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The declining sex ratio of Indian cities, even the capital city of Delhi




The problem of an adverse sex ratio is a ticking time bomb that has already been exploding in some parts of India. It is a social problem that has been present now for decades, and the Government claims that it is doing everything it can to bring about equality. This includes education programs for people to ensure that they respect the girl child, money incentives to ensure that people bring up their girl child (which also ensures that people get a lump sum at the time of the marriage of their girl children), and removal of the ways in which people learned that the baby in the womb was a girl, and did an abortion. As the last step, the determination of whether the foetus was a girl through ultrasound is banned throughout India, and anybody who helps or asks for sex determination is liable for prosecution.
However, all these measures do not seem to be working. In many parts of North India, and in the cities where you expect more value for the girl child and more education, the sex ratio seems to be falling. A result of what a bleak sex ratio can be seen in many parts of Haryana and Rajasthan where there are no more brides for many of the eligible bachelors and they have to import brides from Bihar and other parts of the country. Even in a city that is seemingly the center of power, and where you would expect a lot of education, Delhi seems to be falling behind, and the sex ratio is really worrisome (link to article):

Provisional data of Census 2011 has laid bare Delhi government’s claims that its ‘Ladli’ scheme launched in 2008 has fixed the Capital’s skewed gender ratio. The data has registered only 866 girls per 1,000 boys for the Capital, far below the national average of 914 girls and the internationally accepted standard ratio of 952 girls per 1,000 boys.
But the number of newborn girls kept falling. “New Delhi, south, north and southwest Delhi revealed falling sex ratios. This trend is not limited to the rural pockets but also urban rich neighbourhoods, such as south Delhi,” said Varsha Joshi, director of census operations, NCT of Delhi. “The figures indicate that the rate of sex selective abortions is going up and there is probably no or little mechanism to check this,” she said, adding, “schemes like Laadli have not really had an impact.”

However, the measures that the Government have taken have not really had an impact. The social status of girls in the country has always been low, and recent trends do not seem to have really had an impact. The enforcement is something that is also in question. A recent study indicated that inspite of the laws, ultrasound sex determination is carried out (corruption allowing such ultrasound centers to continue), and even the forms that are necessary for abortions do not have the required information, and the collection of such forms does not really lead to any sort of inspection that would ensure that the laws were carried out.
Unless more radical steps are taken, and the fear of the law really put into the sex determination centers that are running unlawfully, one can only expect that the sex ratio problem will only get more dangerous.




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