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The Cry Of The Baby Girl: Who Will Come To My Rescue?

By Loveleen Kaur

09 September, 2008
Countercurrents.org

Women are susceptible to molestation, harassment, and rape, at work or otherwise often by strangers; the unknown people try to take advantage of the situation and attack women's dignity, confidence, independence and self-esteem. However the plight of the unborn girl is no less who is being attacked and killed at the place that is considered to be the safest. A female in the womb is as vulnerable as the women outside. The only difference is that those who would have given life to her – her parents exterminate her. She is the most unfortunate of the women community who is not even given a chance to open her eyes in the beautiful world and to breathe in the open air. She is punished for a crime that she is not responsible for…of coming into being…of not being a male. She is killed at the moment when she is just a biological being, a creation of nature. The population of the India rose 21% between 1991 census and 2001 census. The declining gender-ratio is alarming; in the 0-6 age group it declined from 945 girls per 1000 boys in the 1991 census to 927 during the 2001 census.

In Hindu mythology, mother is compared to the God; she is regarded as the closest living equivalent. If she can execute or be a party to such an act then one can surely imagine the level of corruption in our mind and in the society. One always comes across adulterated food, milk etc and now a new addition to the series- adulterated mother. The figure of love, nurture, security and care has become so wicked and cruel that she can kill her own child.

Human beings are the superiors of all species. Animals have almost similar drives and emotions, they eat, they drink, they crave for physical pleasure, above all they also show love for their young ones. One thing that they never display is the discrimination in the kids on the basis of their gender. It's never seen that a mother tiger hunts and feed only male cubs or mother dog brings food only for the male puppies. It is only in the superior species that such a crude preference is visible to the extent that parents on not conceiving the right gender can go to an extent of eliminating the child. Spiritual speakers also notified the fact that animals are at the inferior level of evolution; they only indulge in satisfying their physical needs. If the species that is not evolved much can understand the essence of motherhood, love- then it's a pity that humans after climbing the stairs of growth and development have unlearnt the basic lesson.

Some twenty years ago, the national television aired social messages to spread awareness and to bring about changes in the society. One such message was not to discriminate and deprive girls of food, education, and freedom, not to treat them differently from their brothers. Now after twenty years the society boasts of equality, women rights, quota in education, of not discriminating girls in terms of learning, health rather the society shows discrimination much before by restricting their rights of taking birth.

When a Kalpana Chawla enters space, nation took pride in taking ownership of her being Indian, when she died nation grieved of losing a valuable daughter, shed crocodile tears forgetting the fact that many such daughters die every moment, are not even given a chance to survive and they become mere facts and figure to be discussed at every census.

To encourage the births of girls the Bihar government rewarded the family where girl is born. It is a positive reinforcement from the government, but one thing that one fails to understand is that poverty cannot be the sole reason for the declining number of girls. Poverty stricken people who struggle to meet their both ends face equal difficulty in raising their sons. In the 62nd Independence Day speech Delhi Chief Minister Ms. Shiela Dixit indicated about Delhi government's laadli scheme where the family bearing a girl child would be supported monetarily for her rearing and education.

Such steps are required on the part of government. However the statistics show a different story, Punjab, Haryana that are among the richest states of the country show the least gender-ratio of 798 and 819 respectively followed by Delhi 868 and Gujarat 883 girls per 1,000 boys.

It's not always the poor who are to be blamed; the irony is that the people who indulge in such acts are educated, believed to be sensitive and responsible citizens, economically sound, who can afford the best of facilities for their kids, are in a position to feed and support a family are often difficult to lured with such schemes. When their education, resources and humanity are at stake what good such diminutive rewards would do.

Female infanticide, fetus killing, abortions and all such shameful acts done for want of sons are worse than assassinations and terrorist attacks that are carried out of frustration of a group of people against the people in power or against those with differences in ideology. Killing the unborn girl child simply shows greed and the desire for power.

In the patriarchal society, males are regarded supreme and often desired; anything related to males is superior and acknowledged, a mother of a male automatically becomes desirable and superior as against the mother of a girl-child. It is this illusion that has blinded the population that can see good only in possessing a male child. Instances are available in our ancient texts of the likes of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, in the former the king Dasharatha, a child-less king desired to have only sons and not daughters and in the latter when Pandu the king of Hastinapur came to know about his impotency also desired sons from his wife Kunti who was blessed with a boon so that she could invoke any god to have a child from him.

Sex- Identification is banned by the government yet private clinics informally conduct ultrasound to detect the sex of the child, they might not give the written reports but the information is communicated verbally either by the technicians who conduct this or by any of the staff members. In a detailed study of abortion of female fetuses it is found that the number of ultrasound machines in India is estimated to be nearly 100, 000.

This ban is similar to a ban on smoking in public places or a ban on usage of mobile phone while driving. The abortions and the fetus deaths have become a social evil and these cannot be removed from the society by making laws, they require attitudinal changes. Man is misusing the technological advancements in the medical field. It has become a threat to its own existence. "Involvement of the medical community in this criminal activity indulged in by parents of the unborn child and the doctors are 100%," says Delhi based fetal medicine specialist Dr Puneet Bedi. In the absence or insufficiency of one (females), the existence of the other is in fact irrelevant. Females are the one-half of the humanity, how can a society prosper on the ashes of these innocent lives?

No wonder some psychologists believe that sexual frustration and even incidents of road rage are manifestations and related to the fact of the inability of men to find wives due to the declining sex ratio. To carry forward the human species both male and female are equally required and this declining gender ratio if not altered will have serious repercussions on the growth and development of the country.

The author is a Delhi based human rights activist and a life skills trainer. A volunteer member of Amnesty International India, the author is also a freelance life skill trainer working for The Hindu-Newspaper in Education (NIE) Programme, New Delhi Edition.

Email for Reader Response: lovleenkaur@gmail.com

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