Odisha Witnesses Fall In Child Sex Ratio

Bhubaneswar: As the world observes International Day of the Girl Child on Tuesday, Odisha seems to be facing a disturbing scenario as the child sex ration (CSR) has been declining in the state over the past five years.

What has become a cause of concern is that the state has been witnessing such a trend despite an improvement in the child sex ratio nationally, reports said.

As per the Sample Registration System (SRS) Statistical Report 2020, the sex ratio -females per 1,000 males – at birth for children born in the past five years in Odisha has gone down by 23 points from 948 in 2014-2016 to 925 in 2018-2020.

Odisha’s CSR is still better than the national average as it went up from 898 to 907 during the same period. Among 22 large states, the CSR dropped in Bihar, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Telangana, Uttarakhand and West Bengal, while Odisha’s fall was the steepest.

According to the National Family Health Survey-5 (2019-2021), released in November 2021, Odisha’s child sex ratio was 894, showing a sharp fall from 932 in NFHS-4 (2015-2016).

Odisha’s Health Secretary Shalini Pandit said that the state has adopted a two-pronged strategy for stricter implementation of the Pre-Conception and Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques (PC & PNDT) Act, 1994, coupled with a rigorous awareness drive. “We are immensely focussing on enforcement through the PC & PNDT Act and information, education and communication activities,” Pandit was quoted by TOI as saying.

The state has recently announced financial incentives up to Rs 25,000 for sharing information about illegal sex determination tests.

According to sociologists, the approach of blaming sex determination tests only for skewed child sex ratio may not be the right strategy. It is noticed that more and more people are opting for a single child even if it is a girl.

Voicing concern over the falling sex ratio, Chairperson of Odisha State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (OSCPCR), Sandhyabati Pradhan said the commission is maintaining a close vigil on the situation.

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

Comments are closed.