Embrace Girl Child: An Angel In My Home


I still recall the excitement to find out the sex of my baby during the 19th week of my first pregnancy, as revealed unhesitatingly by the ultrasound expert in Sydney, Australia nine years back.

However, the mindset of a developing nation like India is a far cry from that of a developed nation. The craving for a male child in our nation has led to an imposition of a ban on revealing the sex of the unborn child. This prevents the inhuman killing of yet to be born girl child.

It’s a high time that we break from this irrational orthodox mind set which drives Indian parents to yearn for a son, who have been assumed to act as a pillar of support for their old age.

Our honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi will soon launch a slew of measures to tackle this gory business of illegal identification of sex in pregnant women and hence curb female feticide in order to balance the lopsided sex ratio.

November 14, the auspicious birth anniversary of Jawaharlal Nehru will witness the launch of the girl child welfare scheme. The “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” (save the girl child, educate the girl child) scheme would initially encompass 100 districts of India, which represents the worst sex ratio and hence needs a complete overhaul. This program would be spearheaded by the Ministry of Women and Child Development.

According to the decennial Indian census, the sex ratio in the 0-6 age group in India went from 104.0 males per 100 females in 1981 to 105.8 in 1991, to 107.8 in 2001 and to 108.8 in 2011.

The ill effects of the skewed ratio would reflect in delayed or reduction in marriages due to less number of women of marriageable age.

Maneka Gandhi, the Women and Child Development Minister will actively promote girl child through various modes of protection. The finer nuances of the scheme would be materialized after her discussion with senior district officials in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh on October 31.

Pregnant mothers will be encouraged to embrace the girl child with open arms. People informing about the miscreants involved in operating illegal identification of sex in clinics would be rewarded and acknowledged for their noble service.

Narendra Modi has earmarked an expenditure of Rs.100 crore in the 2014-15 budgets for harnessing public support. The government’s target is to bring down the declining ratio by 50 points annually.

In my opinion, a girl’s life can be endowed with endless possibilities instead of trampling her desires with the responsibilities of marriage and motherhood. The government’s support and innovative measures can also be extended across myriad challenging stages of her life, which can empower the girl to be the bread earner and shake the conventional thought of considering the son as a source of future financial strength.

The beautiful lines penned below by Soumitra Sarkar Ray, a poet, will hopefully break the shackles of our deep seated prejudices.

Two separate world’s union
Pure love was the reason
You called me your drop
That floated high on top
A face unseen unrecognised then
Became the core of far mundane
When lasted long the play
All were expectant and gay
A guest—a new face
A design—a new race
Through the layers of blood and clay
on appearing in flesh one day
I could feel the jest of rain
Will see all wait slowly drain
Growing in shells in shine
Borrowing from you in line
You named me ‘light’ in delight
And closed your eyes at night
Glitter of joy gathered indoor
ninth month was drawing close
wait for a moment to know
you also joined the flow
A child—A girl
A voice—A show
All glows went dull
To know that I was a girl
Everybody’d dream for a flame
Now became a mother’s blame
Those ragging waves of protest
Mother why didn’t you detest?
Scale the pain, count the tears
Sin is to slay a soul before it rears
Altar of frozen progeny
Stood a figure for mutiny
Kill not show some mercy
I am life—I am beauty
This world could not see
My fear, my smile and me
My thoughts are not greater
It grows in small diameter
Save me – I am beauty
A prayer—a seed of maternity
I want to thrive—a light
I want to live—my right. 

Narendra Modi is about to embark on a beautiful journey, for which he will most likely receive the blessings of millions of women and a salute from the mother earth.

Niti Tandon

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