oppn parties Saving The Child And The Girl-Child

News Snippets

  • Crude prices fall sharply as Saudi Arabia assures normal production in a few weeks. Prices fall by 5.4% to $65.30 per barrel
  • Sensex tumbles 700 points over fears that rising crude prices will deal a body blow to the tottering Indian economy
  • As Rajeev Kumar fails to appear before the CBI despite several notices, the agency forms a special team to locate and apprehend him
  • S Jaishankar says Pakistan is not a normal neighbour and its behaviour is a "set of aberrations"
  • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar says PoK in Indian territory and the country hopes to have physical jurisdiction over it one day
  • Barasat Sessions court near Kolkata rejects Rajeev Kumar anticipatory bail application citing lack of jurisdiction as the reason
  • PM Modi celebrates his birthday with Narmada aarti and later has lunch with his mother.
  • All 6 Bahujan Samaj Party MLAs merge with the Congress in Rajasthan
  • Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee to meet PM Modi on Wednesday, state issues on the agenda
  • Pakistan to open Kartarpur corridor on Nov 9
  • Rajeev Kumar, ex-police commissioner of Kolkata and wanted for questioning in the Sarada scam does not appear before the CBI despite the state administration requesting him to do so
  • Supreme Court asks the Centre to restore normalcy in J&K but keeping national interest in mind
  • As Trump accepts the invitation to attend a programme in Houston with PM Modi, India rushes to settle trade issues with US
  • After drone attack on Aramco's Suadi Arabia facility, oil prices jump 19% in intra-day trading causing worries for India
  • Imran Khan raises nuclear war bogey again, says if Pakistan loses a conventional war, it might fight till the end with its nuclear arsenal
Sunni Wakf Board and Nirvani Akhara write to the Supreme Court for a negotiated settlement to the Ayodhya dispute
oppn parties
Saving The Child And The Girl-Child

By Linus Garg

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Linus tackles things head-on. He takes sides in his analysis and it fits excellently with our editorial policy. No 'maybe's' and 'allegedly' for him, only things in black and white.
In one of the most heartening reports to have come out in recent times, it is seen that child (and infant) mortality rate in India has gone down substantially. The under-five mortality rate (U5MR) has gone down from 43 per 1000 in 2015 to 39 in 2016, a decline of 9% in just one year. In absolute terms, it meant that 120000 fewer children died in 2016, bringing the number under-1 million for the first time ever.

The second and even more important and happy fact is that the gender gap in these deaths is progressively being reduced. Previously, a lot more girls used to die than boys. It is still the same story, but the gap is being reduced and even reversed in some states. The current U5MR by gender is 37 per 1000 for male children and 41 for females. It has been reduced to 11% from as high as 17% two years back. States like Chattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat, MP, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Telangana have reversed the trend.

This is a combination of two factors – policies followed by the government and a realization in Indian society that a girl is as important and valuable as a boy. The government has focused on better hygiene, good medical facilities, RMNCH+A (reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health) interventions under the National Heath Mission, vaccinations and strengthening of service delivery. This has yielded dramatic results. Separate toilets for girls at schools, toilets at home (which negate the need for open defecation, a possible and strong source of female genital diseases) and the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao campaign have all created awareness that the health of girls is important.

On the other hand, more and more parents are now not concerned about the gender of their unborn child. Clinics across India that surreptitiously conducted the banned gender determination tests have reported drastic fall in business. Lesser people are aborting girls in the womb. Although discrimination in providing facilities for the girl-child still exists, happily the trend is being reversed. Parents are spending more to take care of the girl-child’s health and education. If this trend continues, girls will have their rightful place in society in not too distant a future.