Steep decline in Udupi's sex ratio worrying trend, says DC

Steep decline in Udupi's sex ratio worrying trend, says DC

Deputy Commissioner (DC) Dr R Vishal said although Udupi maintains a high sex ratio in the country, the sudden massive decline in the sex ratio is worrisome and demands immediate attention.

Speaking after inaugurating the district-level one-day workshop for officials on laws pertaining to women and children, the officer said that Udupi is a literate district and stands at the top of the Human Development Index.


“There are 1,095 females for every 1,000 males in the district as against the national data of 946 females for every 1,000 males and State data of 943 females for every 1,000 males. However, when compared to the 2001 and 2011 census reports, one can notice that there is a massive decline in the number of females in Udupi district. In other districts, the number has gone up, while in Udupi, it has come down. Udupi has the steepest decline in the gender ratio. It has decreased from 1130 females to 1095 for every 1000 males. The skewed gender ratio is a matter of concern, the deputy commissioner added.

Pointing at various causes for the decline in the sex ratio, the officer opined that the one-child norm or migration might be the reason behind the decline. Although there is greater awareness on the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, the sudden decline in sex ratio tells a different story altogether. The Community Health Department in KMC, Manipal has been assigned with the responsibility of looking into the issue and submitting a report, he added.

Emphasizing on the emergence of extensive awareness on laws available for the protection of women and children, the DC said there are laws such as Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005, Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act and Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention/Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013. Women should be aware of these laws which help them.

Women with confidence may also get into trouble and in such difficult moments, they may not be able to fathom the legal measures that need to be followed. In most cases, the FIR would be registered and also the charge sheet filed. However, during prosecution, proper evidence will not be submitted and convictions will not take place, lamented the deputy commissioner.

‘Awareness needed’

He said when it comes to child sexual abuse, the parents, guardians and children should be properly educated. A one-stop center will be set up in Udupi for which funds have already been released. It would be a counselling centre for women who are victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

A committee, headed by a female officer, has been set up under the Vishaka guidelines to address sexual assault and molestation cases among female government officers. Currently, the zilla panchayat chief executive officer is heading the committee, Dr Vishal added.

Renny D’Souza, member of Juvenile Justice Board, Dakshina Kannada, said that in 29 cases related to the POCSO Act, majority of the accused are known offenders. The children should be sensitized against safe and unsafe touches, he advised.DH News Service