Missing Daughters in India


All my life I had to fight. I had to fight my daddy. I had to fight my uncles. I had to fight my brothers. A girl child ain’t safe in a family of men, but I ain’t never thought I’d have to fight in my own house!!”

–Sophia from ‘Color Purple’.

If anyone who rejects the gender discrimination happens in India, should read ‘Alice Walker’, small novella by Alice Walker. Little cute girl is telling her story. She is writing letters to God. She is beaten by her father, brother because she is girl. She couldn’t get schooling because she is girl. She is harassed by vicious man. She likes her mother, because she only supports her in difficult time. Gender discrimination is deeply ridden in whole society and single mother couldn’t act against.

Year Child sex ratio
1981 952
1992 945
2001 927
2011 914

(Statistic shows Number of girls per thousand boys, below age 6 )

In India, number of infant girls has been drastically reduced and reached lowest point in last fifty years. Watch the graph (taken from Economist) and table with statistics of last three decades. Now, Average number of girl infants per thousand boys in 914. This ratio is variable as per different geographical regions. In the states in which around river Ganges flow, this count is below 850. Haryana, West Bengal, Punjab, Tamil Nadu are suffering from social problem.

Child Sex Ratio in India
Child Sex Ratio in India

Even we say, Government has taken steps to act against this by providing free education to girls with more priority, changes are not turned effective. Currently, not only in rural area, but also in cities, people feel reluctant to give birth to girls. Pre birth sonography or sex determination is legally banned, but there is no firm way to implement, couples go on aborting girls before birth.
In many news I have heard about social culture in Tamil nadu, little girls are not allowed to go to school, parent feel wastage of money spent on girl as girls are given to after marriage. When poverty doesn’t allow feed, infant girls are abandoned out, sold for money, forced to work in prostitution. The man, who thinks daughter as trouble, should be patted ‘You are lucky chap to be here..!” Families support girls acting against the male dominated bastion, but at the time of marriage, much dowry has to be provided to groom.

Society has been plagued with gender discrimination. It is a critical problem same as corruption, India facing. Collective actions are required from all communities.

 

Reference links:

1. Wikipedia Census of India.
2. Government of India Census report Download pdf here.
3. The Color Purple (1985 film), eighth movie, directed by Steven Spielberg is based on novel with the same name by Pulitzer Prize winning writer Alice Walker. Oprah Winfrey acts as Sophia in this movie.

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