Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 16:
The Odisha government would expedite the “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” campaign in view of the alarming decline in the Child Sex Ratio (CSR) in the state, an official said yesterday.
The decision was taken at the first meeting of a task force headed by Chief Secretary GC Pati constituted after the implementation of Odisha State Policy for Girls and Women, 2014 here on Wednesday.
“The Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao campaign will be expedited in the districts as the child sex ratio of girls has slumped significantly. We will focus on Nayagarh district to improve the ratio as the figures have dropped beyond expectations,” Women and Child Development department secretary Saswat Mishra said.
As per information available on Ministry of Women & Child Development, Government of India website (www.wcd.nic.in), Nayagarh district in Odisha is among 100 low CSR (Child Sex Ratio) districts among all states and union territories, based on 2011 census data. The district is identified under the “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” campaign as one of the 100 critical districts in the country.
A two-year Sex Ratio at Birth (SRB) target for Nayagarh for 2014-15 was fixed at 870 and 880 for 2015-16.
As per 2001 census, there were 904 girls per 1000 boys, which further dropped to 855 in the 2011 census. Notably, the national CSR is 918 as per 2011 census.
It may be noted here that the child sex ratio of girls as compared to boys has declined in a majority of districts in the state. State Health Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak had also informed the Assembly during the session in November last year on the gravity of the issue and presented statistics for the last four years that painted an alarming picture of the problem.
Based on report by Civil Registration System, the minister had said that there were 911 girls per 1000 boys in the state in 2010. It came down to 902 in 2011, 896 in 2012 and 886 in 2013. In 2014, it further dropped to 880.
As per the report, Kendrapara tops the list of having low child sex ratio (CSR) in the state. In 2014, 719 girls were born per 1000 boys in the district. Ganjam district held the second position with 794 girls.
The average girl child ratio in Nabarangpur and Sonepur districts was 965, the average in Malkangiri Mayurbhanj and Deogarh was 938, 939 in Kandhamal, 934 in Bolangir, 925 in Boudh, 912 in Gajapati, 945 in Kalahandi, 929 in Keonjhar, 943 in Koraput, 947 in Nuapada, 945 in Rayagada, 911 in Sambalpur and 909 in Sundargarh districts.
It may be mentioned here that the child sex ratio is calculated in the age group of 0-6.
The Central government had taken a cue from Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s government in Madhya Pradesh where the latter had launched Beti Bachao Abhiyan in 2007. Moved by the success of the campaign to save the girl child, the NDA government at the Centre launched the “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” (Save Daughter, Educate Daughter) scheme in January this year in Panipat district of Haryana, a state with one of the poorest sex ratios in the country.