Fatehabad village tilts back gender ratio

CHANDIGARH: A nondescript village in Haryana, infamous for its skewed sex ratio, has shot into limelight by taking a lead in saving the girl child. In Dulat, a small village of Fatehabad district, 34 girls were born in 2009, in comparison to 16 male births registered that year. The figures have emerged after a due scrutiny of birth registration records in about 6,000 villages of Haryana.

The state health department has now decided to give the village a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh. It would be the first instance of such an award being given to a village panchayat in the state. “We want to encourage villages where sex ratio is extremely good. This is primarily to inspire neighbouring villages (to do the same),” said PK Das, state director, National Rural Health Mission.

Fatehabad civil surgeon OP Arya claimed that it was basically the result of people’s increased awareness of the importance of girls. Interestingly, Dulat sarpanch Nirmal Singh remains ignorant about his village’s rare achievement. Asked to comment on the turning tide, he shot back: “In a population of 2,200, how can we count the number of girls and boys?” On the positive side, more villages indicate an attempt to right the gender balance.

Figures with the health department reveal that Naru Kheri village of Karnal district has a sex ratio of 1,857 girls per 1,000 boys, Khori in Faridabad has 1,707 girls, Kabulpur in Rohtak, 1,545, and Ghiraye in Hisar, 1,403. “These villages have been given district level awards of Rs 1 lakh each,” said a visibly upbeat Vandana Gupta, deputy director, PNDT, health services. According to November 2010 figures. Haryana has a only 838 girls per 1,000 in the age group of 0-6.



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