Child sex ratio at birth has seen a sharp decline within Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) limits with female births per thousand male slipping to 904 in 2019 from 934 recorded in 2012.
The data, obtained from PMC’s health department, is based on births reported to PMC by various hospitals under its jurisdiction. It also shows that the child sex ratio at birth stood at 927 in 2018 and 926 in 2017.
Since 2001, when the sex ratio was recorded at 857, the numbers had consistently improved until 2011 when it reached 934, the highest in recent years. The ratio hovered in the ranging between 925 and 930 until 2018, when it was recorded at 926, before seeing a sharp decline last year with just 904 female births registered per 1000 male births.
The data also shows that PMC registered a decline in overall birth registrations in 2019, with a total of 44,990 births (23,630 male and 21,360 female) from 55,516 births (28,815 male and 26,701 female) the previous year.
As per the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4), 2015-2016, the child sex ratio was 991 in India. The statistics for Maharashtra was recorded at 952 and that of Pune district stood at 953. In Censys 2001, the ratio in the state was recorded at 913, which had dropped to 883 in Census 2011.
Referring to the drop in the child sex ratio, activist Vivek Velankar said, “The fall in sex ratio at birth generally indicates prenatal sex determination. PMC’s health department should take strict action to prevent prenatal sex diagnosis and illegal abortions. I have requested the Municipal Commissioner Shekhar Gaikwad to investigate into the matter and take actions to correct this worrisome situation.”
Dr Kalpana Baliwant of PMC, meanwhile, said that the ratio reflects only the births at hospitals. “Child births at home have not been taken into account.”
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