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India's Unwanted Girl's

Discussion in 'Hard Talk' started by Randip Singh, Oct 23, 2007.

  1. Randip Singh

    Randip Singh
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  3. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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  4. Sherab

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    However, one person at a time can have an effect.

    Why not try?
     
  5. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    I stopped for a minute and really thought about Randip's questio. At first it seemed impossible -- if even a fraction of 1 percent of the population engages in this practice, in a country of 1 billion -- you are talking about a widespread acceptance of female infanticide and selective abortion. How can you make a difference in 5, 10 or 15 years? Even with patience.

    But then I realized that problems buried deep within a society can be solved in a reasonable period of time. They may not be completely solved, but social perceptions can be changed, and real changes can be made in small steps. In the US, only 10 or 15 years ago, domestic violence was a secret -- kept in families -- never addressed. Then celebrities on television and in the film world began to put their names behind movements and campaigned publicly. They sponsored change. We still have domestic violence. But the tolerance is not there. The idea that we should ignore what is happening in the house next door - that has changed. New laws have been put in place to protect victims and to require that doctors and teachers report suspected abuse. Politicians can no longer pretend or look the other way. People are no longer silent. More people are involved. This is just one example. I don't know.

    Ending the silence may be the key.
     
  6. Randip Singh

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    to quote a very learned man:

    Sava Laakh Se Ekh Laraoon!
     
  7. Archived_Member16

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    ANOTHER PROSPECTIVE:

    India's 'girl deficit' deepest among educated

    [SIZE=-1]Study: Selective-sex abortion claims 500,000 girls a year. [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]By Scott Baldauf | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=-1]NEW DELHI - Banned by Indian law for more than a decade, the practice of prenatal selection and selective abortion remains a common practice in India, claiming up to half a million female children each year, according to a recent study by the British medical journal, The Lancet.[/SIZE]

    The use of ultrasound equipment to determine the sex of an unborn child - introduced to India in 1979 - has now spread to every district in the country. The study found it played a crucial role in thetermination of an estimated 10 million female fetuses in the two decades leading up to 1998, and 5 million since 1994, the year the practice was banned. Few doctors in regular clinics offer the service openly, but activists estimate that sex-selection is a $100 million business in India, largely through mobile sex-selection clinics that can drive into almost any village or neighborhood.

    The practice is common among all religious groups - Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Muslims, and Christians - but appears to be most common among educated women, a fact that befuddles public health officials and women's rights activists alike.

    "More educated women have more access to technology, they are more privileged, and most educated families have the least number of children," says Sabu George, a researcher with the Center for Women's Development Studies in New Delhi, who did not participate in the study. "This is not just India. Everywhere in the world, smaller families come at the expense of girls."

    Like China, India has encouraged smaller families through a mixture of financial incentives and campaigns calling for two children at most. Faced with such pressure, many families, rich and poor alike, are turning to prenatal selection to ensure that they receive a son. It's a problem with many potential causes - from social traditions to the economic burden of dowries - but one that could have strong social repercussions for generations to come.

    The Lancet survey, conducted by Prabhat Jha of St. Michael's Hospital at the University of Toronto and Rajesh Kumar of the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Research in Chandigarh, India, looked at government data collected from a 1998 sample of Indian families in all the districts of the country. From this data, they concluded that 1 out of every 25 female fetuses is aborted, roughly 500,000 per year.

    Many doctors, including the Indian Medical Association, dispute the findings of the report, saying that the number of female feticides is closer to 250,000 per year. They note that the data sample used by The Lancet study precedes a 2001 Supreme Court decision outlawing the use of ultrasounds to check for girls. But activists note that the law is largely unenforced.

    "If there were half a million feticides a year," S.C. Gulati of the Delhi Institute of Economic Growth told the Indian news channel IBN, "the sex ratio would have been very skewed indeed."

    Yet the sex ratio is skewed. According to the official Indian Census of 2001, there were 927 girl babies for every 1,000 boy babies, nationwide. The problem is worst in the northwestern states of Haryana, Punjab, Delhi, and Gujarat, where the ratio is less than 900 girls for every 1,000 boys.

