Welcome to the world of save girl child, promising yet gloomy, hopeful, yet in despair. The hand that rocks the cradle, the procreator, the mother of tomorrow; a woman shapes the destiny of civilization. Such is the tragic irony of fate, that a beautiful creation such as the girl child is today one of the gravest concerns facing humanity, with a volley of summits, conferences and events held for the cause, with topmost world leaders at the helm.
India is growing dynamically in every field. Today, the boom in economy, innovative technologies and improved infrastructure has become nation’s pride. The country has witnessed advancements in all fields but bias against a girl child is still prevailing in the country.
This social evil is deep rooted in Indian ethos and the most shocking fact is that the innovative and hard high end technologies are brutally killing the Indian girl child. Innovative techniques, like biopsy, ultrasound, scan tests and amniocentesis, devised to detect genetic abnormalities, are highly misused by number of families to detect gender of the unborn child. These clinical tests are highly contributing to the rise in genocide of the unborn girl child.
In today’s day and age most couples prefer the process known as a planned pregnancy, because of various factors; prime amongst them being the financial well being to support the birth and nurturing of a child. In such cases, the first prenatal visit actually happens prior to actual pregnancy, to see whether one is ready to go off the contraception pills and conceive a baby.
However, in maximum conceptions, one is unaware of the pregnancy until actual realization dawns after one skips the first menstrual cycle. Normally doctors except ladies to pay their first visit anywhere between the sixth and twelfth week after conception.
Amniocentesis started in India in 1974 to detect fetal abnormalities. These tests were used to detect gender for the first time in 1979 in Amritsar, Punjab. Later the test was stopped by the Indian Council of Medical Research but it was too late. The benefits of these tests were leaked out and people started using it as an instrument for killing an innocent and unborn girl child. Many of the traditional women organizations also took up cudgels to stop this illegal practice but all failed and with the passage of time these tests became a major contributor to bias against a girl child.
Female feticide and infanticide is not the only issues with a save girl child in India. At every stage of life she is discriminated and neglected for basic nutrition, education and living standard. When she was in the womb, she was forced to miss the moment when she was supposed to enter the world. At the time of birth her relatives pulled her back and wrung her neck. After killing her she was thrown into a trash can.
During childhood, her brother was loaded with new shoes, dresses and books to learn while she was gifted a broom, a wiper and lots of tears. In her teenage, she missed tasty delicious food to eat and got only the crumbs. During her college days, she was forced to get married, a stage where illiteracy, lack of education resulted in high fertility rate, aggravating the condition of females in the country. Again if this female gives birth to a girl child, the journey begins once again. She missed all roses of life and was finally fitted to a graveyard. That’s where she got peace of mind.
The nation of mothers still follows a culture where people idolizes son and mourns daughters. UN figures out that about 750,000 girls are aborted every year in India. Abortion rates are increasing in almost 80% of the India states, mainly Punjab and Haryana. These two states have the highest number of abortions every year. If the practice continues, then no longer a day will come when Mother India will have no mothers, potentially, no life.
We all are proud citizens of India. The need of hour is to realize our responsibilities and give a halt to this evil crime. What can we do to curb the brutal and undesirable practice of mass killing girls? A determined drive can initiate a spark to light the lamp and show the world that we all are part of the great Mother India..
'Perseverance and inspiration often leads to privilege but without hard work and dedication they'll be no success. The hardest profession to take in life is being a girl child. Discrimination and discrepancy are two most important factors that hamper the journey of every female from the earliest stage of life. Starting from her presence into her mother’s womb to infancy, childhood and finally to adulthood, she is outnumbered by the male dominating society of the country.
India is a country where social disadvantage outweighs natural biological advantage of being a girl. A whole range of discriminatory practices including female foeticide, female infanticide, female genital mutilation, son idolization, early marriage and dowry have buried the future of the nation. In India, discriminatory practices have greatly influenced the health and well-being of a girl child, resulting in a higher mortality rate.
It is believed that every year 12 million girls are born in the country but unfortunately only 1/3 of those survive. Some are killed in the womb, some at the time of birth, some die due to ill health and some due to poor nutritional status. Only a few numbers of girls are able to survive till their 15th birthday.
Female feticide and infanticide are the most popular social evils prevailing in the country. This evil is the outcome of poverty, illiteracy and gender discrimination. The country fails to understand, how a mother can be so ruthless and vulnerable. It is said that God created mothers because He could not be present everywhere. Its unbelievable to realize that a God’s representative is continuously killing someone beautiful even before she can come out and see the beauty of nature.
It’s painful to confess that the trend still exists in various parts of the country. States like Maharashtra, Haryana, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Punjab are most popular for practicing female foeticide and infanticide.
Poverty, gender discrimination and son preference have also influenced the nutritional status of a girl child. There are almost 75 million malnourished children existing in the country. It is estimated that 75% of the total malnourished children are girls who show signs of chronic and acute malnutrition.
