As a country, India has pretty much left no stone unturned in announcing its arrival onto the big stage. Today, no discussion on the lines of economic strength and resurgence can be rendered complete without mentioning the name of one of the largest democracies on the face of the Earth. With amazing space-development programs at the behest of the incredible ISRO, a resounding up and coming Make-in-India program that promotes the idea of going local and supporting homegrown manufacturing, a mega IT system whose tentacles reach every nook and corner of the world and a vibrant culture of entrepreneurship that touches nearly all sectors that hold immense importance, India, it may not be wrong to say, is omnipresent.
Yet, there exists somewhere a ghastly evil that has caused a general air of malaise where there exists positivity and prosperity. How can one take the concern of sex ratio lightly in an India where each day we unfailingly bat for the cause of the female gender and the girl child?
A recent news report has, once again, highlighted the grimy evil that the country is yet to win a war against. And as it turns out, a recent study, covered amply in the news media suggests that India is yet to better its poor sex ratio with second and third births. The central theme to this already-existing concern is that what appears to be an already skewed sex ratio isn’t getting any better, the numbers analysed from 2005-16 suggest.
During such time, which, unfailingly covers over a period of a decade, as many as 5.5 lakhs births were analysed in different households, under the National Family Health Survey- part 4.
The study carefully highlighted the point that the sex ratio at birth generally increased. It ranged from 107.5 boys per 100 girls– Birth Order 1- going to 112.3 boys per 100 girls for third borns and beyond.
The prime concern at the heart of India’s troubling sex ratio is the still the preference of having a boy child in the family, a deeply-routed evil that’s marred the betterment of what appears to be a troublesome scenario.
Those credited with this finding happen to be the researchers from India’s International Institute for Population Sciences and the University of California San Diego’s Centre on Gender Equality and Health.
Now, moving on, let’s understand how have different states fared this time around in the context of the growing cause of concern:
If one were to talk of a region-wise performance, then it helps to know that North of India fares the worst in contributing to the skewed sex ratio (the score being 116), followed by West, Central, South, and Northeast, with the ratings of 111.4, 109.2, 107.5, and 105.8 respectively.
What must be duly noted is that it is the urban region in India where the sex ratio at birth is the highest, not the rural India. The statistic pertaining to the former reads: 111.4 boys to 100 girls.
The Times of India, elaborating on the said finding published the following information that’s worth noting:
Data showed that SRB was well within the normal range when community-level fertility was above 2.8 children per woman (103.7). It jumped to 111.9 among mothers in communities where average fertility was 1.5 children per woman or lower. “The research shows that at birth order 3 or higher, increase in mother’s schooling was associated with higher odds of a male birth. Increase in mother’s education was, however, not associated with increased odds of a male birth at birth orders 1 and 2,” said Professor Abhishek Singh, one of the lead researchers from IIPS. So, smaller and wealthier families were more prone to sex selection.