oppn parties Saving The Child And The Girl-Child

News Snippets

  • Centre sanctions Rs 15000cr for Covid19 emergency response, part of it immediately and the rest over a period of four years in mission mode
  • RBI says Covid-19 has "drastically altered" the growth outlook in India
  • Third coronavirus death in the Dharavi slum in Mumbai
  • Odisha becomes the first state to extend the lockdown until April 30. Schools and colleges in the state to remain closed until June 17th
  • The Supreme Court orders all coronavirus testing, including by private labs, to be done for free, says will look into the matter of reimbursement for private players at a later date
  • Former Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Akhtar proposes an Indo-Pak ODI series to raise funds for fighting coronavirus
  • Maharashtra government says many Tablighi Jamaat members who attended the Markaz and returned have gone into hiding
  • West Bengal government identifies hotspots in Kolkata and the rest of the state, inclined to extend the lockdown in those places only
  • Prime Minister Modi holds a video conference with floor leaders of opposition parties, hints at extending the lockdown
  • UP seals hotspots and makes masks mandatory
  • Masks made compulsory in Mumbai, violators will be arrested
  • ICMR says an infected person can infect 406 people in 30 days without social distancing and lockdown
  • Stock markets make a smart recovery. Sensex up by record 2476 points on global cues
  • Schools, colleges and shopping malls likely to remain closed for a further period of one month, says empowered group of ministers
  • PM Modi tells BJP workers that India is in for a long battle against the coronavirus and there is no scope to feel tired or defeated
Total Covid-19 cases rise to 5734 on Thursday and the death toll stands at 166, says the health ministry in its daily briefing
oppn parties
Saving The Child And The Girl-Child

By Linus Garg
First publised on 2018-09-19 07:00:46

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.