Friday, April 23, 2021

The Sorrowful Tale Of Unwanted Girls in “Progressive” India

Unwanted Girls, a phenomenon and a stigma that refuses to leave the Indian society! Known for a terrible sex ratio, India is now becoming home to a rising number of unwanted girls. A new government report released on Monday revealed that the number of ‘unwanted girls’ in the country stands at an astonishing 21 million.

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The reason for the same is the age-old preference for sons, because of which couples continue to have children till the time they give birth to a boy. The point to note here is that the preference for sons is not just a problem faced in the rural areas; it is very much an existing condition amongst the urban, wealthy and ‘modern’ families.

Rising Unwanted Girls & The Poor Sex Ration In India

However, the male-to-female sex ration, despite the rising number of ‘unwanted girls’, is still very poor, according to the government report. The statistics for India, in general, show the numbers at 1108 males per 1000 females while that in states like Punjab and Haryana the numbers are worse at 1200 males per 1000 females. Another saddening fact is that the life of the girls continues to remain ‘unimportant’ as they receive poor education and nourishment, as compared to their brothers.

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Despite being declared as an illegal act; several families still continue to get the pregnancy tests done for sex detection, which is most often followed by an abortion in case the foetus is found to be female. Moreover, the high mortality rate for female children, according to the report, has led to a ‘missing’ classification of a gender gap of 63 million women.

Why Are Unwanted Girls still a Thing?

The reasons for preferring male children, according to the authors of the report, is the age-old importance given to the males in our patriarchal society. Male offspring are given the rights for performing religious rituals for parents and are also in some communities the only heir to the family property. Another reason for the same is the ‘burden’ that comes with the birth of a girl child in the form of dowry that has to be given at the time of her marriage.

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India, a growing economy and a rising superpower, is still regressive at many fronts. It’s shocking and saddening at the same time, that women, girls and even the female foetus are unsafe in modern India.

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