Authorities in India have raised concern after none of the 216 children born across 132 villages in one Indian state over the last three months were girls.
Officials in Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand state have reportedly launched a probe over fears parents have been having sex-selective abortions, a practice of terminating a pregnancy based upon the predicted sex of the infant.
The 132 villages with no female births have been placed into a “red zone,” meaning that future population data coming from those villages will be scrutinized with more care.
“It is shocking to have a zero girl childbirth rate in 132 village of the district, as we have rarely heard of seen any incident of female foeticide in the hills,” said legislative assembly member Gopal Ravat.
“I have directed the health department to find out the real cause of such alarming figures and to take serious action to resolve it,” Ravat said, adding that the government planned to launch a “massive awareness campaign” seeking to reverse the trend.
India’s last population census was carried out in 2011 and found a gender gap in births, with 943 females born to every 1,000 males across the country.
Ashish Chauhan, Uttarkashi’s district magistrate, said the rate was ‘suspicious and has highlighted female foeticide’ according to the ANI news agency.
‘We have identified areas where the number of girl childbirth is zero or in single-digit numbers.
‘We are monitoring these areas to find out what is affecting the ratio. A detailed survey and study will be conducted to identify the reason behind it’ he added.