Health activist fume as Maharashtra sex ratio falls

‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ is BJP’s flagship campaign. But, it looks as if the state government has forgotten this. The state government has no willpower left with them to save the girl child, says Varsha Deshpande, pioneer of anti-female foeticide movement

Health activist fume as Maharashtra sex ratio falls
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Is dipping child sex ratio a cause of concern in Maharashtra? While National Family Health Survey (NFHS 4) shows significant improvement at both state and national level, civil registration system shows a significant drop in child sex ratio in the state.

Maharashtra’s sex ratio for newborn girl child has seen a dipped by eight points in 2016, compared to last year, this has left health activist fuming. Social activist who are working against female foeticide in the state have accused the Maharashtra government’s careless attitude for the dip in the female birth rate.

As per Maharashtra’s health departments’ report, the ratio of newborn girls per 1000 boys has gone down from 907 in 2015, to 899 in 2016.

Terming the state government’s approach towards the girl child as completely apathetic, Varsha Deshpande, a pioneer in the movement against the female feticide speaking to My Medical Mantra said, “This government is not at all serious about this serious issue. ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ is BJP’s flagship campaign. But, it looks as if the state government has forgotten this. The state government has no willpower left with them to save the girl child.”

Varsha Deshpande, who has done a number of sting operations to expose this corrupt practice of female foeticide said, “There is no coordination between government departments, Ministers whether it be Pankaja Munde or Deepak Sawant, they are not at all serious. Implementation of the PCPNDT act is not done in a proper manner. I am afraid, that if the situation remains the same the sex ratio would fall to 880 in coming years.”

The report which is based on the Civil Registration System, points out that the birth rate in Pune had an upward trend till 2014,which went down to 891 in 2015 and fell sharply by 53 points to 838 in 2016.

Speaking to My Medical Mantra, Dr Arokiasamy of International Institute of Population Science said, “In urban areas like Mumbai and Pune will have 100% birth registrations, but not in rural areas. Either child’s birth is not recorded, or the child isn’t born in an institution, resulting in incomplete data.”

Director of Health Service Maharashtra , Dr Satish Pawar said “It is very difficult to comment about this, as this data is not on the basis of 100 % registration. Data has been collected on the basis of births and deaths in various parts of Maharashtra.”

As per the figures available, 936 girls were born for every 1,000 boys in Mumbai in 2016; the corresponding statistic for Mumbai in 2015 was 926.

On the other hand, Bhandara district has shown a rise of 78 points, followed by Parbhani and Latur. Beed where female foeticide rates were still too high till 2011 is now showing considerable improvement.