    Against common expectations, female feticide is not a crime of India's backward masses. Instead, it is most common among India's elite, who can afford multiple trips to an ultrasound clinic, and the hushed-up abortion of an unwanted girl. In the prosperous farming district of Kurukshetra, for instance, there are only 770 girl babies for every 1,000 boys. In the high-rent Southwest neighborhoods of New Delhi, the number of girl babies is 845 per 1,000 boys.

    Some activists say it is wrong to blame Indian society for the incidents of female feticide. The main cause for the "girl deficit," they say, is the arrival of ultrasound technology, and the entrepreneurial spirit of Indian doctors.
    "This is not a cultural thing," says Donna Fernandez, director of Vimochana, a women's rights group based in Bangalore. "This is much more of an economic and political issue. It has got a lot to do with the globalization of technology. It's about the commodification of choices."

    Cultures don't change overnight, of course, so it's no wonder that activists are focusing attention on regulating the technology that makes feticide possible, the ultrasound. By law, the government can regulate - but not deny - the use of prenatal diagnostic techniques for the purposes of detecting birth defects, but not gender itself. Activists say that while most doctor's offices and clinics have signboards saying that they cannot disclose the gender of a child, it is rare to see a doctor prosecuted if he does so.

    Karuna Bishnoi, spokeswoman for UNICEF in Delhi, says it shouldn't come as a surprise that educated women are among the most likely to use prenatal sex determination.

    "I personally believe this as a failure of society, not a failure of women," says Ms. Bishnoi. "Women who choose this technique may be victims of discrimination themselves, and they may not be the decisionmakers. Nobody can deny that the status of women is very low in India. There is no quick fix to this."

    The cultural practice of giving a dowry to the groom's family puts a tremendous financial burden on a bride's family. The cost of not paying a larger dowry can be even higher. In the high-tech city of Bangalore, activists report that it is still common for women to be burned alive by husbands who expected a larger dowry.

    While most of India's religions condemn discrimination against women, there are a few temples in the state of Punjab that promise to help bring fewer women into existence. At the Bir Baba Mandir in Amritsar, couples eat flatbread and onions to ensure a boy child.

    As a researcher for 20 years on female feticide, conducting field research in the highly educated state of Tamil Nadu, Sabu George says he has some qualms about The Lancet study. In particular, he feels that taking the figures from one year and projecting them backward 20 years just doesn't square with the facts on the ground.

    But while he believes The Lancet study may have exaggerated the number of female abortions in the past 20 years, it also might underestimate the exponential growth of female feticide into the futures.

    "This is a much larger problem in the future," he says. "Without strong pressure by civil society groups, we'll be seeing 1 million female feticides every year within five years time, definitely."
     
  8. Archived_Member16

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    SGPC wakes up to declining sex ratio
    Tribune News Service


    Patiala, October 22

    The SGPC will soon release a book on the declining sex ratio in the state. Besides the book, literature on ills of female foeticide will also be published and distributed free of cost in all gurdwaras functioning under the SGPC.

    As per the latest data, Sansarwal village in Patiala has a sex ratio of 438/1000, Churpur 464/1000, Dhughet 465/1000, Bosar Kalan 625/1000, Budhae Majra 611/1000, Babipur 528/1000, Sadarpur 550/1000, Shekhupur 467/1000, Ase Majra 608/1000, Khunti Chaura 556/1000, Dharaura Kalan 559/1000, Jalal Kher 563/1000, Dhareri Jalan 584/1000, Dhoni Majra 636/1000, Baramhpura 567/1000, Malomajra 583/1000, Mahmoolpur 586/1000, Ramgarh 608/1000, Butan Singh Wala 600/1000 and Bohpur 605/1000.


    Jathedar of Akal Takht Joginder Singh Vedanti has given the task of penning the said literature to Harshinder Kaur, who has been working in the area for the past more than five years. ​

    He was here to release her book on child psychology. The book was released by the jathedar in the presence of Punjabi scholar Pritam Singh. ​

    Harshinder said the jathedar was moved by the latest statistics regarding the declining sex ratio, especially in the 0-6 age group in the state. Besides foeticide and infanticide, the single-child norm being adopted by Punjabi families was one major reason for the declining sex ratio. Families in the state are increasingly opting for single child in which the male child is the obvious preference. ​

