Female foeticide up, adoption of girls rise

In an irony of sorts, while the female foeticide has become a major cause for concern with a declining male-female ratio, there is a “great demand” to adopt girls. The woman and child development ministry treats the sex ratio, particularly in the 0-6 age group, as the basis to determine female foeticide. From 962 in 1981 to 945 in 1991, the 0-6 age group sex ratio is further down to 928 now at the national level with states like Punjab (793), Haryana (820), Madhya Pradesh (931), Delhi (865) and Rajasthan (909) faring poorly.

“It is a serious crisis of disappearing daughters in states like Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and the traditionally notorious Haryana and Punjab. Even in south Delhi, inhabited by the most affluent sections, the problem is alarming while the dubious trend is catching up in north-eastern states,” Union minister of state for women and child development, Ms Renuka Chowdhary, observed. She even referred to Andhra Pradesh but the state minister for women and child welfare, Ms Nedurumalli Rajya Lakshmi, was quick to retort that sustained efforts by the state government have yielded positive results.

In fact, the current sex ratio in Hyderabad district is 1,014 girls for 1,000 boys in the 0-6 age group — up from 933 earlier, Ms Rajya Lakshmi revealed. A crackdown on pre-natal diagnostic centres helped arrest the dangerous trend of abortion of the girl child. At present, the state average is 978 girls for 1,000 boys in the 0-6 age group. A joint secretary in the women and child development department pointed out that about 70 to 80 per cent of children adopted in the country were girls. “In 2007 as many as 2,405 children were adopted and 2,409 in 2006. More than 70 per cent of the adopted children were girls,” the official said.

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