As one grows through the difficult experiences of teenage, enjoying the liberty of education, exploring the joys of womanhood, it is nauseating to know that someone will never feel the thrill of the first shower of rain, never breathe the air of freedom, will never be the person she could have been, without any fault of hers but only because she was a girl, a woman in the making.
One of the greatest threats to our contemporary civilization is the menace of skewed sex ratio. The increasing imbalance between men and women is leading to many crimes such as illegal trafficking of women, sexual assaults, polygamy and dehumanisation of society. These acts have been increasing, making this world unsafe for women. Female foeticide is one of the most nefarious crimes on earth; perhaps what is detestable is that the people who commit crimes belong to the educated class. Sex ratio in India is getting more and more disproportionate over the years. Unfortunately the educated and the elite still seem to consider their male child a status symbol, and thereby partake in creating an imbalance in the male-female sex ratio.
One tends to question, what effect do the media awareness programmes and different initiatives taken by the government and non-government organisations really have? Are they really effective in bringing about any change in the outlook of the society?
If not, where lies the loophole?
A baby girl tied in a polythene bag and dumped in a public dustbin left to be torn away by wild stray dogs. An incident that took place nowhere else but in the very capital of our country.
To cite a couple of more examples, of many, the recovery of pieces of bones of newly born female foetuses from a hospital backyard in Ratlam district of Madhya Pradesh in February this year. And bodies of more than 100 foetuses found outside an abortion clinic in Pattran town in Punjab in August last year were both deplorable. Case histories like these should make us think a hundred times before we call ourselves citizens of a developed progressive nation of the 21st century trying to live with the illusion that we are at par with the developed giants of the world.
We have developed technologically, no doubt, but are we putting these technological developments in proper use?
Portable machines are taken to remote villages by motorcycles. As a consequence, infanticide has given way to foeticide.
Reasons for selective abortions are many, from carrying the family name forward, lighting the funeral pyre to hoping for a male breadwinner in the family. But the reason, which tops the list, is dowry – a price paid by the parents to marry off their daughters.
No society can survive without women. The practice of female foeticide is not only a violation of human rights but also puts a question mark on our integrity as humans. It stagnates our growth as people. If the patriarchal society has made the rules, then they can surely be reworked. Why do we need to have different attitudes towards men and women? Why can’t they just be treated as individuals and valued for their worth?
Her every unformed limb is battling for her rights, her every stifled cry begs for freedom and her every unsung death mourns the dilatory demise of humanity.