Girls in Punjab villages now number more than boys

Child sex ratio in 75 villages in the state improves drastically

In Punjab, which has always been in the eye of a storm for the alarming incidences of female foeticide, contempt towards a female child is definitely not the order of the day anymore.

As many as 75 villages in the state have recorded a phenomenal rise in child sex ratio. Figures compiled by the state health authorities recently, suggest that in one of the villages, the number of girl children is almost twice the number of boys.

Punjab has one of the lowest sex ratios in the country. The state has drawn flak for the high incidents of female foeticide as well.

Officials said that child sex ratio in the state is beginning to improve because of the implementation of strict procedures, including thorough monitoring of women during their pregnancy.

“Besides, scrutiny of diagnostic centers and hammering of medical practitioners indulging in sex determination tests have set the pace for making amends,” officials said.

Incentive

As an incentive, the state government has honoured all the 75 village panchayat’s that helped in boosting the tainted image of this border state. Each village got a cash reward of Rs 1.5 lakh.

The Belandhiyani village in Ruponagar district of Punjab occupied the top slot with a child sex ratio is 1,825 girls per 1,000 boys. Mandukla village in Punjab’s Kapurthala district came second with 1,778 girls per 1,000 boys.

Mohinder Singh, the proud sarpanch of Dango village in Ludhiana said: “I am  filled with a great sense of accomplishment to see this turnaround take place.”

Though the improved child sex ratio gives marks a new beginning, overall sex ratio in Punjab is a cause of concern. An optimist, Punjab Health Minister Madan Mohan Mittal said females will outnumber males in the state by 2015.

Mittal said the sex ratio has improved to 848 females per 1,000 males from 791 females per 1,000 males earlier. “It is expected to further improve to 900 by the end of March next year,” the minister said.

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