Stop Female foeticide in India

Male and female both are two indispensible parts of life, society and the nation. Both complement each other and this is also a fact that without any one of them, it is just impossible to imagine the continuation of the circle of life. If on one side male is supposed to be the earner of the livelihood of the family then a female is a home maker. She is the only one who turns a building of concrete into a Home! She takes care of the family; she unites the family and injects the values in the members of the family. She is an ‘Annapurna’. A female has a big role to play for a family, society and the nation. Without her, the circle of life cannot proceed. Especially the cycle of reproduction can only be accomplished through females. But here a fact peeps in as a huge surprise, shock and an irony. Where females are the fundamental part of the society, people of the society are delighted to terminate their existence in the form of ‘Female-Foeticide’.

STOP FEMALE FOETICIDE

Female foeticide is basically the act of shamelessly aborting the female fetus inside the womb to avoid the birth and because it is a female. Female foeticide is not something new for the Indian society but it has a long history of its existence and it is as old as the other social problems like poverty, illiteracy, orthodox ideologies and gender-discrimination are. Female foeticide has now become a popular trend within the society without even realizing how much serious effects it is bestowing to the same. Female foeticide is accessible after the sex determination through ultrasounds and scanning process. Everyday approximate hundreds of female fetuses are being aborted. This act has become so common now that even the newspaper is incomplete without few horrifying news of female abortions. Earlier, these acts were only limited to the closed rooms of the hospitals and private clinics but now it just so frightening and ferocious when dead female fetus are found under the garbage and dustbins of the streets! This is just so much inhumane, not only to abort the fetus but to throw them in garbage as if it was not a life but just a piece of crap!

Basically, female foeticide is the result of many old preferences, ideologies and traditions prevailing in the Indian society. A boy (son) has always been the prime preference of each and every family of the Indian society. A boy is supposed to carry forward the name, tradition, customs and pride of the family. He is supposed to be the next major member of the family after the father and even claims the whole property of the family whereas a girl has not been given any such privilege and rights into the family. Even at the funeral of father only the son is allowed to follow the rituals of it and must give the fire to the father whereas a girl is never given any such right. And that is why there is a prevalent preference for a son in Indian society and this is a major reason behind female-foeticide. At many places the mother is being pressurized to give birth only to a son and if it is a girl they don’t take a moment to kill that innocent infant. Besides this a girl is being perceived as a bundle of huge expenditures. She is supposed to be born not alone but with many long term expenditures to be born at the time of her marriage in the form of dowry. Many people/parents/couple are afraid to bear the expenses of a girl child and they rather prefer to kill the infant (female-infanticide) or the fetus at the very early stage. And these all orthodox ideologies and preferences are originated from illiteracy and poverty. Due to high illiteracy in Indian society especially in villages and remote areas, people have so inferior feelings towards the girl child. Their mentality is jinxed and restrained and having a girl child; is something they just cannot afford to have. Due to poverty, poor families prefer to have a boy child and the more boys they will have the more hands the family would have to earn the livelihood.

But this trend of female foeticide is not only limited to the villages, illiterate or poor families but it has been noticed among urban educated families as well. There is sense of insecurity emerging among urban families. Where both the parents are working they feel very insecure to have a girl child because there is no one to keep a watch on the girl and there is no one else to trust upon to take care of the girl while the parents aren’t at home. Incidences of child abuse, rape, sexual harassment have somewhere made the parents scared of bearing a girl child. Also today where ‘Mehngai’ has purely conquered the ‘Aam Aadami’ people frankly avoid bearing a girl. They would rather spend their time, energy and money on their son so that in future he would become their caretaker instead of spending their energy and money on a girl and one day handover her to another family and that’s also with huge dowry. Hence, they better make use of technology to determine the sex of the fetus and willingly prefer to abort that female fetus in the womb only. If female foeticide was originated due to some cause then it is also creating some serious problems for the society, few of which are visible today and few would affect the society in the long run.

Female foeticide has given rise to the fluctuation in sex ratio in almost every state of India. According to the Indian Census 2011 the sex ratio of India (females per 1000 males) is as follows:

  • Average India sex ratio – 933
  • Rural sex ratio – 946
  • Urban sex ratio – 900
  • State with highest female sex ratio – Kerala – 1058
  •  State with lowest female sex ratio – Haryana – 861.

Female foeticide is giving rise to many problems such as prostitution, trafficking, rape, sexual harassment, kidnapping of girls. Sociologists have almost predicted that the day is not far enough when in villages  one girl would be married to five men at a time in order to continue the functioning of the society.

