Thank you for taking the time off to read this blog. Savini and I are currently in Kadapa, in a state called Andhra Pradesh, India, volunteering at a very special home.
India is a land housing over a billion people. It boasts rich traditions, cultures and history – one with hundreds of gods, many different languages and various religions. Despite its overwhelming growth in economics, business and real estate; its successful Bollywood industry and recent metropolisation, India has not yet completely done justice to the girl child.
Gendercide, gender discrimination, feticide, abortions, are only a few words, which have repeated themselves in numerous documentaries and articles on this global issue. It was a concept new to us back then, but now we understand how powerless a girl/woman’s existence can be. Gendercide, defined as “the systematic extermination of a particular gender,” has become widespread in India. With the use of illegal ultrasound equipment, couples can determine the sex of their child and choose to abort the female fetus. In other cases, midwives have been reported to deliver “stillborn” girls by strangling the female infant with the umbilical cord as she is delivered. These unjust practices have led to a deep gender imbalance in not only India but also China, whose ratio of male to female births has grown to 120:100. This means that 1 OUT OF EVERY 6 girls is lost to gendercide. Why are so many girls being eliminated just because their chromosomes show XX and not XY?
The United Nations estimates that “50 million girls and women are missing from India’s population”. The responsibility to birth healthy boys and not baby girls is the burden of the women. This is because of a cultural preference for baby boys. A baby boy’s arrival is greeted with expensive gifts, parties and sweets. Whereas the first few thoughts upon the arrival of a baby girl is the dowry that will be needed when she is older and her inability to carry forward the family name – both of which are treated as a burden.
We chose to focus more on this global ‘war on girls’ as it is in India as we both felt that it was very close to our hearts. