“We don’t love the girl child,” is the message emanating from these villages in the hills of Uttarkashi. Shockingly, in the last 3 months, of the 216 children born across 132 villages of the region, not a single birth of a girl child has been recorded.
Social worker Kalpna Thakur told news agency ANI, “This is a no girl district. It clearly indicates that female foeticide is taking place on a large scale, for zero girl childbirth simply cannot be just a coincidence.”
The birth registration records of the state health department show that in 3 months, 51 deliveries were recorded in Dunda block, 49 deliveries in Bhatwari block, 47 in Naugaun block, 29 in More block, 23 in Chinyalisaur block and 17 births in Purola block. Of all the children born, not one was a girl child in the 132 villages of these development blocks of Uttarkashi in Uttarakhand.
“Such sex ratio data raises serious questions about implementation of the ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ program,” points out Shiv Singh Thanval, a senior journalist. “No girl child born in 3 months. The district administration needs to wake up and take strict action to put an end to what clearly is female foeticide taking place,” he added.
The data raised an alarm for the district administration. District magistrate Ashish Chauhan convened an emergency meeting that was attended by ASHA workers and Gopal Rawat, the MLA of Gangotri assembly segment.
Directing the ASHA workers to increase vigilance in the district, Chauhan said, “areas where girl childbirth is zero or in single digits have been identified. Monitoring has been intensified and a detailed survey will be conducted to study and identify the reasons for such births being recorded.”
In June, in reply to a question in the Lok Sabha, the ministry of women and child development demonstrating the success of flagship ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ program had presented the data that between the year 2015-16 to 2018-19, sex ratio at birth had increased from 923 to 931 girls at birth per 1,000 boys in the country.
Strikingly, the ministry reported that the top 5 states with the highest rise of sex ratio at birth among all 25 states recorded in 4 years (2015-16 and 2018-19) was:-
- Lakshadweep:- 832 to 891, an increase of 59 girl child births per 1,000 boys
- Andaman & Nichobar Islands:- 890 to 948, an increase of 58 girl child births per 1,000 boys
- Goa:- 918 to 954, an increase of 36 girl child births per 1,000 boys
- Uttarakhand:- 906 to 938, an increase of 32 girl child births per 1,000 boys
- Nagaland:- 904 to 936, an increase of 32 girl child births per 1,000 boys
Where Uttarakhand has recorded a remarkable increase of 32 girl child births per 1,000 boys in the last 4 years as per the data of Ministry of Women and Child Development that was presented in the Lok Sabha recently, but if the data of no girl child birth being recorded in some Uttarkashi villages in recent months is credible, the ground reality is alarming.