Tuesday 25 September 2012

Save Girl Child Save Womanhood

In ancient India, the birth of a girl child was hailed as auspicious. We have inherited the cultural legacy of having strong non-preference among all communities, religious groups and citizens of varied socio-economic backgrounds. Women are the receiving end in Indian society. They are ill treated or tortured at every stage. A girl child is in bondage from her very childhood. She is under constant vigil, first by the parents, then her husband and finally her own children. Not only that, she is often condemned to death even before she is born. This is called female killing in the womb itself.

Women’s work is limited to household duties. At the time of marriage, dowry is given by the bride’s family to the groom’s for shouldering ‘the burden of the bride’. In many communities, as custom female babies are killed immediately after birth, either by the mother or by elderly women of the family to relieve themselves from the life of humiliation, rejection and suffering.

Social discrimination against women results in systematic neglect of women’s health, from womb to tomb. Female infanticide and female feticide are widely practiced in many States.

The reason of female infanticide can be linked with the evil of dowry  prevailing in our society. A more degrading and disparaging feature of the society has seen existing for the last two decades is the immense love for a male child and the elimination of a female fetus. With the invention of new technologies to monitor the ‘Fetal’ health, it was expected to be used for taking care of the health of the unborn child, but it became the terminator of female fetus. Are female fetus being deliberately eliminated or aborted, is the question? Answer is, yes!, to  a great extent. Are the technologies (ultra-sonography, material serum analysis etc.) assisting in elimination? Again the answer is; yes, to a great extent.

The greatest tragedy is that, women themselves permit the death of their daughters as mercy killing. Unwanted baby girls are often left on the road or in the maternity homes at night. This is due to the  illegitimate sex before marriage or due to the death of the husband , who maybe the only source to take of the mother and child.. This unhealthy practice has caused great imbalance in the ratio of boys and girls in several states and communities. To prevent this situation we must provide proper education and strict laws, which can trap the criminals..

Biologically girls are stronger. While there can be no moral or ethical justification for feticide still, it continues to be practiced. In fact sex determination which was mainly restricted to metros only now, is prevalent in villages as well. If sex determination tests are allowed to proliferate, and the elimination of female fetuses allowed, the society should be ready to pay for this sin soon, in near future.

The greatest supporters of a child (whether male or female) are the natural parents. If a girl has a father who loves her and grants all her fundamental rights that girl is  invaluable. Fathers often provide material comforts but deny daughters their right to choose their life partner.

For a daughter there can be no greater misery, than to know that her father does not support her. If she was an unwanted child, the despair is compounded. To go through life and realize that she was thrust on her unwilling parents is a fate much worse than death. What can be more disgracing than the feeling of nothing more than a contraceptive failure?

It is true that women should have the right to abort their unwanted fetus, but if the technology is being used only to eliminate the female fetus, then it should be questionable.

The root cause for elimination of female fetus is to be traced unless the evil of forced marriages, dowry, and illiteracy among the females are done away, with, but lives of women will not improve. Banning prenatal sex determination might add a feather in the caps.

A social awakening for true respect  for the girl child is required., A lot of honest hard work with full political ‘will’ in this field can only solve the problem of girl fetus killing.

A few lines from a poem on women is coming to mind. ..Here for you all…

Women are wonderful!
They are graceful!
They have compassion and concern for fellow beings!
they are care  takers of family & society!
They should be appreciated, admired, respected!

At the end, I would just say let us educate & sensitize people, change mindset & attitudes, save girl child on war-footing.