Sunday, 13 April 2008

The Vanishing Girls....


In my everyday chat converstions with my friend "Shipra" we came to a topic of dicussion on the movie "Matrubhoomi". I saw the movie last year and it still sends shivers down my spine whenever I remember the story.

The movie revolves around a time when female foeticide has skewed the male female ratio so much that the heroine of the movie "Kalki" is married off to 5 brothers. The whole setting is of some village in Bihar. The movies leaves you with visions of barbaric men and scenes of violence. The theme of the movie "skewed gender ratio if we keep on killing the girl child" was good. The way it is put across by the director leaves you with a bad taste.

The fate of the girl child today in India is as dismal as it was 2 decades back. Inspite of laws banning sex detemination of an unborn child, the killing of female foetuses is still common in some parts of India. The country which worships godesses like "Laxmi" and "Durga" who are females, now has to bribe its citizens by launching monetary schemes to save the girl child.

The situation has come to this stage that the Women and Child Development Minister Renuka Chowdhary launched a ‘Conditional cash Transfer for Girl Child with Insurance Cover (CCT)'. This scheme will give the family with a girl child, money at certain intervals and for specific purposes like vaccination, education etc. till the girl turns 18.

This scheme was launched with a mindset that it will encourage parents to educate the girl and look at her as an asset rather than a liabilty.

Economic, cultural and religious dynamics play a major role in giving preference to a "Son" over "Daughter". Gender discrimination and son idolization is a very common practice, be it educated or uneducated people. The girl child is considered as a burden to be passed on to another family. Having a son is considered good fortune. The son is considered an asset as he will continue the familys lineage and also be a support to the parents in their old age.

In todays world a daughter stands shoulder to shoulder with the son. She can take all the responsibilty as a son can. It angers me when I hear educated people giving preference to a son over a daughter. What does a Son have that a Daughter doesn't???

Is it not the responsibilty of educated people like "us" to set an example for others to follow. If we ourselves continue this discrimination.. is there any hope left for the girl child??

The entire world is looking at India as one of the fastest progressing country in the world. Are we actually progressing in the real sense?

When your "right to live" itself is threatened, because you are born a Girl, slogans like "India Poised" and "India Shining" all seem hollow and futile.

“You can tell the condition of a nation by looking at the status of its women”.
- Jawaharlal Nehru-

2 comments:

indianhomemaker said...

I feel now this has just become a habit... we don't really think about it. We have been blessing the mothers to "pooto phalo, doodho nahao" for so long that we have totally forgotten that girl child is also our own flesh and blood. It is possible that in the beginning the parents hated the thought of parting with their little girls and it was obviously traumatic for them, so they steeled their hearts by convincing themselves that this was for the best, and they started teaching the child that she is a 'paraya dhan'. They kept themselves from becoming too attached to their female children for the same reason. And then it became such a habit that now when they only want one or to children, they don't want to waste their ..money and time on a female baby.
I feel the biggest reason for not wanting daughters is that raising a daughter is seen as preparing a care taker for somebody else's family. A son is seen as a pension plan and smart investment.
In India when we talk of senior citizens we only mean a son's parents, and criticise a daughter in law for not looking after her in laws. How come we never say a son-in-law and daughter are also equally responsible for taking care for their parents? For this kind of balance, Nuclear families are the best.
A daughter's parents should feel that their daughter is their daughter all their lives, she can support them even after she is married, and she is NOT 'paraya dhan'. If both the male and the female children are seen as a support for future - parents will be in less of a hurry to abort female foetuses.

Lazy Pineapple said...

Hey thanks for commenting on my post.

Yes, it is so true. Even in educated families it is the same thing. A bahu is suppose to take care of her in-laws and forget that she ever had parents and that they need her....it is really absurd and makes my blood boil.

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