Samwaad Session 10 – Issue of Female Foeticide

As reported by our correspondent Priyanshi Joshi

This session of Samwaad dealt with the India’s one of the most burning issue – that is female foeticide. Since many centuries in India, the girl child is killed as soon as she is born through the system of Dudhpeeti – drowning the girl child in milk. For the same reason, sex determination is also banned in India. The family aborts the child if it is a girl.

With the screening of the movie ‘Matrubhoomi’, the situation faced by women in society was black and white. The movie, while highlighting the biggest issues in Indian society, gave a description of what will happen in a society which is without women. In that case, the situation of women, especially in the rural areas will worsen. In the movie, the father of five sons is unable to find a bride for his eldest son despite of the constant efforts and when after long wait he does find a girl, she has been forced to marry to all his five sons. The father buys the girl with lofty sum of money and treats her as a owned property with no individual rights. When only the youngest son treats her with respect and tenderness, he is killed by his jealous brothers. The girl becomes a pawn of revenge in an inter-community conflict and an unwilling object of sexual release for even more men. She is chained to a post in the cow shed and gang raped mercilessly night after night.  Not only the movie deals with the rampant exploitation of the girl with the mental and physical abuses, but there is also class distinction with “upper class” and “lower class’. The film ends on a violent but hopeful note, as she bears a baby girl while the men of the village kill each other off over rights to her and her child.

According to the reports of UNICEF, decades of sex determination tests and female foeticide has skewered sex ratios in the states like Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh. With the news of increasing number of female foetuses being aborted from Orissa to Bangalore there is ample evidence to suggest that the next census will reveal a further fall in child sex ratios throughout the country.

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