Data released from the Office of the General Registrar and Census Commissioner shows that our society still prefers baby boys instead of baby girls. As per data, children are being born less in the country, but at the same time the number of girls compared to boys is also decreasing. The total fertility rate (TFR) came down to 2.2 in the year 2017 which was 2.3 in 2016. The number of children a woman can give birth during her reproductive period is called TFR.
Over the years, the trend of fewer children in villages and cities has increased in all states and this is why TFR has registered a decline. This decline is in accordance with United Nations estimates, which have been revised downwards in recent years. The two states of the country have seen only exceptions to the country’s declining fertility rate. First is West Bengal and second is Jammu and Kashmir. TFR has increased in urban areas of these two states.
In the Sample Registration System (SRS) report released in 2015, it was estimated that in the year 2022, India will overtake China to become the most populous country in the world, but in the report of 2019 said that India will overtake China by 2027. Despite the significant improvement in TFR, the sex ratio in the country has worsened. There was a continuous improvement in the sex ratio from the year 2010 to 2013, but after that it is declining. In 2013, 910 girls were born per 1,000 boys, which reduced to 898 in 2017. By 2015, it had fallen more in cities but now the situation in the rural areas is getting worse.
According to experts, under normal circumstances the sex ratio may vary from 10 to 15 at birth, but if this difference is high then the only reason is the use of “sex selection technology”. According to Poonam Mutreja, executive director of the Population Foundation of India, the use of “gender selection technology” is currently the biggest reason for the declining population of girls. In recent years, Indians have started wanting less children, but their priority is only son.
Former Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian had said during Economic Review speech for the financial year 2017-18 that Indians still want boy instead of girl. As per Economic Review, the sex ratio for last child in states such as Punjab and Haryana is less than 500, indicating a major danger related to demography. The sex ratio at birth is already lower in cities than in villages, but according to SRS data the situation has worsened in recent years in Telangana, Delhi, Kerala and Bihar.
From day one, girls’ lives remain in danger. Parents and other relatives miss no chance to kill them. Recently in Muzaffarpur in Bihar, many children died due to eating Litchi in empty stomach. The number of girls among the dying children was more, because the parents of the children had given food to the boys at night, but not to girls. Some ingredients lie in Litchi impact negatively due to not eating at night, which later on becomes the cause of death. Obviously, parents are responsible for the deaths of the girl child.
Due to giving preference of boys over girls in poor states, there is a lack of nutrition in girls. Even in the more urbanized states, rich families prefer boys over girls. Due to negligence or lack of care in the country, the number of girl child is decreasing continuously. In some states of India, such as Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, etc. Even today, cases of killing of girls continue to come to light. Because of this, the number of girls in these states is less than boys. As a result, girls are being bought from states like Bihar, Jharkhand, Eastern Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.
According to the 2011 census, the percentage of educated people in India is 74, of which 65 percent is of women, but in reality the percentage of educated is reflecting only in the figures. Education through RET has been made mandatory in India. In order to increase the number of children in schools, lunch has been arranged. Children are also being given money as an incentive. Bicycles are being distributed. Despite this, a large number of girls are dropping out midway of their schooling. The reasons for leaving school are shocking. To get rid of them, they are married them in their childhood. Many parents sell their daughters. These things are happening more in backward states.
Women are the basis of creation, but in our country still women are not given equal status. Yes, it has been said in the Vedas and Puranas that no pious work can be accomplished without a wife, but in reality our malevolent society has always considered women as inferior, whereas, the son runs the dynasty, has no scientific basis. In a Meghalaya, a girl child of Khasi tribe runs dynasty. The head of the family is the mother and the male bears the mother’s surname, but there is no treatment of stepmothers to boys like the discrimination being done to girls in other states of the country.
No parent wants a daughter in our society. If the daughter is born by mistake, then the parents as well as the brothers do not give any priority to her. Our society considers daughter and sister a burden. The father feels that the daughter will have to educate and will also have to give dowry. He is not ready to bear the double responsibility, while the brother feels that the sister will become his responsibility after the father’s death. He also feels that his share of property will be passed on to the sister. Not only this, our society is so much skeptical that the mother of sons does not want to give her son in the lap of mother of daughters only. A mother of daughters is considered synonymous with bad omen, but in contrast, all men want a girlfriend and a wife.
It can be said that girls will continue to be killed in the womb until we change our attitude towards women. In many cases the woman becomes the enemy of the woman. Mother takes care daughter, but consider daughter-in-law her competitor. Such a mindset also needs to be changed. Against this, system like dowry will also have to be abolished. In this connection, men and women should change themselves, only then good days will come for women.
By Satish Singh
(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of AFTERNOON VOICE and AFTERNOON VOICE does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.)