    “The jathedar immediately told me to pen down a book on the dangers posed by the declining sex ratio in the state. He also said the matter would be discussed with other Sikh high priests and the clergy could consider issuing a hukamnama on the issue, she said.
    The message from the highest seat of Sikh religion, Akal Takht, can make a considerable difference in changing the attitude of people towards girl child, she said and added that the latest figures released by the health survey of the state have made Patiala as the district having the lowest sex ratio in the state. The villages extending from Rajpura to Patran have been found to be having about an average sex ratio of just 600 per 1000 men, which could be the lowest in the country. As per the 2001 census, Fatehgarh Sahib district had the minimum sex ratio of just 754/1000 while Patiala had 870 females per thousand males. However, as per the latest one Patiala seems to have surpassed every district in terms of the declining sex ratio.​
     
  9. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    You are right one person can have effect

    i have a big debate on sikhportal When delhi sikh gurudwara imposed ban on hi fi marriages.majority of rich sikhs even the girls were saying that when we have money then why can't we spend it on marriage.my arguement was that it is mainly the girl's family which has to spend so much.so for the sake of society this ban is good.so the reality is that people are not ready to sacrifice even one of their single pleasure.
     
  10. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    Anotinia ji this problem is not like domestic voilence.it is mainly concerned with money
    and old age security.majority of people in india still beleive that a boy is best old age security while a daughter is paraya dhan(others property)
    The whole society beleives that it is the duty of the son to take care of parents.
    even if daughter is earning 100000 per month and the son is earning only 10,000 the respectable parents would not accept a single penny from daughter while they do not hesistate to take money from son.
    i have a debate with one of the woman member of my family who has feminist mentality
    but she also beleives that the case of son and daughter is different and respectable parents should not take money from daughters.if this is the mentality of educated people of india then only god knows what is the mentality undeducated villagers.

    money
     
  11. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    Here is the another thread on this issue which i posted some times back

    http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/lifestyle/14736-new-female-foeticide-study.html

    KNOWLEDGE IS known to spread light - opening up closed minds. But it does not always shield the girl child. Prosperity drives one to charity; unborn little girls do not benefit from them.

    An extraordinary four-year research in the heart of rural India, post 2001 Census, shows that people living in areas with a higher level of education and affluence slaughter more female foetuses than those languishing in the social and economic backwaters.

    The study, funded by the Swedish Research Council and carried out by the economic history department of Lund University as part of its research on developing economies, shows that “progressive areas” of India have a lower child sex ratio (CSR). Researchers claim that “ill-focused development is triggering a conscious choice to eliminate the girl child from the family”.

    The study carried out in five states - Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Uttaranchal - revealed wide differences in sex ratio in villages of Karnataka and Uttaranchal. The less prosperous villages had a healthy ratio, while their wealthier neighbours, with higher indices of education and development, logged lesser number of girl children. It showed a strong shift from “son preference to active daughter discrimination”.

    Factors like nuclear families, high education cost and access to technology contribute to it, say researchers Mattias Larsen and Neelambar Hatti. “Discrimination against girls is much higher where mothers are literate. In most cases, literacy is just confined to formal degrees; mindsets are primitive,” Hatti said.

    According to researchers, it is easy to detect the sex of the child with improved technology and nuclear families make frequent use of sex determination techniques to do away with “unwanted” girls.

    Economics has a role to play. “Sons are preferred to daughters as couples opt for a single child. They feel that the returns on investing on a male child will be much higher compared to a girl, who eventually moves to her husband’s home after marriage,” Larsen says. Bloodline is another important consideration. “Parents opting for single child prefer boys as they carry forward the bloodline,” he added.

    The study brings to light the “disconnect” between economic improvement and human development. “The new and ugly form of sex discrimination has now become visible - one that is strongly linked to prosperity and daughter-aversion. Higher education level does not necessarily translate into gen der sensitivity,” the study says.

    Tim Dyson, a professor at the London School of Economics and an Indian demography expert, accepts the premise. “In India, development and education have not been able to influence people in the right direction and inculcate the right values. Look at the cities. Female foeticide is much higher. There were similar signs in Japan and the US 30 years ago, which they tackled effectively,” he said.

