Friday, September 8, 2006

They let their daughters live!

Here is a news story that shows how some villages have zero tolerance for female foeticide. It is funny, how Hindustan Times labels this as a Punjab problem and completely ignores that this trend is more common in Tamilnadu, Gujrat and other states. Also, I wish it would an article on how this problem is due to women not being empowered and not being allowed to have rights and not afforded opportunities in India. I think Punjabi women are fair much better than women in the rest of India. My last trip, I saw hardly any women driving cars, scooters etc. in New Delhi, where Punjab was full of them. Well, nice thing is that Punjabis are acknowledging that the problem exists and are working on a remedy.,000900010001.htm

In Punjab, the battle for survival begins early for girls -in the womb. It is not a war they are known to winning (there are only 784 women to every 1000 men in the state). But Jalahmajra, a village in the state's Nawanshahar district, is willing to let its daughters live.
In some respects, it has achieved the impossible-- registering more female than male births (1100 against 1000 males). The government has responded with a prize of Rs 3 lakh for the village. Sukhwinder Kaur, who recently celebrated the birth of her first granddaughter, said: "We have prayed with folded hands to people to refrain from doing this deed. Whether it is a girl or a boy it does not matter."
So what worked here? A zero-tolerance approach to sex determination tests and a hawk-eyed vigil on pregnant women. "We have also linked it to the birth and death register. Once that is in place, we automatically come to know which particular pregnancy should have ended in a birth at what time. If that is not reflect in the birth register, it means something has gone wrong. We can then catch the culprits," civil surgeon Harcharan Singh said.


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