Girl child population declining in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district

Baripada: Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district has hogged the limelight once again for its declining trend in the girl child population, an official source informed today.

Due to various reasons, the girl child population has been going down for the past few years, as compared to the population of boys. At least 39,720 children were born in Mayurbhanj during FY 2019-20, of which 20,225 were boys and 19,495 were girls, the Health & Family Welfare (H&FW) source said.

Expressed otherwise, the boy-girl population figures represent a ratio of 1000:964.

The population of girls had waned drastically in Bisoi block of the district, which was an alarming situation. In the same period, the boy-girl population ratio of Bisoi was 1000:768. Similarly, Badasahi, Kuliana, Bangiriposi, Baripada, Karanjia, Kusumi, Saraskana and Udala blocks of the district recorded a sharp diminish, although Gopabandhu Nagar, Jashipur, Morada, Raruan, Rasagobindpur Shyamakhunta and Bijatala blocks registered slight higher figure than the boy population.

Likewise, during FY 2020-21, 40,684 children were born in Mayurbhanj district, of which 20,670 were boys and 20,014 were girls. It means that the boy-girl population ratio was 1000:968.

During the same year, Suliapada recorded the birth of the least number of girl children and the population ratio stood at 1000:917. Baripada, Kaptipada, Jashipur, Rairangpur and Rasagobindpur blocks had registered fewer girl births, on the contrary, boy births were more.

As many as 39,164 children have been born in Mayurbhanj district in FY 2021-22 so far, of which 19,928 are boys and 19,236 are girls. Hence, the boy-girl population ratio was 1000:965. Moreover, Kuliana block witnessed the least diminishment in girl births during the same period.

So to say, the boy-girl population ratio in Kuliana block of Mayurbhanj was 1000:829.

Constant decline in the girl child population ratio in Baripada town over a period of three years is a reflection of serious gender unbalance, many medical experts and intelligentsia opined.

“Female feticide is a punishable offence. Despite strong laws being in force, lack of public awareness has given rise to such a terrible situation,” health expert Dr Rabinarayan Subudhi expressed.

Sex determination tests are being secretly conducted and pregnancies are terminated, the health expert Subudhi added.

Interestingly, Rairangpur of tribal-populated Mayurbhanj is the hometown of the First Citizen of India – Droupadi Murmu. She is regarded these days as the epitome of women’s empowerment.

Woman folks like Sushila Tiria, Saraswati Hembram, Sarojini Hembram, Mamata Mahanta, Basanti Hembram, Damayanti Besra, Sneha Soren and Purnima Hembram have glorified the district with rare feats in their respective fields.

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