Sex ratio
Indian girls hold candles during a vigil in New Delhi. The vigil was held to protest the alleged maltreatment of the girl child across India. The protesters claim girls in India are subjected to inequality and neglected reflected in a negative sex ratio and lesser access to food, health and education. [Representational Image]Reuters File

In a brazen act of insensitivity, a body of a newborn girl was found dumped in a cardboard box in the posh Gogji Bagh area of Srinagar, just a few metres away from the lone maternity healthcare facility, Lal Ded Hospital.

Shockingly, the child's body was naked under the prevailing extremely cold conditions and was spotted by locals.

The Station House Officer of Rajbagh police station, Ayaz Rasool, while confirming the incident told the Free Press Kashmir that an FIR has been registered and the investigations are underway.

Despite the statewide awareness drives under Prime Minister's Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao (BBBP), the Jammu and Kashmir government has witnessed a sharp decline in child sex ratio since 2001, according to a survey conducted by the Union Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation in 2018.

There have been repeated cases of girls being left in maternity hospitals or on the roadside in both urban and rural districts of J&K. The religous sensitisation drives have clearly not worked as well.

The current child sex ratio (number of females per thousand males in the age group of 0-6 years) stands at 862 in comparison to 964 in 2001, witnessing a decline of 8.4 per cent.

The national child sex ratio at birth stood at 903 girls for every 1,000 boys, which is still poor as per the parameters laid down by the world health organisation. India's child sex ratio is the fifth worst in the world currently.

According to WHO, the normal child sex ratio falls in the range of 943-980 girls per 1000--- boys and any value lower than that is reflective of the gender discrimination against the girl child and girl infanticide, female foeticide cases.

India has banned the determination of foetal sex under Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act (PC & PNDT) of 1994. However, the rising cases of sex selective abortions and female foeticide is indicative of a rampant violation of this law by both the general public and health professionals.