Girls who manage to cross this hard phase of life, gets trapped by the evil society during adolescence and teenage. These are the stages where more nutrition is required for normal growth and development. Unfortunately, nutritional needs are neglected for girls and they are often kept locked within the four walls.
Exacerbate discrimination against female for nutrition and education has led to an increase in child marriage, reduction in fertility rates and population growth, potentially, women’s participation in nurturing the future of every nation.
Improper nutrition during adolescence results in various reproductive health disorders. The effects of these disorders further exacerbates by early marriage, closely spaced pregnancies, poor access to information about family planning, traditional practices, etc.
Girl child is the future of every nation and India is no exception. A little amount of care, a handful of warmth and a heart full of love for a girl child can make a big difference. Close your eyes, free your thoughts and hear the voice of God, He is saying something to all of us, “Save Me”.
The fact that girls are being murdered quietly after sex determination tests, what can one say of rights of girl child in India? As per UNICEF guidelines the girl child must get equal opportunities to education, medicine, healthcare facilities and workplace.
Although the democratic constitution and laws state there have to be equal and full opportunities, the girl child, if she survives barley gets to see her 15th birthday. Out of the 15 million baby girls born in the country, every year nearly 25% of them do not reach their 15th birthday.
India has been one of the first countries to introduce family planning in 1952. The tragedy lies in the misconception that a male heir is all that is needed. But how many people realise that to have the male heir, a woman is needed to reproduce. Biologically she is the carrier of the child.
In many homes across the country, girls are treated with indifference. Daughters are considered as liabilities. Outside one sex determination clinic in Haryana, it was written, pay Rs. 50 now rather than pay Rs. 50, 000 later (as dowry). Women have no power themselves even though they have legal recourse. It takes guts for a woman to stand up against her husband, in-laws or parents if she meets with dowry problems or sexual violence. Child marriages restrict the girls and their rights. There is malnutrition, poverty, high illiteracy and infant mortality ailing the society today in India. Only 40-50 percent women get antenatal care. In Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharastra, Orrisa and Gujarat the registration for health services for mother and child are low (5-22% in rural) and (21-51% in urban) areas.
A pregnant woman is dependent on the mother-in-law and husband for any treatment that she needs. Atrocities against women has risen. Every 26 minutes a woman is molested. Every 34 minutes a rape takes place. Every 42 minutes a sexual harassment incident occurs. Every 43 minutes a woman is kidnapped. And every 93 minutes a woman is burnt to death over dowry. One-quarter of the reported rapes involve girls under the age of 16 but they are never reported.
The government’s initiative of saving the girl child has started with a ‘palna’ (rocking cradle). It is not a rocking scheme. The NGOs and other agencies working to save the girl child from becoming victims of infanticide feel this could be a way that parents who give birth to the girl and leave it in the government’s care! The scheme has sent wrong signals to poor parents! In Tamil Nadu where the scheme started off has not been so successful.
Girl child education in India : The constitution guarantees free primary school education for boys and girls up to 14 years of age. But till today, only 39% of girls and 64% of boys get education in Bihar, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. If women teachers were increased chances are that girls in rural areas would continue to study. As girls get enlightened, they will raise better families.
India is one of the few countries where selective sex gender bias exists till today. The onslaught of feminism has not allowed Indian women to revolt against the century old systems. For centuries together women have played their roles of being the provider and sustainers of families without even a thank you note at the end of their lives. It has been proven in India and other countries where ever women have been given freedom they have changed the world and made a better place to live in. Consider these facts:
Education and training helps the woman to hone her talents. She can earn more money. Women have the ability to put the money earned in further education. They also spend the money of better healthcare for children and families. Men on the other hand are spendthrifts. When they earn they spend it on vices and make hell for their families. The economic status of the woman gives her a better social understanding. An educated woman is likely to defend herself better than an illiterate one against men, crimes and abuse. Once she knows her rights she can also approach the courts. Many daring women have taken such recourse to bring men to task.
It is only a woman who understands that weather a male or female child, it should be healthy and given equal status. A woman has the power to end the evil of dowry system also. As girls are given a chance to live there will be control in population. Families will be small, healthy better educated and happy. Today’s woman has to be given the confidence to live. She will eventually be a balanced mother. The craving for the ubiquitous male heir has to vanish. Discrimination between the male and female child have to end for ever. Educated Indians have to behave responsibly and set an example for one another.
The Ministry for Welfare of Woman and Child in India says, ‘don’t kill your girl child. We will look after her.’ It is an embarrassment for all of us if we fail to protect the rights of the girl child. India has examples of women who have risen from the ashes like phoenix and done the country proud. India can be poised and shining only if the girls are given an opportunity to prove their talents. In education they have been toppers consistently against boys. A girl is like a flower to be nurtured.
She is a goddess to be revered. She is mother earth that sustains the very breath of humanity. How can man even think of killing her in the womb? It is said in the Bhagwat Gita that the karma of the past catches up. For those who have killed their daughters mercilessly they will go through the same fate. But the woman whose tender heart continues to nurture will still give a chance to evil to redeem. Unless India gives women a chance to survive, it would fail as the world’s largest democracy.