ibnlive » India

Apr 30, 2011 at 11:30am IST

J&K: drastic decline in girl child numbers

Srinagar: Major embarrassment for Jammu and Kashmir as the state that once boasted of the best sex ratios in the country is now reporting a drastic decline in the numbers of the girl child.

The government has now cracked down on illegal clinics that allegedly conduct sex-determination tests. This crackdown came after the latest census revealed a shocking statistic in the sex ratio.

The number of girls per thousand boys has decreased from 941 to just 859 in the state. The most drastic decline is in Leh, just 583 girls per thousand boys. An alarming figure compared to the 2001 census which reported the population of girls was higher than boys in 6 districts.

Because of the increasingly skewed sex ratio, a concerned Union Health Ministry has urged its counterparts in Jammu and kashmir to act tough and to act fast to solve the mystery of the missing girl child.

The State Health Department has now sealed more than a hundred unregistered diagnostic clinics which allegedly conduct sex selection tests.

Dr Saleem Rehman, Director, Health department, Kashmir, said, "We are talking to our legal persons and we have already closed 75 clinics till date and the process is on...if there is gross negligence, we will be even making arrests."

The question, however, remains whether these measures are enough or not?

"When you don't limit the number of the people who are authorized to establish these clinics...then to check them, inspect them and follow them becomes very difficult...I think the SRO has to change," said Dr Zahida, owner of a private health clinic.

An embarrassed state government is now mulling over introducing tougher laws to check the falling numbers of the girl child in Kashmir.