Save the Girl Child – Essay
“Save the Girl Child” is a social initiative in India to fight against the practice of female foeticide. The initiative also aims are protecting, safeguarding, supporting, and educating the girl child.
Our present Prime Minister has requested every section of the society to give whole-hearted support to the “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao“ abhiyan (initiative). ‘Beth Bachao’ means ‘save girl child’ and ‘Beth Padhao’ means ‘educate the girl child.’
Poor households, when faced with the choice, often choose to send their male children to school instead of their female children, instead saddling female children with back-breaking household chores.
Female foeticide is both a national problem and a social evil. It’s unbelievable that the urge for a boy-child makes them so cruel that they dare to kill the yet to be born. The child sex ratio (CSR), according to 2011 population census, was 943 female child for every 1000 male child. The Low CSR may lead to a dangerous situation. As such it is crucial to step in and save the female children.
Causes of female foeticide
Various scholars have suggested different possible causes for the problem of female foeticide.
1. Low position of women: Women have been subjected to injustice since ages. Some people feel that the birth of girl child may lower their status in the society. There is discrimination against the girl child and an extreme desire for boy-child among some sections of our society.
2. Extreme poverty: People who live in extreme poor condition often think that the girl child would cause more economic hardship to them. The social evil of dowry system further worsens the situation. Some people think that they will to have to arrange for huge dowry for her marriage.
3. Illiteracy: Illiteracy is the leading of all social evils. Illiterate people are ignorant people, and not able to judge their actions in the right perspective.
4. Dowry system: Dowry system refers to the custom of paying money and other valuables to the groom’s family at the time of marriage. This tradition was probably introduced to give financial assistance to the newly wed couple. However, often, it is seen that the greedy family members of the groom’s family demand huge amount of money at the time of marriage. Dowry is viewed as a huge burden by the parents of the girl-child. (Please note that dowry is prohibited by law in India. )
How to save girl child?
1. Women empowerment: The women need to be empowered. A woman has every right to give birth to a baby. The girl child is a blessing of God. Just give her a chance, and she will make you proud with her achievements.
2. Awareness: Every citizen of civilized society should be made aware of the fact that a girl child is as important as a boy child. If she gets the right opportunity, she can provide economic support to the family and help them to come out of poverty level.
3. Education: Education raises the consciousness of a person. The mental pattern in favor of society should be transformed. This is the time for historic changes in the society. Both girls and boys should (Also read about women education here.)
4. Love, respect, and equality: Girls, just like their counterparts, deserves true freedom and equality. All children, girls and boys equally, deserve to be treated with love and respect. When we truly treat someone with love, we respect their autonomy and help them to achieve the very best that they can.
How to save girl child after her birth?
The girl child is not only unsafe inside her mother’s womb. Even after her birth, she has to face various hardships because of gender inequality. We must save the girl child after her birth as well. There is something that all of us can do to help girls all over the world.
- We all agree that girls’ education is very important. The girls should get a safe and comfortable environment at schools.
- The girl should get equal access to the educational resources of the school.
- There should be separate toilets for girl-children at schools.
- There is need for a shift in mental attitude in favor of equality between boys and girls.
- The belief that only a male-child can support the parents during the old age doesn’t hold true in today’s context. A girl can take care and support her family as well.
- The family members of the girl child should come forward to protect her rights, both within and outside her home.
- We can reach out to girls in our community and help them with their needs.
- The physical abuse and harassment of girl child should be dealt strictly. The guilty should be punished as per the law.
- Dowry stem should be effectively discouraged through media campaigns. Emphasis should be made to impart moral education to put an end to this evil system.
- Doctors and other medical professions should be encouraged to behave responsibly. They should never indulge in any mal-practices such as prenatal sex determination.
- We can promote strong images of powerful, successful girls and women that will serve as role models and help to combat gender based cultural discrimination.
- We can also donate money to schemes that are designed to help girls, or volunteer with charitable organizations overseas.
- Though Child marriage is illegal, it is still prevalent at many places. It may lead to serious consequences such as teen pregnancy. Sex education, both formal and informal, may help individual make better choices.
