Legalize and record the sex of the fetus to curb female fetocide.
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Fetus sex determination is illegal and government has framed laws to prevent the same. However, it continues happen on a regular basis very secretively. Patients are charged anywhere in between 5000 to 20000 rupees depending on the hospital and doctor. Any additional effort to further tighten the rules and curtail this practice will cost government dearly with little returns. Before you conclude that people involved in this practice should be severely punished, I request you give this complex problem a benefit of doubt. Most of the times they do it after listening to the situation pregnant is in.
This particular issue of sex determination and subsequent abortion if the sex is female is eventuated due to various beliefs and pressures. I have come across many situations where in the woman had more than 2 daughters and was in desperation for a boy. We can argue that her wish is wrong and girls are no way less able than boys. I categorically admit that boys and girls are equal in every aspect but how deep has this thought percolated in our society?
I have come across situations when a woman is mocked for her inability to give birth to a son. I also wish to emphasize that use of “mocked” is euphemism. Mother in law warns woman that she would not be allowed back home after the delivery if the child is not a boy. Husband doesn’t pay visit to his wife after delivery due to sex of the child. These might seem abysmal and absurd to those who have not across them. Woman losing conscious due to severe dehydration and trauma as a result of heart wrenching disappointment and uncontrollable crying after knowing the sex of the child she just delivered is not so uncommon either. These are the people who cannot afford to pay for the sex determination.
There are situations when woman gives birth to a boy after 2, 3 or even 4 daughters. These are the families who cannot afford to pay 10000 to get sex determination test, imagine how well they can bring up the kids. They end up raising a spoiled brat and condemned girls. These girls will not be sent to schools, would be underfed and discriminated by their own parents. They hardly reach adolescence before being married off to someone without an ounce of knowledge about anything.
I could go on and on about the plight of the women and atrocities committed by society and how these women become society for the generations to come. I strongly emphasize that men are not exception and contribute equally or even more so to this social evil. Government of India has come a long way in redeeming people from these beliefs of gender inequality. Beti-bacho andolan, Bhagya Lakshmi yogana and many other schemes have had a huge impact.
But, there is a majority of the population giving birth to kids they cannot bring up with basic amenities. This is the majority of the population which is contributing positively to the sex ratio. This is majority of the population where most of the social evils runs rampant. Creating awareness is the first step of tackling a problem but framing policies are more effective. Now, more than ever we are capable of solving these ancient issues.
Sex determination of the fetus of all the registered pregnant women has to become mandatory and the same should be recorded at the earliest. Sex determination test for the poor section of the society has to be state sponsored. If the determined sex of the fetus is female, any case of loss of pregnancy other than the natural causes or due to inappropriate age should be made a criminal case against the woman, husband and their parents. If the family decides that they cannot bring up the child with basic amenities, there has to be a state run adoption program to make sure these kids have parents who do not treat them as burden. Every child should be bought up with certain basic amenities without discrimination and female fetocide has to end.
If implemented, a policy like this can have a positive impact on economically weaker sections of the society. We could have a new generation which was not neglected and received better amenities. As a nation, we could have more happy families and confident woman.
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