Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Bitter Truth : Killing Daughters one Foetus at a time

I am the mother of a son ( and truth be told I had wanted a girl with an unholy fervor...to the extent that I had  only picked out a girl's name). Much of this fervor came with my childhood experiences : the discrimination of  girls from boys...whether it was food, pocket money, opportunities...there was a difference - even in the so-called educated echelons of society. It wasn't a big surprise that my thesis for my first year of under-grad was on Female Foeticide, I got an A+ in that paper but was left with the distinct feeling that I had just scratched the tip of an iceberg...based on what I have seen in India ( and mind you a lot of this blog post is based on my formative experiences in India, so take it with a grain of salt) - sons feel entitled while daughters feel grateful for being given a chance. India has progressed yet I see that the problem  has aggravated : where now no longer is a woman just focused on the household chores, she also is expected to go out and earn a livelihood with her man. Example in Point: The three ladies who worked for my Ma in Pune, all contributed 40%+ of the household income but took care of 100% of all the domestic chores at home. The statistician in me kept asking them pointed questions and the answers I got pissed me off no end.

In a country that worships Ma Durga for ten days, it is ironical that we treat this issue with such blase disregard. Why this renewed interest in the topic, last night I was in the mood for a serious documentary and I watched an episode of "Satyameva Jayate" ( the truth always wins)  which was on Female Foeticide.

The episode is in Hindi, but the statistics from this episode are eye-popping and self-explanatory. If you are interested in watching the episode feel free to go here

(A) This problem started in urban areas and spread to rural areas...contrary to belief that it was practiced by the uneducated, it is propagated by the educated.
(B) This problem used to be prevalent only in 3 states (with Tamil Nadu leading the charter) when I did my research in 1992, in 2012 - this phenomenon has spread across India
(C) The Sex Ratio has been declining dramatically the past 20 years...

I had read somewhere - Women, who comprise half the world's population, do two thirds of the world's work, earn one tenth of the world's income and own one hundredth of the world's property

The Change lies within - it is about Society changing it's mindset, implementing checks and balances in the system, it is about these us women refusing to be victims and choosing to walk down the lesser-trodden road...

Incidentally it was Bapa who brainstormed with me almost two decades back and helped me pick the topic on Female Foeticide...it has been exactly 3 months today since he passed away (March 11th,2013) and the emptiness and grief that hit me today  was unusually sharp...

So how is your week turning out? I had wonderful food delivered by House of Lakshmi - soul satisfying South Indian Food...I have two boys calling me downstairs to go for a walk down to the Bay Trails and I am  excited to be a part of TedXSanJose tomorrow...so bonjour  tristesse thank you for being a constant companion the past three months...can I take a rain check for the next couple days!

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