- Proper counselling, nutritional, and medical facilities will help in creating a good atmosphere for development of the girl child.
The ‘save the child girl, educate the girl child’ initiative is actively supported by the Government, corporate groups, human rights activists and NGOS.
Under the initiative of ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’, several social organizations have come forward to build toilet at girl schools.
The corporate India, as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), is also earmarking funds for the welfare of school going girls.
Legal status of prenatal sex determination
According to the laws prevailing in India, the determination of prenatal sex during pregnancy is illegal and punishable by law.
It is unfortunate that people still misuse the ultrasonography (diagnostic sonography) scan to determine the sex of the unborn baby. There is a need for:
- Strict enforcement of laws relating to medical scanning.
- Impart moral teachings on doctors.
- Educate people that there is no difference between a girl and a boy child.
Save Girl Child is a phrase that ought to be very important to all of us. We still, sadly, live in a very unequal world where girls and women are discriminated against according to their gender. Girls are at greater risk of gender based violence, and also from gendered threats such as female foeticide, forced marriage, lower pay due to gender based discrimination, child pregnancy, lower education levels due to the undervaluing of female education, sexual harrassment and much more. As such, it is important to take care of girl children and to give them all of the opportunities that they need to succeed in life.
We belong to the modern generation of humanity. We seek an environment where every human-being is considered free. We seek an environment where every unborn child is welcomed without any gender bias.
Mahatma Gandhi gave the slogan of ‘do or die’ to his countrymen for the cause of their motherland. The unborn girl-child is also seeking similar spirit among the countrymen in support of her cause.
Essay on Girl Child Infanticide
Women are the receiving end in Indian society. They are will treated or tortured at every stage. A girl child is in bondage from her very childhood. She is under constant, vigil First by the parents, then her husband and finally her own children. Not only that, she is often condemned to death even before she is born. This is called female killing in the womb itself.
In ancient India the birth of a girl child was hailed as auspicious. An old Indian proverb lies down that a home without a daughter is like a body without soul. The coming of a daughter in the house was compared to the advent of Laxmi, the Goddess of wealth and Saraswati, the Goddess of fine arts. The usual blessing of a father at the time of his daughter’s marriage was: “May you excel in learning and public speaking”. No ceremony was considered complete without the presence of women. The belief was that “No home is complete without a woman.”
The situation, however drastically changed during the middle Ages when India was subjected to frequent foreign invasions. The invaders batty also comprised of women suffered badly, infanticide and ‘Purdah’ became prevalent. Sending a girl to school became risky. There was, therefore, sudden decline in female literacy and the position of women in society. This tradition lasting till today and the killing of a fetus has started with a boom.
The problem of female fetus is widespread in urban centres. With the help of new techniques it has become possible to determine the sex of the unborn baby or the fetus, and if it is found to be a girl child then, this is followed by abortion. Clinics offering such service have come up all over the country.
There are severing laws against the misuse of parental diagnostic techniques, which are meant only for detecting abnormalities in the unborn infant. The doctors, however, violate this law. Not a single case has been fielding so far under the law, which forbids such an unethical practice.
Today, the problem is quite widespread in the northern states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. There are pockets of Tamilnadu where killing a girl child is practiced traditionally. The tribes, the Toda, The Kallar and the Gounder, earlier lived in war zones are facing torture of army soldier. They started to kill the girl child in order to keep the population of women down and thus save them from rape by invading armies. In Rajasthan also, a girl child is looked upon as a curse because her father has to lie low before the father of boy at the time of match finding.
Upon attaining puberty, a girl is considered to be a security risk, a likely source of trouble for the family’s honor and reputation. Then there are economic reasons for her killing. She is a liability for her parents from the cradle ceremony to the marriage. There has been not let up in the dowry system, which breaks the back of the parents. She is got rid of in order to save the family properly from partition. In some communities there is a dirty superstition that is a daughter is killed, the next child will be a son. In China also, the eldest male child inherits the property look upon the male child as their protector and supporter in old age. This gender-bias leads to the killing of girl child.
