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Female Foeticide Continues To Be On Rise In India

Even though the government of India launches several welfare schemes for women and children, India still struggles to check the female foeticide, which continues to be on the upward mark. //

While the government launches programmes for women and children to mark International Women's Day Wednesday, the girl child in India struggles for survival even before she is born with incidents of female foeticide on a continuous rising graph.

Ironically, child sex ratio in the age group of 0-6 years has been inversely proportional to development in the country, declining by 18 points from 945 in 1991 to 927 in 2001.

And the national capital has the dubious distinction of having a ratio even lower than the national average at 865 girls per 1,000 boys in 2001, a steep drop from 915 in 1991. In fact, Delhi has the fifth lowest child sex ratio in India after Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh.

"Female foeticide in the country is increasing because it has taken the shape of an organised crime and has not remained only a socio-economic problem," Puneet Bedi, activist and practicing gynaecologist, told IANS.

He said the problem was spreading rapidly because it remained unchecked, but also because doctors had started acting as criminals who kill a child for money.

It has nothing to do with education levels or ignorance. The problem, as Bedi put it, was more amongst the affluent who see sons as "ladders" to garner wealth. "Since people want smaller family they prefer a male child."

The assertion is more than borne out by a break up of Delhi's colonies. While all the nine districts have recorded a decline, the problem is hugely exacerbated in the more upscale colonies in the southwest district, for instance, where sex ratio has declined by 59 points in the 10 years between 1991 to 2001.

Six of Delhi's nine districts recorded a decline of 50 or more points -- southwest (-59), northwest (-59)
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