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India India's Unwanted Girls

Discussion in 'Breaking News' started by Admin Singh, May 23, 2011.

  1. Admin Singh

    Admin Singh
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    India's 2011 census shows a serious decline in the number of girls under the age of seven - activists fear eight million female foetuses may have been aborted in the past decade. The BBC's Geeta Pandey in Delhi explores what has led to this crisis.

    Kulwant has three daughters aged 24, 23 and 20 and a son who is 16.

    In the years between the birth of her third daughter and her son, Kulwant became pregnant three times.

    Each time, she says, she was forced to abort the foetus by her family after ultrasound tests confirmed that they were girls.

    "My mother-in-law taunted me for giving birth to girls. She said her son would divorce me if I didn't bear a son."

    Kulwant still has vivid memories of the first abortion. "The baby was nearly five months old. She was beautiful. I miss her, and the others we killed," she says, breaking down, wiping away her tears.

    Until her son was born, Kulwant's daily life consisted of beatings and abuse from her husband, mother-in-law and brother-in-law. Once, she says, they even attempted to set her on fire.

    "They were angry. They didn't want girls in the family. They wanted boys so they could get fat dowries," she says.

    India outlawed dowries in 1961, but the practice remains rampant and the value of dowries is constantly growing, affecting rich and poor alike.

    Kulwant's husband died three years after the birth of their son. "It was the curse of the daughters we killed. That's why he died so young," she says.

    Common attitude

    Her neighbour Rekha is mother of a chubby three-year-old girl.

    Last September, when she became pregnant again, her mother-in-law forced her to undergo an abortion after an ultrasound showed that she was pregnant with twin girls.

    "I said there's no difference between girls and boys. But here they think differently. There's no happiness when a girl is born. They say the son will carry forward our lineage, but the daughter will get married and go off to another family."

    Kulwant and Rekha live in Sagarpur, a lower middle-class area in south-west Delhi.

    Here, narrow minds live in homes separated by narrow lanes.

    The women's story is common and repeated in millions of homes across India, and it has been getting worse.

    In 1961, for every 1,000 boys under the age of seven, there were 976 girls. Today, the figure has dropped to a dismal 914 girls.

    Although the number of women overall is improving (due to factors such as life expectancy), India's ratio of young girls to boys is one of the worst in the world after China.

    Many factors come into play to explain this: infanticide, abuse and neglect of girl children.

    But campaigners say the decline is largely due to the increased availability of antenatal sex screening, and they talk of a genocide.

    [​IMG]


    The government has been forced to admit that its strategy has failed to put an end to female foeticide.
    'National shame'

    "Whatever measures have been put in over the past 40 years have not had any impact on the child sex ratio," Home Secretary GK Pillai said when the census report was released.


    Prime Minister Manmohan Singh described female foeticide and infanticide as a "national shame" and called for a "crusade" to save girl babies.
    But Sabu George, India's best-known campaigner on the issue, says the government has so far shown little determination to stop the practices.





    [​IMG]

    Campaigners say India's strategy to protect female babies is not working
    Until 30 years ago, he says, India's sex ratio was "reasonable". Then in 1974, Delhi's prestigious All India Institute of Medical Sciences came out with a study which said sex-determination tests were a boon for Indian women.


    It said they no longer needed to produce endless children to have the right number of sons, and it encouraged the determination and elimination of female foetuses as an effective tool of population control.


    "By late 80s, every newspaper in Delhi was advertising for ultrasound sex determination," said Mr George.


    "Clinics from Punjab were boasting that they had 10 years' experience in eliminating girl children and inviting parents to come to them."


    In 1994, the Pre-Natal Determination Test (PNDT) Act outlawed sex-selective abortion. In 2004, it was amended to include gender selection even at the pre-conception stage.


    Abortion is generally legal up to 12 weeks' gestation. Sex can be determined by a scan from about 14 weeks.


    "What is needed is a strict implementation of the law," says Varsha Joshi, director of census operations for Delhi. "I find there's absolutely no will on the part of the government to stop this."


    Today, there are 40,000 registered ultrasound clinics in the country, and many more exist without any record.
    'Really sad'

    Ms Joshi, a former district commissioner of south-west Delhi, says there are dozens of ultrasound clinics in the area. It has the worst child sex ratio in the capital - 836 girls under seven for every 1,000 boys.



    Delhi's overall ratio is not much better at 866 girls under seven for every 1,000 boys.


    "It's really sad. We are the capital of the country and we have such a poor ratio," Ms Joshi says.


    The south-west district shares its boundary with Punjab and Haryana, the two Indian states with the worst sex ratios.



    Since the last census, Punjab and Haryana have shown a slight improvement. But Delhi has registered a decline.



    "Something's really wrong here and something has to be done to put things right," Ms Joshi says.



    Almost all the ultrasound clinics in the area have the mandatory board outside, proclaiming that they do not carry out illegal sex-determination tests.


    But the women in Sagarpur say most people here know where to go when they need an ultrasound or an abortion.


