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Old April 7th, 2004, 07:58 PM
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India is 'missing' 35 million girls

India is 'missing' 35 million girls

New Delhi, Apr 7 (IANS) :

While politicians hold out the promise of a vibrant India this election season, activists debate the grim reality of India's declining sex ratio -- that the country is short by 35 million girls.

The latest census results, presented at a workshop on 'Sex selection and female foeticide' Tuesday, revealed that girl children were fast becoming "endangered" in India.

According to the 2001 census, the sex ratio in the age group of 0-6 had declined to 927 (per 1,000 male children) as compared to 1991 when it was 945. However, the overall sex ratio in India had improved marginally from 927 in 1991 to 933 in 2001.

This is far lower than the UN ideal of a society having more girls than boys.

"The ratio can be relaxed to allow 943-945 female children for every 1,000 male children," said J.K. Banthia of the national census board.

But India is far away from even that "relaxed" goal, with even less developed neighbours like Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan having better indicators.

There are clear indications that girl children were being selectively killed and female foeticide was happening all over the country, participants at the workshop said.

"There are 35 million girl children missing from India," said director Manish Jha, whose acclaimed film "Mathrubhumi" dealing with female foeticide was rated by Time magazine in the top 10 list.

"Even non-resident Indians who live in Canada have been known to go all the way across the border to the US to get sex determination tests done because it is banned in the country," said Jha.

Presenting figures of the 2001 census, the last one conducted by the government, Banthia disclosed that most of northern India suffered from a "terrible deficiency" in girl children.

In states like Punjab and Haryana, not a single district has what experts call "healthy" statistics. Punjab has a sex ratio of 793 and Haryana 820.

In these otherwise rich and prosperous states, there are districts where the count is less than 754.

"There are already cases in Haryana of girls being brought in for marriage from other states of India," Banthia told participants at the seminar.

Even in the capital Delhi, the figure is a dismal 865, with some areas showing a sex ratio of only 800 girls to 1,000 boys.

The northeastern states and certain places in southern India are better off.

Sikkim has a sex ratio of 938, Arunachal Pradesh (986), Manipur (975) and Nagaland (961). In the south, Kerala scores with a sex ratio of 963.

It has been noticed that the declining sex ratio is starker in the urban districts and among the upper middle classes of India, said experts, pointing to Haryana, Punjab and Delhi.

And technology, instead of improving the health status of the girl child, was being used to eliminate her with sophisticated techniques like scans and other sex determination tests.

"Women are the feeder population of tomorrow. If we do not have a fair number of girls in our country, soon we will be left without wives for our sons," said activist Satish Agnihotri.

http://www.newkerala.com/news-daily/...ents=1&id=9453
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Old April 8th, 2004, 09:59 AM
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there is a movie by Manish Jha called Matrubhumi-A nation without Women.

This is rather gruesome treatment of this theme, though...

http://www.indianfilmfestival.org/film04.html
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Old April 8th, 2004, 10:38 AM
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This seems very paradoxical :-

The more Indians progress, the more backward they get
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Old March 4th, 2018, 08:07 PM
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