April 2007 News

Quantum Jump In J-K Sex Ratio

24 April 2007
The Indian Express

Srinagar: In a welcome development, a recent survey by the Jammu-Kashmir Government has put Kashmir's sex ratio at 939 females for every 1,000 males, which is above the national average of 933. This is a quantum jump in the ratio as the state was ranked 25th on the sex ratio chart of the country in the 2001 census at 892, ahead only of Delhi (821), Sikkim (875), Punjab (874) and Haryana (861). The ratio for J-K has also grown considerably to 925 and at the 0-4 age group it's 932, but Jammu city and adjoining areas are still a major cause of worry. 'The last six years have witnessed an improvement in the sex ratio and most of it has taken place in the 0-4 age group,' Director, J-K Economics and Statistics Department, G A Qureshi said. The trigger for an interim survey, he said, was the 2001 census which created concern in the state about the fast declining sex ratio. However, the ratio in Jammu is still a cause for worry, with the province sinking to an average of 878. 'Foeticide is a growing trend in Jammu,' he said. Health Director Muzaffar Ahmad attributed the improved ratio to the success of the Government's strict enforcement of the law against Pre-Natal Sex Determination Tests. In J-K, sex test is a cognizable offense and carries a three-year term and a fine of Rs 5,000. 'We have hardly found a private clinic where PNDT tests are carried out,' Ahmad said. Kashmiri sociologist B A Dabla traced the redeeming differences to social factors. 'Despite the abnormal situation, there has been an inexorable trend towards women's empowerment in Kashmir. Women's participation in the workforce is no longer taboo. And this in turn has undermined the cultural notion of boys being the only livelihood earners,' he added. Leh dist against family planning <-b> Citing sharp fall in the growth rate of their population during the past one decade, various social and religious organisations in Leh district have started a campaign apprising Buddhists not to opt for family planning. The Ladakh Buddhist Association, which had spearheaded an agitation for grant of UT status to Leh, has written a letter to the Centre, state government and the district administration seeking exemption of Leh district from the implementation of family planning programmes.


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