Dakshina Kannada’s skewed child sex ratio worries district administration

Source: TNN | Published on 14th November 2019, 1:38 PM | Coastal News |

Mangaluru: In spite of Dakshina Kannada (DK) being a highly literate district in the state, the child sex ratio here is a cause for worry. In DK, the male to female ratio in the age group of zero to six is 1,000: 947.

The data stirred up a debate during a daylong workshop organised by the Dakshina Kannada district administration on ‘Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act’, here on Wednesday. It was attended by various stakeholders including radiologists and government hospital doctors from Udupi, Dakshina Kannada, Kasaragod and Kodagu.

Dr Ramachandra Bairy, director, DST (health), Surathkal, speaking on PC-PNDT, said that the 2011 census has revealed that the sex ratio in Dakshina Kannada for the 0-6 age group is 947:1000, whereas the state ratio is 948:1,000. “This is worrying, especially in DK, which is known for its high literacy rate and is a developed district in South Karnataka. In Mandya, it is common for many people to prefer a male child. However, there is no such thing in DK, yet we are not able to understand why there is such a gap in the sex ratio,” he said.

Neighbouring Udupi, which has the same social, cultural and other factors, is far better than Dakshina Kannada in this regard. “Both districts are culturally the same, and practice a matriarchal system, but the sex ratio figures in DK and Udupi are different. If the upcoming census report does not show any improvement, then we must take serious action in this regard. We need area-based sex ratio to understand the problem,” he added.

He also pointed out that districts like Mandya, Chikkamagaluru and Kodagu, which have less imaging facilities, have a good sex ratio, whereas Dakshina Kannada is home for many such facilities, but the sex ratio is skewed here.

Sindhu B Rupesh, deputy commissioner, Dakshina Kannada, said that the district has a decent adult sex ratio, but the child sex ratio is alarming. “It is surprising that Dakshina Kannada has no child marriage problem, practices a matriarchal system and the people here don’t have any preference for a male child, yet the sex ratio here is skewed. There may be multiple reasons for this. According to me, it may be a sociological issue, and we need to introspect about it,” she said.

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