Declining sex ratio in Balasore district has left social engineers worried. As per the latest health survey, the district has recorded 957 girls against 1,000 boys, which is just above the State average of 934 girls.
Simulia has the lowest sex ratio among 12 blocks of the district. It has 820 girls against 1,000 boys. The child sex ratio of the district is also not an encouraging sign. It recorded 941 girl children per 1,000 males.
The district has a population of 23,17,419 which includes 11,84,371 males and 11,33,048 females. It has child (0 to 6 years) population of 2,74,432. The officials, however, claimed the sex ratio was not alarming as it is above the State average.
Terming the decline as an “emergency”, social activists are of the opinion that there is lack of political will to address the issue, requiring a national policy.
They said sex ratio had been declining because of the increasing female foeticide.
“Declining sex ratio is the reflection of the degradation in our social system, which has to be taken into consideration and addressed. Besides, the Government has to take measures to curb this decline,” said Dilip Kumar Parida, secretary of Famass, a social organisation.
The other factors essentially responsible for contributing towards the declining sex ratio are preference for son and dowry.
The mushrooming ultrasound clinics and easy detection of sex are also contributing to the declining sex ratio.
Though the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Technique (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act has been in force since 1996, it has not proved effective in checking the declining sex-ratio, mainly due to poor implementation and low conviction rate of medical professionals found guilty.
“Regular raids on the private clinics, ultra sound centres and action against their owners would discourage people from going for abortions. Besides, the Government and NGOs should hold awareness campaigns to sensitise people about its adverse impact on society,” said activist Sk Sophia.