    They say anyone who wants to get a foetal ultrasound done, gets it done. In the five-star clinics of south Delhi it costs 10,000-plus rupees ($222; £135), In the remote peripheral areas of Delhi's border, it costs a few hundred rupees.


    Similarly, the costs vary for those wanting an illegal abortion.


    Delhi is not alone in its anti-girl bias. Sex ratios have declined in 17 states in the past decade, with the biggest falls registered in Jammu and Kashmir.
    Ms Joshi says most offenders are members of the growing middle-class and affluent Indians - they are aware that the technology exists and have the means to pay to find out the sex of their baby and abort if they choose.
    "We have to take effective steps to control the promotion of sex determination by the medical community. And file cases against doctors who do it," Mr George says.


    "Otherwise by 2021, we are frightened to think what it will be like."


    [​IMG]
     

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  3. dushanka

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    SSA.

    i would sujest to hang any doctor which is doing an abortion ( no matter girl or boy baby ) in public to give an example for all other future gyn. doctor generations ....:angryyoungkaur:
    The family members which are giving pressure and misshandling the young mothers too. :angryyoungkaur:
     
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  4. Enlighten Me

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    Being a woman in such places must be such a burden, with the pressure placed on you to bear a son when it's totally uncontrollable.

    This is disgusting.

    Culture at its worst. Do the family members even THINK what they're doing to the Mother, what affect aborting - MURDERING these girls will have on her? No. Their only focus is passing on their name, getting a DOWRY. Greed. Where's the humanity?

    Hopefully the younger generation will have more liberal attitudes to such issues and pass this on to their kids because it seems at the moment that the older generation are putting this pressure on them to have sons. I really don't know what can be done to solve this apart from giving incentives so that people do not abort their daughters (like they did in China by giving free education etc), or even encouraging people to report doctors which help couples in aborting their precious daughters.

    The way I see it is that India has a misogynistic culture and as a result it is overly patriarchal with women's role being focused on the home.

    Meh ):
     
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  5. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    First of all India should stop looking at western ways to try to tackle this problem.Enough of the methods are tried none of them worked.The main reason why people want son is because of old age security so start giving incentive like pensions to couples who don't have sons.The pension should be in the range of 2,000 and upwards according to the state.Both center and state need to contribute in pension scheme.

    Female foeticide is now a big problem but in future people will start using IVF pre conception methods so that male child will born.Some couples are already doing it but more people may start using it.Though it is illegal in India but outside India you can go for it.
     
  6. findingmyway

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    There is always so much press coverage on this issue. It's always portrayed with much doom and gloom. I would love to hear from our readers in Panjab about;
    * What is actually being done to tackle the problem?
    * Is there any education and what form has it taken?
    * Do they feel there has been any difference?
    * What measures would they like to be taken and how can these be achieved?

    I pose the same questions to people in other communities/locations where this problem occurs. Please report personal experience and knowledge rather than hearsay.
     
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  7. Adi Nanaki

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    Punjab looks like the most anti woman state, given the corrupt example of the SGPC, which does not allow women to play kirtan in the Golden Temple, nor wash its floors with milk that comes from the blood of a mother. It is to their credit that they are giving women an exclusive sitting area in the Golden Temple, and celebrated Mother Earth by encouraging planting trees on Earth Day. Yet they have a long way to go to awaken the consciousness of Sikhs worldwide to Guru's teachings on women--the mothers, sisters, daughters and wives our beloved Gurus.
     
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  8. onspjo

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    Selfishness over humanity. What a pity! What injustice! What cruelty! Breaks your heart.
    Hyenas have taken over and the lionesses have gone into hiding.
     
  9. onspjo

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    Respected kds1980,
    I do not agree that poverty is the main reason for female infanticide. I'd say lack of education could be one of the reasons.
    Now let me show you some numbers here:

    A family spends Rs. 20,000 for aborting a girl child. IF they put the same Rs.20,000 in a fixed deposit for 30 years, they would get over Rs. 3000 per month from interest itself.
    (20000 doubling every 8 years would get about 3,20,000 in 30 years. 10% interest on that would get them 32000 in interest per year, rounded to about 2800 per month.). That is just from one time investment of Rs.20,000.
    Don't tell me they have money to abort the child but not for their own retirement.

    How long would people want the freebees. Get free this, vote for Akali Dal, Get free that, vote for DMK. After five years, get free this, vote for AIDMK.
    Socialism is not the answer. Also, this problem is not restricted to poor people. It is equally there among rich. If they have their first child boy, they opt not to have another child. Whereas, if the first one is girl, couples would try to have another child(until they have preferred one).

    First the women should learn to stand up for themselves. Get their girls educated too, so they can protect their own innocents. Education is a must. Teaching not just the subjects so they can become engineers and doctors but also practical life skills and knowledge.
    What does socialism do to you? What is capitalism. What is balanced society. How population affect the resources and life. All should be taught in early education.
     
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  10. findingmyway

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    I know of cases of female foetuses even in the rich elite in India as well as Indian populations outside of India! The problems go much deeper and require a more complex solution.
     
