Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal clicking a selfie with girls as they called on him to thank him for launching `Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao’ campaign at his residence in Chandigarh on Friday, July 17 2015.
(Source: Express archive)On Tuesday, while extending Beti Bachao Beti Padao to 61 more districts, the Minister for Woman and Child Development Maneka Gandhi announced that 49 of the 100 districts that currently fall under the scheme have registered a positive trend in Sex Ratio at Birth (SRB).
The strong preference for sons is especially evident in some Indian states, but the practice of sex-selective abortion to ensure a male child has been documented in many parts of India and among Indians living abroad.
In China, 94% of unmarried people aged 28 to 49 are male, 97% of whom have not completed high school, and there are worries the inability to marry will result in psychological issues and possibly increased violence and crime."A consistent pattern in all three countries is the marked trend related to birth order and the influence of the sex of the preceding child," state the authors.If the first or second born are girls, couples will often sex select to ensure the second or third child is a boy.In 2005 in China, "it was estimated that 1.1 million excess males were born across the country and that the number of males under the age of 20 years exceeded the number of females by around 32 million," writes Professor Therese Hesketh, UCL Centre for International Health and Development, London, United Kingdom with coauthors.In India, similar disparities exist, with sex ratios as high as 125 in Punjab, Delhi and Gujarat in the north but normal sex ratios of 105 in the southern and eastern states of Kerala and Andhra Pradesh.The preference for sons has deep roots in India for cultural and economic reasons.