Chandigarh: Haryana has both good news and bad as far as the state`s skewed sex ratio is concerned.
First, the good news. As per the data by Census 2011, the state has reported a rise in the sex ratio - 877 females per 1,000 males, the best figures in the last 110 years. The last census in 2001 showed the sex ratio to be 861. Within a decade, the sex ratio has increased by 16 points.
Since the first census in the country in 1901, the latest provisional figures have shown a marked improvement in the state`s sex ratio.
But now, the bad news.
Haryana ranks lowest among all 28 states on the sex ratio front. Against Kerala`s high of 1,084 females per 1,000 males, Haryana reports a sorry number of just 877.
"In Haryana, the sex ratio of 877 in Census 2011 is the highest since 1901. Among the neighbouring states, sex ratio of Punjab is 893 and of Himachal Pradesh 974," Haryana`s Director of Census Operations Neerja Shekhar said.
The sex ratio recorded in the census carried out after every ten years from 1901 to 2001 was 867, 835, 844, 844, 869, 871, 868, 867, 870, 865 and 861.
Though the state of Haryana was created Nov 1, 1966, the sex ratio figures of earlier census includes the districts of erstwhile Punjab, now part of Haryana.
But officials in the state are seeing a silver lining, even though the state`s sex ratio figures in the bottom of the all-India list.
"Haryana is one of the nine states in the country in which the child sex ratio (0-6 years) has also shown an increasing trend. In all remaining 27 states and union territories, the child sex ratio has shown a decline over that in Census 2001," an official said here.
"As per Census 2001, the sex ratio of Haryana at birth was 819 females per 1,000 males. However, as per provisional census report of 2011, Haryana has been able to arrest the declining trend. The 0-6 years child sex ratio had increased to 830 per 1,000 males," Shekhar added.
State Chief Secretary Urvashi Gulati said that although sex ratio figures, compared to the 2001 numbers, are encouraging, a lot remains to be done.
With a ban on sex determination tests, health officials in Haryana had conducted over 11,600 searches in private clinics and health centres to see if there was any violation of the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PNDT) Act.
Among Haryana`s 21 districts, the best sex ratio has been achieved in the backward districts of Mewat (906) and Fatehabad (903), while the industrialised districts of Sonipat (853) and Gurgaon (861) figure at the bottom.
The Haryana government is attributing the increase in sex ratio to strict implementation of the PNDT Act. Health officials have been conducting raids at private health centres and clinics across the state to curb sex determination tests. The state government has also floated several schemes for the girl child, including the Ladli Scheme, which provides for financial incentives to poor parents who have a girl child.