    According to member-secretary of the State Women’s Commission, Sanjeevani Kutty, the phenomenon is common in Maharashtra. “The more prosperous areas of the state, particularly towns, have a lower sex ratio. In Mumbai, south Mumbai has a lower ratio than other parts of the city,” she said, adding: “The state government asked us to device a strategy. We are training people in districts and forming women’s groups to tackle the problem. The groups will visit ultrasound clinics and organise campaigns among doctors.” In Mumbai, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has ordered medical establishments to report on the sex of all aborted foetuses. “We are trying to regulate ultrasound clinics,” said executive health officer, BMC, Jayraj Thanekar.

    aditya.ghosh@hindustan times .com Of dark minds and lost little girls Education does not always banish stigma - superstition is a state of the mind. And wealth sometime adds to the bias. A study funded by the Swedish Research Council shows more female foetuses are snuffed out in rich and educated homes; consigned to the altar of craving for sons. Why do the richie-rich prefer sons? Rising education cost: Investment on daughter’s education is viewed as futile as she eventually weds Nuclear families: People think sons will perpetuate bloodline Job market better for boys: As women usually “anyway get married and go away” Dowry: Coming back in a big way after hefty pay hikes Technology: Much better techniques determine foetal sex Inheritance: Boys inherit property, girls do not. Higher mobility: Daughter “marry and relocate, sons look after parents” Fears about freedom of women: Loss of honour: “What if she enjoys pre-marital sex?” Researchers claim that “ill-focused development is triggering a conscious choice to eliminate the girl child”. Few case studies Tale of two neighbours Karnataka: Two adjacent villages in Siddapur taluka, Uttara Kannada district The prosperous village with a high level of education and employment opportunities show higher incidence of female foeticide. Families kill in cold blood.

    The contrast is sharp among communities as well. While economically stronger communi ties like Vokkaligas are clearly opting for sons over daughters using sex determination, Dalits have a better sex composition.

    The areas with high child sex ratio are relatively isolated and the level of education is low. In these areas, there has been a change in agricultural and economic conditions. Overall, it is a combination of population pressure and land reforms, which changed the agrarian structure and the conditions for agricultural output. Facts that scare Tale of two neighbours A UNICEF study says five crore girls have gone missing in India in the last decade. It is estimated that a girl child is killed or disowned every hour in India.

    According to the 7th All India Education Survey, 2002, one out of every six girls does not live to see her 15th birthday. Of the 12 million girls born in India, one million do not see their first birthday.

    One-third of these deaths take place at birth. Every sixth girl child's death is due to gender discrimination. Females are victimised far more than males during childhood.

    UNFPA says legal action by itself is not enough to eliminate harmful traditional practices.

    Legislation should be part of broad and integrated campaign that involves opinion makers and custodians of culture.

    In case of sex-selective abortion, the campaign should also address structural issues under lying gender discrimination, in particular a widespread preference for sons.

    Confronting harmful practices that are national in scope can best be addressed through a broad coalition of actors, each of whom can bring their own expertise in creating awareness and moving the issue forward. It should be treated as a national issue and not a regional issue.
     
  12. spnadmin

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    Kds ji

    I agree that the problem is not like domestic violence. I only used that as an example of a problem that went by the wayside, until famous people became involved. After a time all levels of society and the political machines were forced to pay attention and do something.

    Randip had asked Can We Do Something?

    My point was that media is a powerful way to begin moving in the direction of a solution. It is not the solution. Media can force the population to continually look at a problem. In time perceptions change.

    That was all.
     
  13. Randip Singh

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    I think I was and still am very moved by the documentary but I think for selfish reasons.....because I felt awful emotionally watching this.

    I was holding my baby daughter in my arms at the time and seeing unborn baby foetuses thrown and strewn around like garden rubbish. I felt ill from the pit of my stomach upwards and I could not hold back the tears.

    How could any God fearing person do this? You will see these same people go mad at the fact if a cow or a monkey is killed yet they view human (female) life as so cheap.

    This is a very very cruel mindset I think....on the one hand this country preaches how animal life must be respected and even worshiped and on the other how human life is so cheap.

    Very sad!
     
  14. spnadmin

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    So maybe others shared your deep emotional reaction. I understand and share your reaction. If others do as well, then this can be the start of change. Perhaps the documentary has been an important step forward.
     

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