India’s 2011 census report has many heartening things to say. More educated men and women indicate a surge in literacy. People are living longer than ever before. Stability can be seen in the size of family; couples are having fewer children. One exception to this hunky-dory picture is the steep fall in the number of girls. There are only 914 girls, 6 years old and under, for every 1,000 boys — not shocking if one considers that as many as 60,000 girls go missing every year. To use the word missing is a misnomer: The girls are killed often as soon as they are born in a society obsessed with boys. Many are aborted in the womb. According to statistics, the sex ratio in India may be less slanted than it is in China. But while China’s ratio has stabilized, India’s is showing a disturbing trend. The gap between the number of boys and girls is widening alarmingly.
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