India is the only country where a girl child is looked down upon. There have been a number of cases of female infanticide in the country, and while the reported numbers are staggering, there are also a number of cases that go unreported. ‘Save the Girl Child’ is an initiative by in government of India to prevent female foeticide. This initiative commonly known as ‘Beti Bachao’ in India means to save the girl child. There are a number of reasons why female feticide is so rampant in the nation; here are some of the causes.
Position Of Women In India
India is one of the few countries where women do not get the same status as a man. She is looked down upon and is usually kept at home. Most women in India are not allowed to get the right education, a job or lead independent lives and this makes them dependent on their father and later the husband.
Indians believe that it’s the son that will later earn and look after them, while the daughter will move to her husband’s house. Her wedding is also an expense for parents since Indians follow the tradition where the girl has to bear all the wedding expense.
Lack of education, the belief that a girl is a burden and not allowing a girl to stand on her feet are some of the main reasons why female infanticide and foeticide is common in this country.
Marriages in India follow the dowry system in most rural and also some urban families. Boys are sold to the girl rather than married to her for money. The demand for money continues even after marriage and a number of women are even killed when they fail to bring in the money.
Importance Of The Girl Child
While on one hand India speaks on women empowerment, on the other hand a girl child is being killed. India needs to understand that the girl child of today will be the women of tomorrow. This is where the government and various social welfare organizations play a huge role. The government needs to take strong measures against female infanticide and the social welfare organizations need to go to every corner of the country to educate parents about the importance of a girl child.
The citizens of India should support these organizations with as much help as possible. This could be financially or active participation. A girl is not a liability and that needs to be engraved in the heads of all parents across India. The government needs to implement stricter laws against female infanticide and female foeticide. The offenders in these situations should be meted stricter punishments than just a fine.
Education also plays a big role in saving the girl child. If actions take place at grass root level, the future of the girl child will be secure. Parents all over India should also be encouraged to send their girl child to school. The mindset among Indian families, especially rural families, that investing in a girl child is a waste of money is just completely wrong and needs to be eradicated. If a girl is educated she will be confident and capable of taking decisions about the welfare of her family and society. This is when women empowerment will happen. Female education will also eliminate the age old pathetic traditions of child marriage that is still prevalent in various parts of India today.
Beti Padhao Beti Bachao Scheme (BBBP)
The Indian government has taken the right step in initiating the ‘Beti Padhao Beti Bachao’ Scheme in October 2014. This scheme literally translates to ‘Educate the Girl Child, Save the Girl Child’. This scheme was a joint initiative by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, the Ministry of Women & Child Development and the Ministry of Human Resource Development. This scheme was introduced to create mass awareness. It also intended to improve the quality of services for the girl child and help them get access to the services easily. This scheme also addresses the declining sex ratio in India. The scheme was rolled out across India and targeted the areas with the worst sex ratio.
Save The Girl Child
This is what every individual needs to do in order to ensure that the girl child is not murdered either in the womb or as soon as she is born. She has the right to live and lead a normal life just like a male. In order to make this happen, we should all agree to
- Educate the girl child and ensure she is in a safe, secure environment that will encourage her to learn.
- Girls should be given the same right to education as a boy.
- There should be separate toilets for girls in schools.
- People need to start treating girls and boys as equal.
- Girls should be encouraged to speak up, this helps in times when they are abused or tortured.
- Physical, mental or sexual harassment needs to be taken more seriously.
- Dowry system should be eradicated and those who seek it should be punished.
- Prenatal sex determination laws need to become stricter.
There is a big need to change the mindset in the Indian society that the girl child is a burden and a liability. The girl child should not be discriminated against and must be given the opportunity to develop their skills and rise up in life. They must be given the chance to excel in their careers and their life.