Thursday, November 30, 2006

Baby girls being abandoned in India :

Baby girls being abandoned in India : "Even today we have an abandoned five-day-old baby girl in the maternity ward whose parents disappeared right after delivery. They even walked way with their medical records so we cannot trace them.

“Earlier, only illegitimate children were abandoned, but going by the fact that more girls are left behind than boys, I suspect people now see it as a convenient way to get rid of an unwanted girl child,” says Misra."

The purpose of the PNDT Act was to protect girls. It is a sad tragedy that a law which was supposed to protect female fetuses has ended up in couples discarding their baby girls . Who is responsible for this ? By forcing couples to have girls they don't want, whom are we really helping ?

I wonder what the plight of the third and fourth baby girls in poor families is . Even if they are not abandoned , are they being looked after well ? Why doesn't anyone care about what happens to them ? Is is fair to sacrifice individuals at the altar of a balanced sex ratio ?


  1. Anonymous11:19 PM

    Dear Dr,

    My native is a village in south India. Our neighbourhood is occupied by people who belong to a particular caste. Their job (of those particular caste men) in olden times is thieving! Somehow ancient society came to term with the fact that theft is their means of survival and income (it is because theft with some kind acceptance from the society prevented those people from committing horrendous crime!). People belonging to that caste used to steal cattles from neighbouring village and the stolen cattles were retrieved back by giving money or grains to the people who stole them. They are very aggressive people (even now!). Women in their community are treated like cattles. The passion to have a boy child is extremely high among those people. The wish to have a particular sex baby is not wrong but they do this at the expense their girl child’s welfare. Girl children are taken for granted. They deprive them of proper nutrition and education.

    In front of my house there lived a woman who had two girl children. She went on to have two more girl child but they were killed as soon as they were born. The fifth girl child survived few years because it is a belief that fifth child brings luck to the family! But when that fifth girl child became ill it was not given proper medical care and was allowed to die. A doctor started a private practise near my home. He came to know of all these happenings and he took the woman when she was pregnant again for a scan to know the sex of the baby (ofcourse illegal!). But his stand is at least the baby can be aborted (if it is a girl) so that no cruel murder will take place. I really appreciate him. Fortunately the baby is a boy and the particular family were happy because their dream of having a boy child came true. To end the story the boy when he was around 15 years ran away from home and their dreams that the boy child will take care of them when they become old is shattered! The first two girl children are married at the tender age of 15 or so and the vicious cycle continues again. I am very young at that time to understand and think seriously about all these things. But I used to hear all these stories. That particular woman’s husband poured hot oil over her head when she is frying some snacks (because of a fight!). She used to sell those snacks to sustain her family. That is the plight of women living in such bad socio-economic conditions!

  2. Anonymous11:20 PM

    I told my dad once ‘how horrible that woman is, she killed her babies as soon as they are born!’ My dad said, ‘You do not know about their social condition. Those women have no rights to take any decision. Even if she has decided to kill her babies, you must think about the situation which made a mother behave like that. The situation of female child in that particular community is not so good. They have to undergo all sorts of child abuse. When a mother feels that her child should not undergo the sufferings she has endured perhaps she decides to end the baby’s life at the very beginning. They do not have the money to afford many children and she cannot also avoid her in-laws or her husband’s pestering of having a boy child. If this has to change our society has to change. Our government has to implement programmes which will provide them job and education. Until the root cause of the problem like dowry, poverty and illiteracy is not cured these kind of female infanticide will continue to happen in our country’. He also said that ‘instead of curbing the root cause of the problem our government is trying to implement other control measures which will lead ultimately to such happenings’. My dad is a judicial officer! I am angry at that time with my dad for supporting that woman. I am angry at him for his inability to do anything. I thought ‘as a judge why can’t he put them behind bars!’ Now I realize what he said is very true.

    When women from affluent socio-economic conditions sit in their comfort zone and talk about female foeticide I get angry. Actually what do they know? They should come out and move with those women to know what is actually happening (for sure they can’t even survive a single day in those conditions!). They should realise how horifying the living condition of such women are! What kind of life those girl children are leading (filled with negligence, lack of education, lack of nutrition and sexual abuse)! People who fight against female foeticide talk about the foetus ‘right to life’. They never seem to care about what happens when the foetus really becomes a human with the ability to feel pain and emotions! As a woman struggling to have a baby I cannot support any form killing a life (Baby, baby everywhere (even people abort or kill too) but still I am unable to get one to shower my love :( But in case if I end up with multiple pregnancy and if I am advised to do selective abortion for the benefit of one foetus I will definitely go for it inorder to give atleast one of my offspring the best chance of survival. Am I a murderer then? So if parents do so inorder to balance the family (having a boy and a girl) or to give their offspring the best economic condition by aborting an unwanted baby, is it wrong? Should we just be selfish to protect our species (we kill animals for recreation, for eating, we even kill chimpanzees and gorillas which are capable of even learning languages and have emotions like us!, nobody cares about their pain or emotions.) and propagate our genes as much as possible and be careless once they come into the world and leave them with the attitude ‘let the best survive’, ‘let natural selection do its job!’. Until we are not able to change the living conditions of such women and girl children we have no rights to talk or comment about what they are doing with the foetus (or even the infant!) they create!


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