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Commit to Appointing and Publicising a Dedicated Cell to Fight Female Foeticide in Delhi

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'Second Life for the baby girl who was left abandoned on the streets to die.'

This was the  newspaper headlines a few days back.

In the early morning hours, outside the Safdarjung hospital in the city a newborn baby girl - still with her umbilical cord attached - was found abandoned and in critical health. Underweight and wet after hours of intermittent rainfall throughout the night, the baby's condition is deteriorating. 

A white band on her left wrist describes her as "unknown female".

India witnesses one of the highest female foeticide incidents in the world according to a study. Female foeticide is increasing with becoming an unbridled phenomenon across India.

The thought of abandoning one's newborn is unfathomable to most. Unfortunately, we live in a world where ‘trash-bin babies’ are becoming more commonplace now.

“The emotional , sexual, and psychological stereotyping of females begins when the doctors says, It's a girl.

These words from the little bent lady in the blue and white sari, ‘Saint Mother Teresa’ lifting a baby girl from the crib in her arms ring in my head when I think of these missing girls.

Female foeticide has long, historical roots in India. The term ‘missing’ is actually a euphemism, first used by the Nobel laureate, Dr.Amartya Sen, when he had served India the first warning. He had calculated that  37 million women were ‘missing’ from the country who should have been part of the population but could not be accounted for.

Misogyny can not be wiped out through conventional education that does not teach gender equality. Girls are fast disappearing in our country. It is silent and ongoing.

Where have all the girls gone? At least 117 million girls demographically go “missing” due to sex-selective abortions.

While the statistics on the number of babies killed or abandoned at birth are murky- the vast majority go unreported and the radically declining skewed sex ratio is an inescapable indication of higher incidence in urban areas than in rural areas according to girls count co-ordinator in Delhi.

We now fight against misogynistic patriarchal societies to stop selective sex abortion.

It has been more than 20 years since the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prevention and regulation of  Misuse) PNDT Act was established. Yet poor implementation is keeping the issue of female foeticide alive in some parts of South Delhi points out data.

For example the child sex ratio took a dip from 1060 girls per 1000 boys in 2014 to 959 girls in 2015. The ratio is most skewed in south Delhi, a place where the rich and educated live. It is here that maximum number of girls go missing.

For those yearning for a son, the sex determination clinics are modern temples. It is like weeding-plucking off girls from the soil of the womb reserved for the production of sons.

This is why, I am asking for a stricter implementation of the Law through a fully-functional PNDT Cell in Delhi, to fight female foeticide.

For a government that prides itself on its stellar Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Initiative, one would expect that it would take the right measures to rid the nation of the scourge of female foeticide. Better socio-economic or educational levels, far from improving child sex ratio (CSR) balances, seem to be actually reducing them!

Delhi has been identified with the lowest child sex ratio according to the 2016 CRS data. In some places where the centres are monitored, technology has played a major role and sex determination was being conducted in moving vehicles.

For an Act like PNDT to make an impact, it is essential that there is vigilance at all times and monitoring of the Committees.

I am a social worker who has worked for the reform of child protection systems but more importantly, I am a woman. And without doubt, the most gut wrenching sound I’ve ever heard is that of silence of authorities.

This is why, I am asking the government to officially commit to a time-line within which the associated practices of female foeticide will be effectively arrested through the rigorous enforcement of existing laws and a stringent accountability on the part of these dedicated cells..

May I further contend, on grounds of human rights, that immediate and effective action be taken by the government, through the implementation of rapid action task forces, to halt this femicide.

The standpoint of this petition is to treat this as a situation of extensive priority by Signing my Petition! 

Together, we can take a step towards making sure the child sex ratio of Delhi increases, and we no longer have #MissingGirls. #SheVotes2019