- India's current population is a staggering 1.2 Billion - almost 17% of the world's population.
- The population has grown by 181 Million in the last decade - but at a rate slower as compared to the previous decade.
- The sex ratio has been tagged at 940. It means that for every 1000 men, there are 940 women.
- The child sex ratio (determined for children between the the age 1 day to 6 years) has declined to 914 from the 2001 value of 927.
- This child sex ratio is the lowest since our Independence in 1947.
If this statistic is alarming, the next graph would leave you dismayed.
The child sex ratio has been continuously reducing since the 1961 i.e. for the last 50 years.
What is it that is causing an unabated decline in the Child Sex Ratio?
It would be worthwhile to go back to the school days and understand how a baby boy or a baby girl is born.
- Every human being has 46 chromosomes - a total of 23 sets. Each of the two parents contribute one from each of the 23 sets to the baby - a total of 23 chromosomes.
- One set of chromosomes determine the sex of the baby.
- The lady has only one type of egg - with an X chromosome. It can be either the X or Y chromosome containing sperm - from the man - that fertilizes the egg.
- If the baby has two X chromosomes, a baby girl is conceived. If the baby has a X and a Y chromosome, a baby boy is conceived.
I'm wrong - it's not malpractices. It's murder. And no one is being punished.
To understand the gravity of the problem, you can consider the note below.
- Menace of dowry
- Fear of loss of face in local community
- Desire to keep the wealth within the family, through sons
- Fear of dependence of the girl on the family, for life
- Attempt to control family size
- Wish to appease Gods in times of crisis
It is important to ask some questions which would make someone think twice - if the thought of being averse to having a girl child - would cross his or her mind.
If it is a question of being sucessfull, a woman can be equally sucessfull as a man. In some cases, she can be much more sucessfull.
In the real life illustration quoted earlier, the father wanted a boy child so that he could carry forward his family business. Doesn't he know that you have many intelligent and sucessfull women at the top of many businesses? Doesn't he know that the President of our country is a lady?
Doesn't he know that some of the biggest politicians are ladies? And doesn't the entire nation listen to them when they take on to the dais? Aren't our girls the best in the world of sports? Haven't we sent our girl to space?
And if someone is thinking that a woman can be sucessfull only in a urban environment, then he or she is wrong. You should have a look at this news article - featuring Sunita Devi.
Sunita Devi is the sarpanch (head) of her village in Haryana. She has made a difference to the life of women in her village and will inspire other women in other villages in similar situations.
While this was a case of a traditional middle-aged woman donning the roles of a leader, Chhavi Rajawat is an inspiring new age lady. She is a management graduate and the head of her village.
She had recently being to the U.N. - speaking about the "Role of Civil Society in Fighting Poverty and Promoting Development". You should read this news article about her U.N. visit. She was also featured on India Today.
Well, the writing is on the wall. There isn't absolutely anything that a girl cannot achieve. She can win the world.
India is considered to be a land of many God's and Goddess's. We pray to these Gods and Goddess's to seek their blessings - both in good times and time of needs. The all powerful Goddess's are also women and we look upto them. And we should also look upto the girls. And should abolish the discerning thoughts of having a girl child.
There is absolutely no harm in having a girl child. The parents and the society should be empowered to make the girl ready for the future, ready for her life ahead.
A little girl should be given the right and the best possible education. She should be bought up without any prejudice against her. She should be given whatever her parents are capable of. And if all these are done, there isn't even an iota of doubt that she is on the road to success.
She will definitely be sucessfull enough to take care of her family. Her independence - social and economic - would make her strong and brave to face our difficult world. And such a girl would certainly be able to take care of her aging parents.
If someone is so detrimental to have a girl, and would like to have a boy child, they should think that some two decades down the line - they would be searching for a suitable girl to get their son married. And if all parents would just like to have boys - like they do - where would you get a girl from?
Haven't we heard of the quote - Educate a man, you educate one person, educate a woman, you educate a complete family. It is here you can understand the importance of a lady.
The Government of India has taken steps in the right direction to improve the situation. Some prime initiatives include free and compulsory education for the girl child, and enacting laws against dowry.
The first one is to make the girl ready for her future, make her independent and enterprising. The second one is to set her on course for the rest of her life - without causing any hardships for her family and herself.
But what is more important is to have a mindset revolution. People should discard the gender bias they have in their mind. People should overthrow any apprehensions they have towards the girl child.
They have to realise that she is very important for the success of our society. That's why the Girl Child Campaign in India says - A happy girl is the future of our country.
After all, a Girl Child can become an inspiration for your life!!