Gagan K Teja, Tribune News Service
Patiala, January 11. The Health and Family Welfare Department, Patiala, claims there has been a remarkable improvement in the gender ratio in 72 villages in the district. However, inquiries by The Tribune reveal that there are several villages in the district where numbers of girls as compared to boys are either half (1000:500) or less than half.
As per the survey conducted by the Health Department in the district three months back on children in the age group of 0 to 6 years, there are 72 villages in which there has been a remarkable improvement in the gender ratio. The number of girls in these villages is higher than boys with Kulara village topping the district with 1,556 girls as compared to 1,000 boys. The other frontrunner villages are Easerheri with 1,394 girls, Aloona (1,384), Gurdialpura (1,375), Galwati (1,362), Bir Keli (1,357) and Nasirpur (1,316).
On the other hand, there are around 100 villages in the district where the number of girls is even less than half the number of boys. While Naina village of the district has the worst sex ratio with merely 222 girls against 1,000 boys, Mirzapur village and Ram Nagar have 231 and 250 girls, respectively, in comparison to 1,000 boys.
Patiala Civil Surgeon Dr Virinder Singh Mohi said they had already identified these villages and would exclusively focus on these villages for improving gender ratio. “Though this is not a great situation but one cannot take away the credit of those 72 villages that have shown spectacular improvement. Last year, there were 52 villages in which the number of girls was either equal to or more than boys, but this number has gone up by 20, which certainly is not bad. Now, we will focus on these identified villages and organize awareness camps and ensure strict enforcement of the PNDT Act for better results,” he added.
A senior doctor of the health department said that it was not the case just with Patiala, but there were many other districts where the sex ratio was worse than this. Patiala still has come a long way and the health department must acknowledge the efforts of these 72 villages.