India is a world champion now. Period. Yes, the country seems to be on cloud nine since the Indian cricket team won the World Cup after 28 long years since Kapil Dev aka the Haryana Hurricane had lifted the cup in ’83. There is a faction which thinks dyamm, it should have been Sourav ‘Dada’ Ganguly who should have lifted the cup but hey, move on!
However, what got completely buried under the hype surrounding the World Cup was the fact that India is killing her girls. Says a report in The Times on India, “Indicating a continuing preference for boys in society, the child sex ratio in India has dropped to 914 females against 1,000 males – the lowest since Independence – in the provisional 2011 Census report released today.”
The figures have dropped from 927 girls per 1000 boys in 2001, a sharp decline despite laws to prevent female foeticide and encourage families to have a girl child. A United Nations report shows that about 7,50,000 girls are aborted every year in India.
Let me share a personal experience. A friend had suddenly turned a ‘bhakt’ and came under the trusted umbrella of a friend, ‘astrologer’ and guide from Ranchi. He had even made a very short but very expensive trip to Ranchi to get a consultation. He was prescribed the ‘panna’, the ‘manik’, the ‘hira’ and the ‘pukhraj’, all together that would have cost him about a lakh and a half. It’s a different thing that this friend decided to exercise his discretion and not wear any of those stones. But at every trying step of his life, he would be on the STD hotline with this astrologer, who we’ll call Anand Ji. When my friend decided to get hitched, his first call went to Anand Ji to ask if the time was right. Anand Ji, without hesitating, said that there couldn’t have been a better time. Anand Ji also went further to ask if my friend wanted a boy or a girl. Perplexed, my friend wondered whether to hang up or not when Anand Ji continued, “Main to yehi kaamna karunga ki aapke bhagya mein suputra hi likha ho. Yadi aap mein koi ashanka ho, toh main aapke liye yeh vyavastha bhi kar sakta hoon ke aapko ek ladka hi ho. Main pooja ke madhyam se yeh haasil kar doonga aapke liye. Aakhir, is yug mein, ek ladki ka bojh kaun chahta hai…?”
My friend had never called Anand Ji or even taken his name or referred him to anybody ever since. He steers clear of astrologers, ‘godmen’ and godwomen’, doesn’t wear any stone, doesn’t believe in any god and believes that only we make our own destiny. He also actively works for the cause of the girlchild and has decided to adopt a girl child and not have children of his own.
I believe that the Government should add one more ‘yojana’ to its long list of schemes. The underlining thought should be something like this: “The Government should bear the cost of imparting primary education to every girl child born is those districts where the child sex ratio is fearfully skewed. Raid all illegal sex-determination centres and shut them down on an urgent basis. Women should not cower down in the corner of their homes after dark in fear of getting raped. Take to the streets. Show them men that we have full rights to walk on the streets wearing whatever we want, however we want, whenever we want. Girls, don’t get married before you achieve economic freedom. Let’s not set an age here cuz, the age for attaining economic freedom varies from woman to woman. (I achieved economic freedom at 20). Even if you are married, strip yourself of signs of bondage like the sindoor, mangal sutra and the choodas (shankha pola for the Bengali babes). No, your hubby won’t die if you take them off. Before having a kid, think thrice. Are you and your husband well-off enough to raise her/him without sacrificing your own peace of mind? Is your husband/in-laws pressurizing you to have kids? Don’t if you don’t want to. Don’t be in a relationship where women find no respect and have no say. Speak out. Act fast.”
Thanks to a friend, who mailed me this story, that I got interested in these issues. That friend’s name is Divya Trivedi and she is with The Hindu. Here is the link:
I will post the expanded version in my next post.
On a parting note, please please, don’t support anything that kills women or the girl child, whether physically or mentally or emotionally.