have been marked for investigation and intervention by the local government. ASHA workers have been asked to pay more attention here.
Over the last three months, there were 51 deliveries in Dunda block, 49 in Bhatwari block, 47 in Naugaun, 29 in Mori, 23 in Chinyalisaur and 17 in Purola. But no girl child was born anywhere.
Uttarkashi ranks ninth in the state in terms of sex ratio
While Uttarakhand’s sex ratio is at 963 females per 1,000 males, Uttarkashi district is at 958 females. This makes the district ninth in the state, in terms of sex ratio. According to the last census in 2011, there are 1,61,489 women and 1,68,597 men in Uttarkashi.
Over 100 years ago, between 1901 and 1931, the district’s sex ratio was favourable to women. In 1901, it was 1,015 females per 1,000 males. It started becoming unfavourable from 1931, and over the last century, it has dropped to 958 in 2011.
The sex ratio is more favourable in rural areas than in urban areas, according to the 2011 census.
While the government routinely talks of and celebrates its ‘Beti Bachao’ programme, the imbalanced sex ratio has been a persistent problem in India.
Recent data from the SRS 2017 shows that the sex ratio has fallen further, to 896 in 2015-2017. It was slightly better at 898 in 2014-2016.
Uttarakhand has the lowest sex ratio at birth for urban areas, at 816. Haryana still has the lowest overall sex ratio at birth at 833. Chhattisgarh is currently the best state on this, at 961.