Sunday, March 13, 2011

913 to 908 over decade: sex ratio dips in Maharashtra

Swatee Kher of Indian Express reports from Mumbai.
Maharashtra might claim to be among the most progressive states in the country, but the girl child continues to remain under threat. The latest figures available with the state government indicate that the sex ratio is 908 per 1,000 boys in the 0-6 age group, a drop from the 2001 census figure of 913 girls per 1,000 boys. The sex ratio is measured by the number of births of a girl per thousand boys in each district.

The recent figures are based on the enumeration done at anganwadi centres, where lactating mothers and children under six are provided nutrition and care. Of the 33 districts accounted for till June 2009, there are 14 districts having a sex ratio below 900 girls per 1,000 boys. Beed is the lowest with a ratio of only 848 girls per 1,000 boys. The figures in Beed have dropped from 894 to 848, in Jalgaon from 880 to 854, Aurangabad from 890 to 888 and Buldhana from 908 to 867.

Except Pune, where the figure has dropped from 902 girls to 895 girls per 1,000 boys, regions of Satara, Kolhapur and Sangli have reported an increase in sex ratio. Though the compilation does not include Mumbai figures, the data with Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation in 2008 had revealed an estimated average ratio for 2005 of 90girls per 1,000 boys.

“Maharashtra is doing better than states like Punjab; we are ranked fifth in the country. However, the recent figures are good indicators and they are a cause of worry. That is the reason we are focusing on the five districts for awareness campaign,” said Minister for Public Health Suresh Shetty. The government will launch an intensive awareness campaign in Pune, Satara, Kolhapur, Beed and Jalgaon.
The Economic Survey 2009-’10 had also expressed concern over the decline in sex ratio. “The projected sex ratio is likely to decline from the actual 922 during 2001 to 919 during 2006 and 915 during 2011, which is a matter of concern... The proportion of males is expected to increase slightly, that is 52.1 per cent during 2011 as compared to 52 per cent during 2001.” The population of the state may reach 11.27 crore during 2011.

2 comments:

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