Gulf News, By Ajay JhaChief, Correspondent
New Delhi: The skewed sex-ratio in Haryana has changed drastically with girls outnumbering boys in many parts of the state now. A state government survey has thrown up the heartening news that stringent implementation of various laws and better awareness has helped increase the number of girl child during the past five years. The 2001 census had put Haryana on the alert as it had emerged as one of the states with the worst sex ratio with 861 females for 1,000 males. The situation had become so bad that people in many villages, particularly in Jat-community-dominated areas, had started looking for brides for their eligible youngsters from tribal areas of Jharkhand and Orissa.
Successive state governments since have taken various measures. Besides coming down heavily on private clinics doing sex determination tests that was attributed to the rising incidents of female foeticide, the state administration announced monetary incentives to parents giving birth to girl child, free education and government help in the form of cash at the time of their marriage. Findings of the survey conducted across 25 villages have surprised many. Most of these villages now have more girls compared to boys in the age group 0-6 years. While girls outnumber boys in this age group in Bhiwani district, the ratio that stood at 871 female for 1,000 male in Hisar district in 2001 has increased by 7 per cent with the figure standing at 901 female for 1,000 male.
The situation has changed even in urban areas of the state with girl child outnumbering boys in several towns. According to a Haryana government spokesman here, the provincial government is now planning to have similar surveys conducted in the entire state. Continuing with the carrot and stick policy (rewarding those having more than one daughter and punishing those indulging in female foeticide) and giving wider publicity to achievements of these villages are going to be part of the government policy.