Jammu and Kashmir has registered an improved sex ratio from 936 for period of April-March 2014-15 and 942 for 2019-20, as per latest available report of Health Management Information System (HMIS), data of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare). It also suggests an improving trend of 16 points at National level from 918 (2014-15) to 934 (2019- 20).
The government says that Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) Scheme, aiming to address declining Child Sex Ratio (CSR), calculated on decadal basis by Registrar General of India through Census, and related issues of empowerment of girls and women over a life cycle continuum, have paid dividends.
The scheme aims to prevent gender biased sex selective elimination, to ensure survival and protection of the girl child and to ensure education and participation of the girl child. The key elements of the scheme revolve around media and advocacy campaign and multi-sectoral intervention in selected districts. In Jammu and Kashmir, all districts fall under aspirational districts identified by NITI Aayog for intervention under BBBP Scheme.
As per the evaluation report of NITI Aayog, the scheme has been able to generate significant mass- mobilisation to eliminate gender discrimination and valuing the girl child. The scheme has been able to develop many good practices and community-level initiatives, it says.
The skewed sex ratio is man-made through selective sex determination with the aim of getting rid of the girl child, early death due to neglect and infanticide. But there is no reason why things cannot be set right and the achievement of the BBBP scheme has shown it.
While selective achievements are important, they cannot always be a sign of overall progress. The government needs to continue with efforts in achieving better results and there is no room for complacency. There are connected issues which need attention to achieve better results while awareness about the BBBP scheme needed to be accelerated.
While consequences of a falling sex ratio are well documented, there is a need to alleviate and bring to an end to the fear of violence which as per a study is a cause for female foeticide. Also the women who produce daughters face much more domestic violence which makes them complicit in getting rid of the girl child, the survey says. There is also a need to change the thinking and promote girl children and women in all fields. There is a need to work in the endeavor by one and all and give a stronger message that let the girl child be born and live up to her full potential.