Infamous for its skewed sex ratio, Haryana – in a first — has shown a noticeable scaling up in its sex ratio. In March this year, it touched 950 girls for every 1,000 boys as per a New Indian Express report.
The state’s Chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, announced the good news and also proudly mentioned that the number has never gone up like this before. Even district-wise, the data showed an increase, he said.
For a state that endorses female foeticide, now is fighting to gain an equal gender stat, is surely an improvement. But before we engage in celebrating the news, a latest investigation campaign team declared these ‘remarkable’ numbers a hoax, Outlook reported.
The Times of India reports that in this highly gender imbalanced state, eight of the 10 districts misreported the number of girl child born. Some districts justified the rise in the number of newborn girls by registering the female births on priority in the quarter under review, while male children were registered in the next quarter to exploit the denouement.
After the state claimed “remarkable” numbers, an audit was started by the ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ campaign team to check any foul play.
The audit, which began in April proved the cynics true. It found out that Panipat, which ranked second in the January-March list, has reached a sex ratio of 1007:1000 (girls : boys), had overshot the reality by 135.
Wherein the actual number is 872. On the other hand, Narnaul, which had come third in the ranking, reported the birth of 968 girls, was revealed as having only 841. Similarly, the district of Jhajjar (949) is now down to 845, Sonipat (948) came down to 870, Kaithal (939) is now 890 and Faridabad (926) was lowered to 872, according to the Times of India report.
Sources said such inflated numbers could be achieved by enlisting the girls born on a priority basis and leaving the boys for the next quarter. “On priority, staff registered all girls born, which delayed the registration of boys. This reflected in the sex ratio and it appeared there has been a tremendous improvement. But it would have eventually been corrected because the boys too are being registered, although a little late,” an unnamed official told The Times of India.
Again, another error was noticed, Hisar has reported a ratio of 933 which has been corrected to 932.
Rakesh Gupta, the additional principal secretary to the CM and the state coordinator for Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, said, “At any given point, there are 45,000 pregnant women in the state on an average. Some officials have shown a tendency to make up data and we are conscious the data should be accurate. By the end of the year, all data will be accurately compiled and we are expecting the overall sex ratio to remain around 935 to 950 this year.”
“These figures should not be given a lot of importance because they fluctuate a lot,” said R C Bidhan, Deputy Commissioner, Jhajjar. “We should focus on annual data and that has been improving for the district as well as the state. Two years ago, Jhajjar’s sex ratio was 760. It reached 884 last year,” he added.
Vinay Singh, Deputy Commissioner of Jind, that also saw its reported number (889) corrected to 865, said, “Around 98% children born in the district are registered along with Aadhar card and it is unlikely there can be a mistake. However, we will check with the civil surgeon and take necessary action if there is a discrepancy.”
So far, a total of ten districts have been audited. They are Panipat, Narnaul, Jhajjar, Sonipat, Kaithal, Hisar, Sirsa, Faridabad, Gurgaon and Jind.
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