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  11. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    Dear onsjpo ji

    It is not poverty.The main reason is old age security.Even some of the most forward thinking parents don't take any financial help from their daughters.Whatever they earn before marriage ,the amount is kept in her account so she can take that amount with her.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    here is another report

    Rich and educated Indian parents are increasingly aborting a second girl child and instead waiting for a boy, driving 90% of the country’s citizens into zones with sex ratios that are unnaturally and often

    related stories
    Woman thrown out for giving birth to girls
    dangerously low. The sex ratio for second-born children in families where the first-born is a

    related stories
    Woman thrown out for giving birth to girlsgirl has
    dropped overall from 906 girls per 1000 boys in 1990 to 836 in 2005, new research published in the journal Lancet today shows.


    But this low ratio has fallen even lower to just over 750 girls for 1000 boys among the richest 20 % families, and to barely above 700 for families where the mother has over 10 years of education.

    The scientists warned that the findings did not mean a higher preference for boys among the richest and educated sections of India – but instead hinted at their greater access to sex selection and abortion, and ability to evade the law.

    “Since the proportion of the rich and educated is likely to rise in India, we are worried about the implications of this trend,” lead researcher Prabhat Jha, from the University of Toronto and the Centre for Global Health Research said.

    This conditional sex ratio – for second-born children where the first-born is a girl -- was comparatively higher at about 850 for the richest 20 % families, and at 880 for families with educated mothers in 1991.

    The researchers found that the poorest 20 % families and families where the mother had no education on an average showed either no change or even improvement in this conditional sex ratio since 1991. The scientists used data from successive census reports and National Family Health Surveys (NFHS) for their analysis.

    There was no similar change in sex ratio over the past two decades for the second-born child if the first-born was a boy – suggesting that families are comfortable with girls if they already have a boy.

    “The demand for sons among wealthy parents is being satisfied by the medical community through the provision of illegal services of fetal sex-determination and sex-selective abortion,” SV Subramanian, professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, and Daniel Corsi at the McMaster University in Hamilton Canada said, in independent reactions to the research.

    “The financial incentive for physicians to undertake this illegal activity seems to be far greater than the penalties associated with breaking the law,” they added.

    But India as a whole may have to face consequences of the dramatic decline in overall sex-ratio observed by the 2011 census and analysed in greater detail by the researchers.

    Only 50 % of Indians lived in districts with sex ratios less than 950 in 1991. A sex ratio between 950 and 975 is the globally accepted natural sex ratio. But the fraction of the population living in districts with a sex ratio below 950 increased to 70 % in 2001 and is now an alarming 90 %.

    Only 10 % of the population lived in districts with a sex ratio below 915 – broadly considered dangerously low – in 1991. But this fraction increased to 27 % in 2001 and has now increased sharply to 56 %.

    http://www.hindustantimes.com/Aborting-girls-on-rise-among-educated-rich/Article1-701651.aspx

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This issue is very complicated The rich and educated are on forefront in aborting females
     
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  12. dushanka

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    there is no country on earth with more temples and other God's houses and pilgrim places , than in India
    BUT THIS REPORT ABOVE IS JUST ANOTHER PROOF/TESTIMONY/ATTESTATION , THAT INDIANS IN FACT ONLY PRETEND TO BE GOD FEARING PEOPLE IN REALITY MOST OF THEM ARE GODLESS ...which stupid contraversary , eating vegetarian and eggless food because of Hinduism even Sikhism (we should better feel ashamed about)and to explain it that we are human and not killing animals .... BUT KILLING OWN CHILDREN INTENTIONALLY , SOOO SHAMELESS!!!!
    I am asking myself WHERE IS GOD TO SAFE THAT LITTLE INNOCENT SOULS FROM THEIR BIGGEST EVIL , OWN PARENTS ?!?
    Don't tell me Wahe Guru will punish them all one day , the NOW is more important to stop that horrible mass -killings !!!!cheerleadercheerleadercheerleadercheerleadercheerleadercheerleadercheerleadercheerleadercheerleadercheerleadercheerleadercheerleadercheerleadercheerleader

    ALL TRUE MOTHERS stand up for own kids , don't support the killings scilently any more !!!
     
  13. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    Indians worship most of the gods to fulfill their worldly desires.Hinduism has concept of trinity Brahma ,Vishnu and Shiv.Brahma the creator,Vishnu caretaker of Life and Shiv god of destruction.Vishnu is the most famous god
    because he is caretaker and husband of goddess laxmi(money) so you need to keep him happy.Shiv you cannot make him angry he may destroy you.Poor Brahma has no takers he is the least worshipped god in India.He just created you and his duty is over

    apart from above Ganesh (problem solver),laxmi(money) saraswati( education) and many more are also worshipped because they offer instant solution to your problems
     
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  14. findingmyway

    findingmyway
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    However, none of those Gods are real and Sikhism doesn't follow any of them!

    I return to my earlier question;
    What is being done? What is working and what isn't? What do you think will work? Let's hear from the grassroots.....
     

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