Thursday, March 31, 2011

We need Education, not just Literacy

Just now I was reading the report on 2011 census on The Hindu website. I wanted to know a specific statistic, something which has bothered me for different reasons at different times. When I was a child, I was just curious to know how many girls per 1000 boys are there in India. But today, I look for the child sex ratio, to know how we are faring at being humans. Because the number now gives, more or less, an idea of how many girls are being aborted in the country.

Yes, very sadly, the static I wanted to know about read: 'Child sex ratio in 2011 is 914 female against 1,000 male — the lowest since Independence.'

And right after that, was another statistic. 'According to the data, literates constitute 74 per cent of the total population aged seven and above and illiterates form 26 per cent. The literacy rate has gone up from 64.83 per cent in 2001 to 74.04 per cent in 2011 showing an increase of 9.21 per cent.'

So, we have the highest literacy and the lowest child sex ratio by the new census. A little Googling gave me this data: 'At the Census 2001, sex ratio of the population in the age group 0-6 years has been registered as 927, in India, declining from 945 in 1991 and 962 in 1981.' (Source:

Now we are more literate, more well-to-do, have more means, and kill more girls, even before they are born. It's sad that we still are not able to believe as a nation that girls can be equal to boys, that girls ARE equal to boys. As a result of literacy, we are able to do whatever we want, but we still are not educated enough to know what is right and should be wanted. The end result is the same again, to move ahead, we need to change a lot, but above all else, we need to change our mentality. I can only hope that by the next census there is more education and not 'Just' literacy, so that we are able to make progress. Equally.

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