It was the blackest day for womanhood on earth.A sleepy town of the poorest state of India suddenly found itself in limelight.Several aborted female foetuses were found on the foothills of Duburi,a little away from the town of Nayagarh.On further probing,several such 'bodies' were found in a nearby dilapilated well.The police came into action only after mediapersons took extensive photographs of the 'strewn pieces of humanity'-all mangled and bitten.Most probably,all these 'corpses' were at the mercy of stray dogs.The most gory of sights and the most disturbing visuals.
Little could one think that the most barbaric act against humanity was done by qualified surgeons-'the messiahs of humanity'.Soon, the government swung into action-dismissing several top health officials of the state,raiding all kinds of ultrasound clinics,nursing homes and the like.In short,the noble profession of medicine lost its 'nobility'.Such was the effect that a central government deputation flew from Delhi to probe the incident.Some findings were reported and some doctors either suspended or dismissed.The concept of 'missing girls' came to the media.
A year later,the situation seems to be improving.The birth rate of girls has increased from 910 against 1000 boys in 2006-7 to 970 against 1000 boys in 2007-8 in Nayagarh district of Orissa.But,sadly,the crux of the matter remains hidden.The sickening mentality of people cannot be changed overnight.A lot remains to be done.Again the question arises,who will do?
The dislike towards girl child is rampant across all strata of the conservative Indian soceity.Poorer sections are bent on parenting a male offspring,even if they continue to beget several daughters.The richer sections of the soceity also long for the same- the reasons being beyond my analysis.Two real life incidents can be quoted in this context. My driver has three daughters.His son,third in line(after two daughters in a row) died hours after birth on account of premature delivery.Still,he is bent on having a son-'the saviour of his lineage'.He earnings bring just enough to fill the stomachs of his ever-increasing family.
The other case is still more eluding.A bank officer's wife underwent sex-determination test during her second pregnancy and the results came to be male.But it proved to be wrong or mistaken when she eventually delivered a healthy baby girl.She does not bother about her infant daughter till date.Her parents blame her husband on his inability to father a son.Only God can save that ill-fated child-'the bundle of joy' if she would have been,only if she were born elsewhere.
We can do nothing other than praying to God for instilling some kind of sense into people ,who though literate, have failed to be humane.
This reminds me of some poignant lines of a Hindi song:
"Agley janam mohe bitiya na kijo,
Bitiya jo kijo to aisa na kijo...."
which roughly translates as:'Don't make me a daughter in my next birth,my God;If I would be a daughter again,don't do this to me ..Oh Lord !Don't do this to me'.