Girls born to grave

By Sanjay Unni

Varun and Vandana were staring at the monitor intently. Sweat drops were clouding upon their young faces. She was 20 weeks pregnant and they were in a small clinic in Chennai. They were eagerly waiting to see the image of their unborn baby for the first time. Varun had his eyes glued upon the monitor as the doctor checked the fetus’ heart. Varun who was a leading businessman in the town wanted to know something for which he had lost his sleep since Vandana’s pregnancy. The sex of the child.
When the scan was over the doctor revealed the news that the baby was a girl. The disappointment in both the parents was evident. While Vandana’s eyes welled up as she thought of the fate of her baby, Varun walked towards the doctor and called for an abortion.

Female feticide has casted a dark shadow upon India. Almost Ten million girls have been killed by their parents in India in the past 20 years, either before they were born or immediately after. A UNICEF report says 7,000 fewer girls are born in the country every day than the global average would suggest, largely because female fetuses are aborted after sex determination tests and sometimes through murder of new born.

“Congrats! You have been blessed with a baby girl!”

This has been a shock siren for many families in India because girls are seen as liabilities by many Indians, especially due to the banned but rampant practice of dowry, where the bride’s parents pay cash and goods to the groom’s family. Though determining a fetus’ sex is illegal in India, several clinics across the country surreptitiously agree to conduct tests and reveal the sex of the fetus for a price. And the feticide has another price tag!


Who is killing the girl child? – Their own parents. In some states in India, newborn girls have been killed by pouring sand or tobacco juice into their nostrils. The minute the child is born and she opens her mouth to cry, they put sand into her mouth and her nostrils so she chokes and dies.
They bury infants into pots alive and bury the pots. They hang them upside down like a bunch of flowers. In some cases, the births were unregistered in urban hospitals. Whereas in villages, delivery is conducted by a village midwife who later kills the unwanted babies.
Usually lack of awareness and illiteracy are the reasons why such crimes still plague the society. But it is very sad to know that more than 60% of the people who get involved in female feticide/infanticide are well educated! We have people fighting for stray dogs on the road. We have more passion for tigers in this country. But we have a whole society that ruthlessly hunts down girl children. Imparting strict laws by the government is very much necessary in the current scenario. Inability of many families to look after the girl child is also a reason. Providing proper care for the infants and allowing the mothers to go for work is an initiative towards prevention of such atrocities.

India is a country which worships female deities and boasts of a tradition which gives equal importance for men and women. Every life has the right to live; every girl born has the right to be loved.

You live because of your mother
You become a parent because of your wife
Love and respect the girl child

Sanjay Unni is a die hard movie fan who loves instruments and music rather than instrumentation. He utilizes his class hours to bring his world of imagination to paper. He loves to smile and spread the smile.

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