Stop female feoticide

Indira Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Kalpana Chawla all these special names have one thing in common, “they were all women”. Killing the girl child by making pre-birth investigation is the social sin destroying the roots of the Indian society.

In today’s time matured couples plan for their child right from the beginning. “Small family happy family” is the rule in inclination. Lesser number of children in the family though helps to decrease the rising population of the country but at the same time leads to increase use of infanticide. Every child on this earth is having equivalent right, but the Indian society always considers a girl child as a load right from the beginning till the end of her life.

Infanticide has curbed the nation to such an extent that daily 7000 girls are killed in India and in the past 20 years, 10 Million Girls has been killed. Female feoticide involves the pre-birth determination of the sex of the child and if the sex is “female”, the child is aborted. This practice is in action in both rural and urban areas, but due to poverty and illiteracy, its occurrence is more in rural areas. Whereas, the urban population is quite aware and open minded, who raise their voice against such “orthodox sin” prevailing in the Indian society. The reasons behind the continuous and exceeding trend of this evil act are:

•        Son preference
•        Dowry system
•        Orthodox society
•        Illiteracy
•        Poverty
•        False use of technology

•    Birth of a male child is considered as an auspicious occasion in the Indian families, because the family name is carried on by a male child in many societies. It is a “view” of the traditional and cultural people in veil of “myth” which is in action since a long time.
•    Secondly, people believe a girl child make the parents to face the monster of “dowry”. It is common in country either in direct or indirect manner, finally leads to poverty.

•    Thirdly, there are still some sections of society which are highly conventional especially the geriatric population who emphasize on “male child” and take it as prosperity for the family. Conservative and superstitious thoughts of old people finish the life of a little girl in the womb of the mother

•    Fourthly, the illiterate people consider “female” child as a burden. Besides that, they blame “mother” for the birth of girl child, which is actually not true. The mother has a tendency to give birth to any sex, because she has XX sex chromosomes. On the contrary, the father has X and Y sex chromosomes, which is actually responsible for the sex of child. If the “X” unites with “X” it results in girl child, and if “X” unites with “Y” it results in boy child.

•    Fifthly, “poverty” which is one of the parameters behind the decreased growth of nation is responsible for female feoticide. Increased number of male in family results in more earning hands and more bread and butter, whereas increased number of female in family results in more hungry stomachs.

•    Last but not the least is the subject of false implementation of advanced technology- pre-natal diagnostic techniques such as: Amniocentesis, Ultra-sonography, Foetoscopy, etc., were used to determine the genetic or birth abnormalities but now-a-days they are used for examining the sex. The doctors on cost of ethical values of their profession are running the dirty business of pre-natal sex determination. This act as a main reason behind the higher mortality rate of girl child and declining sex ratio.

Laws: In year 1994, the Government of India passed the Pre- conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act for stopping female foeticide. Due to slow execution of this act, it was later amended and replaced in 2002 by the Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act. PNDT is “An Act to provide for the prohibition of sex selection, before or after conception, and for regulation of pre-natal diagnostic techniques for the purposes of detecting genetic abnormalities or metabolic disorders or chromosomal abnormalities or certain congenital malformations or sex-linked disorders and for the prevention of their misuse for sex determination leading to female foeticide and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.”.

India’s status: The last census had showed that both Haryana and Punjab states are leading with the worst sex ratios, especially in the 0-6 age group. Haryana had 874 girls per 1,000 boys. According to figures given by the National Crime Records Bureau, in Punjab the registered cases for female foeticide were like this: Punjab 81, Rajasthan 51, Madhya Pradesh 21, Haryana 18 and Chattisgarh 24.

We can’t think of this earth without “women”. We all are on this surface because of a birth giver i.e. our mother who is actually a woman. She wants to survive, don’t snatch her right.

Aarti Bagdi

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