India is known for many things, mainly for its huge population and its wide array of extravagant customs. But what we nonchalantly choose to ignore are a multitude of traditional discrepancies in our society, that have been running for centuries now and are still blindly followed. One such conflicting and heart-wrenching reality is that of the female infanticide.
A family in Odisha have turned this very fear of ours into a bitter reality when they buried their 6-hour-old daughter in a shallow sand pit in the Shyamsundarpur village of the Jajpur district of the state.
How Was The Baby Saved?
The baby came into notice when the villagers saw a strange object moving in the open area of the pit. A passerby decided to take a look at the rearing object and discovered that it was in fact was a newborn baby struggling for breath as she was buried upside down by someone.
The baby who had her umbilical cord still attached was quickly wrapped in a fabric and rushed to the nearest community center by the villagers.
The doctors examined the baby and revealed all her parameters to be normal. A case of attempted female infanticide could be lodged against the parents. But as of now, their identity remains unclear
Why Would Anybody Kill An Infant Babygirl?
For all of us living comfortably under a roof with a mobile phone in our hands and laptops on our laps, it’s hard to imagine why a woman/parent in the impoverished state of Odisha would ever kill a newborn babygirl. But, lets try.
For these people, the first concern after giving birth to a girl is that of her marriage. Our customs showcase marriage as an agreement between two families where a father sells his daughter to a man for some incumbent amount of money (dowry). Half of the people in the rural parts of the nation are still suffering from this corrupted and gruesome mentality.
Secondly, their bloodlines won’t progress because a girl would eventually marry into another family and help advance their surname. Doesn’t make much of a sense to me but to some people its more important than a human life. So here’s an example of beliefs taking over common sense, ladies and gentlemen.
When Will This End?
According to government reports, India has lost 3 million girls to infanticide in the past the decade. While we did witness an overall decline in the share of children to total population, there were still 3 million girls missing in 2011 as compared to 2001.
So when is this actually going to end? Can’t say. I don’t want to sound a pessimist but look at it. It’s been 60 years since our independence and we are still struggling with cases of female infanticide. In fact, the numbers have only gotten more alarming.
Awareness needs to be spread. Education needs to be mandatory. I know the government is doing the best it can but this has to end. Proper sessions and more support groups for women giving birth out of wedlock need to be enforced. Small-towners need to be enlightened about the benefits that the government is offering for parents with girl child.
It is essential that we do our bit and we can do that by making our maids and domestic helpers, aware of this horrible discrepancy that has only been flourishing in the underbelly of our society. Let’s do our part here and then hope for a better future for every baby girl born in India.
Image Credits: Google
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