Sex Ratio at birth in Jammu and Kashmir has increased from 918 to 921, according to Sample Registration System (SRS) Statistical Report 2020 released last week by Registrar General of India (RGI).
At the same time ten states in India have recorded a decline in the ratio, a possible indicator of pre-natal sex determination and sex-selective abortions
Pertinently India enacted a law in 1994 banning prenatal sex determination to curb the selective abortion of female foetuses, driven by a cultural preference for boys.
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 give birth to 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. More and more awareness is needed on the count. 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.
The officials 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.
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 administration needs to continue with efforts in achieving better results and there should be no room for complacency.