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Number of girl children declines sharply in India
( 2003-10-21 14:18) (Xinhua)

Most of the districts in Delhi ( Old and New Delhi) of India record a child sex ratio (CSR) of less than 900 girls for every 1,000 boys, according to the Hindustan Times, India's leading English newspaper.

Ideally the CSR, the number of girls per 1,000 boys in the 0-6 age group, should be between 940-950 girls per 1,000 boys, according to a report compiled by the census commissioner's office and the Union Ministry of Health.

The report, "Missing...Mapping the Adverse Child Sex Ratio in India," was released on Monday by Health Minister Sushma Swaraj.Every Delhi district has fared badly: Northwest has a CSR of 854, West 858, South 886, New Delhi 882, East 868 and Northeast 867.

Till 1991, no district in the capital had a ratio of less than 900.Southwest Delhi, which the study calls one of the more prosperous districts + is the worst hit with the CSR plummeting to 845 girls per 1,000 boys.

Swaraj said the report revealed the discrimination that had permeated across society. "It has spread across all religions, in rural and urban areas, among the rich and the poor," she said.The ratio in the country's financial center Mumbai too is below the ideal mark, at 898.

In another big city of Chennai, it is a healthy 968. The worst decline in sex ratio, however, is seen in the states of Punjab and Haryana. As many as 10 of the 17 districts in Punjab record a drastic reduction to less than 800 for every 1,000 boys.

"What was seen as a trend in 1991 has become a disturbing reality in 2001," comments the report, based on the 2001 census data.In Haryana too, the situation has worsened since 1991, the year of the last published census.

Almost all districts have a CSR of less than 850. In all, 70 districts in 16 states saw a decline of over 50 points in the CSR between 1991 and 2001.Swaraj said large-scale awareness programs would be initiated to remove the growing discrepancies in the ratio.

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