The greatest tragedy is that women themselves permit the death of their daughters as mercy killing. Unwanted baby girls are often left on the road or in the maternity homes at night. This is due to the unhealthy sex before marriage or due to the husband of may died, who is the only source to take of her and her baby. This unhealthy practice has caused a great imbalance in the ratio of boys and girls in several states and communities. To prevent this situation we must provide proper education and the laws, that are presently could not trap the criminal, should be strict. So those, all the people who engage in this child infanticide crime, think twice before doing it.
917 words essay on Girl child in India
At least in India, the girl child has been a topic of discussions and debates for the past several decades but, even today, the position appears to remain unchanged. The girl was always an unwanted child, and was found killed at birth. With the advancement of Science and Technology this killing has only gone still further — for now the girl child is being killed even before birth.
The present scenario in which the girl child is mercilessly killed even before birth, does not speak too well about the fate of this species. The scenario is so varied that, it is really difficult to understand what we are really doing or trying to do in this regard.
On the one hand we see girls entering in the fields of all kinds of professions holding senior positions in offices, becoming engineers, doctors, managers etc. We are obviously impressed and are likely to believe that, the position of the girl is now after all not too bad.
However, the complexity of the problem becomes malicious when we see that, together with girls entering professions there is a simultaneous and continuous rise in the graph of crimes against women. Why and how do these two sides of the same problem co-relate, is a mind-boggling situation.
This situation is true of the urban area where education and freedom is given to girls — to a great extent, but even this growth of this class does not really bear any testimony to the equality of girls with boys.
The rural areas consisting of the major chunk of the Indian population see no — yes absolutely no change in the general attitude towards girls. In the villages, girls are not sent to schools and, if at all they are, they drop out after an year or two of schooling.
Here, the myth still remains that, education is useless for girls — they have to concentrate on house work, child bearing and child bringing up all through life — and all this, it is believed needs no education. The village people are hard to convince that education of women is as important if not more important than the education of men.
In the village, the girl child has no say in anything in the home, not even things of her own concern — she is, even to-day in the 21st Century treated as an object to be used instead of an individual human being with all the ingredients of human beings — like her counterparts — the boy.
She, even today remains to have the status of an object to be used or dispensed with at the whims and fancies of her male family members. With this psyche of the average Indian adult, I personally see no light at the end of the dark tunnel.
In my view, even for the urban areas, the prospects of the girl child are not too bright as, even while women are acquiring status and positions in the office — firstly, they do not get the respect the male counterparts get in the offices.
Besides no matter what status a woman may achieve outside home, inside the home she, by and large remains a chattel. When this is the ground reality of the girl at home and outside home it appears that, even education and financial independence have not helped women really enhancing their status vis-^-vis the status of men.
Let us analyze as to why this peculiar situation persists and how we should deal with it. My personal view is that the rise of women and the crime against women going hand in hand is a paradox but not difficult to understand.
It is very clear that, the men who have held the fort single handedly for centuries, would obviously not like to give up their importance, or even share it with women. It is they who resent this rise of the heads of women and so, before women rise to unchallengeable heights the ogre of man wants to crush them.
This he does by using his God gifted physical strength and it is this reason that, crimes against women are now on the rise. The woman who was earlier battered because she was considered a lesser being is now being battered, because she is potential challenge to man’s unquestioned supremacy through past several centuries.
Thus, the position remains unchanged even after education and financial independence.
To my mind, there is no single package that could improve matters for the girl child/woman except that men change their attitude towards women. Unless men start regarding women as their equal partners, in the growth of humanity this differentiation between men and women shall continue unabated.
No single item of achievement like education, profession, legal rights or even the mixture of all these will work out a solution — the only feasible solution is the change of mind, the change of attitude of the men towards women. Till this is done, no amount of teaching, preaching or bargaining will help the girl child.
At this juncture when we talk of attitude, I must add that even women have to change their attitude towards the girl child/ women. At least partly women are themselves responsible for their position.
As women it is they who pamper their sons and husbands till they begin to believe that they are really superior beings. Let us all, men and women change our attitudes in this regard and, I am sure it will reap pleasant results.