  • MEDIA SHOULD TAKE THE CHARGE TO EXPOSE THE CULPRITS: it is really shameful on the part of those doctors and hospitals who are supposed to save lives but they adopt the horrendous act of aborting the female fetus for the sake few amount of alluring money. First of all determining the sex for anyone is a crime but this crime is still being committed in many hospitals and private clinics with a lot of secrecy. In such a case media can play a very significant role in detecting such doctors and private practitioners. Media can organize sting operations to uncover the fake faces of doctors and medical practitioners who are involved in this abhorrent act. Once these doctors and practitioners are exposed, All India Medical Federation should take strong and firm actions against these inexcusable chaps. And not only the doctors and medical practitioners but also the laboratory practitioners who provide facilities of sex determination, should also be exposed and shut down further. Once these people are exposed by the media it is a big shame for them and hence it is a lesson for those who dare to implement the act of female foeticide.
  •  CHANGE THE MINDS THROUGH SURVEY, ADVERTISEMENTS & COUNSELING: today if girls and women are not been given their due part of respect and value, is because of the long established and deeply rooted false beliefs regarding them. Women are supposed to be weak and inferior identities but today the world is changing and in this global world women are doing their every best to get recognition and acknowledgment. Today women are working equal to men. Women are now reaching out; they are getting education and utilizing their talents. Hence there is a deliberate need to change that ancient and inactive ideology that represents the women as weaker part of the society. Today, girls are equally contributing to the development and enhancement of the nation and the society, so claiming men as the only doer is not valid, in the present time. There is a need to spread the awareness at a wide range and at a big level. Especially in the villages and rural remote areas where such orthodox ideologies and traditions are very much into existence, there the government should organize awareness campaigns to spread information about the female-foeticide and how it can be controlled. Personal counseling could also be done with the males of the families conveying them the knowledge that abortion is not a healthy process; it weakens the body of a female. Frequent number of abortions may create many other health problems for a woman. Volunteers should go village to village and should do the survey and try to make the families aware of this taboo and how it can affect the families in long run. Advertisement can also play a very important role in changing the mentality of the people.  Hence there should be an increase in the number of Visual and Print advertisements.
  •  WOMEN SHOULD MAKE THEIR APPEARANCE VISIBLE: Women who are famous and working on top designations in the society and country, should come forward to spread the message. There are already many famous women among celebrities and bureaucrats who are working for this cause and spreading awareness among the people. And frankly speaking the youth of the nation today is very much influenced with the media and celebrities today. They try to follow those famous personalities and pay attention to what those celebs do and say. Therefore, if in this concern celebrity women may join together and spread the message then it would certainly motivate the people to transform their ethos and attitude towards the women because these women are an example for the society that they have made the nation proud of them. And if they have done it so why cannot the other women? Women should come on front stage now to ask and fight for their Right of Existence.
  • INVOLVEMENT OF YOUTH: youth can always do a lot when it comes to spread any noble message among the society. Youth of today has innovative and modern minds. They think positive and respect the roles of each of the part (male and female). Youth can make use of their creative minds and convey this noble message among everyone. Today in such an advanced techno-atmosphere youth has so many ways to connect with the people all around the world. Hence here they can make a better use to networking sites and platform to spread the information and awareness regarding female- foeticide. College and school students can also come forth in order to spread the message at large. The more hands would join together for this, social- cause, the more women would be able to prove their existence in the society.

Female-foeticide is a negative approach that actually condemns the existence of the females. First of all we are not God to decide; who deserves to live or to die. We have to understand that male and female both are essential parts of the life. No one is less than the other and both deserve to be lived. Both have their particular roles to play for the society hence it is entirely wrong to be partial only for one category and simply neglecting the other. Female-foeticide is an issue of One’s Existence! The one who has given birth to this cycle of life is also a female. A male doesn’t do wonders by giving his sperms to resonate a life but it is only a female who carries that sperm in her womb for nine months to give birth to a new life. And here having a female fetus is not the fault of the female; it is the sperm of the male which is all alone responsible to determine the sex of the fetus under the womb. So, indirectly a male is himself demeaning his act, he gives life and then he forces a female to kill that life considering the female to be responsible for all this. A female should stand alone for her existence and the existence of her girl child. When a female is ready to respect her own existence in the society, the people would also respect her existence.

Hence, female foeticide should be not being understood as a matter of aborting but a matter of Fight for Existence!

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