Skewed sex ratio, ICDS has egg on its face in Pulwama


The Pulwama office of the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) has released a report that pegs sex ratio in southern Kashmir much above the national index. The wrong figures have become the talk of the town and many are ridiculing the department for releasing such skewed numbers. Sex ratio, measured as total number of females per thousand males, is an important demographic character showing status of women in society. The data depicts sex ration for Pulwama during current year at 1018 which is the highest value ever recorded for the district and greater than national index which stands recorded at 945 females per thousand males.

Majaz Maiser Wani, a scholar, who conducted a research project on declining sex ratio in Pulwama said that such an increase is not possible in a year. He said that if the figure is taken true then Pulwama has surpassed Vietnam, which has registered highest sex ratio in the world. He said that the sex ratio of Vietnam is only 978 females per thousand males for the current year.

“This seems a hypothetical figure prepared only to save your skin,” Wani said, adding that Pulwama shows a decline in sex ration since 2001. He said that in 2001 Pulwama achieved third position on sex ratio index among all district of Kashmir, then fell down to sixth position in 2011.

 “The trend continues though literacy rate of the district has increased significantly,” he said. The chief medical officer, Pulwama, Dr.Talat Jabeen, also negated the figure saying that it is not possible to achieve in a single year. The office also records their own data on sex ratio.“We have shown this figure as 943. Our record is more accurate as we have a proper procedure to register new births in the hospitals as well as in the society,” she said.

When asked how he would explain the abrupt increase in sex ratio for current year, the programme officer of the ICDS Pulwama, Mohammad Ashraf, expressed his inability to talk on the issue. “This time I am in Srinagar on deputation as liaison officer for a New Delhi based team. I can furnish you details on Monday,” he said.

As per data prepared by office of programme officer ICDS Pulwama sex ratio for the district declined from 989 to 949 on moving from 2011 to 2014, it recorded a high of 984 in 2015 and then again dipped to 949 in 2016.

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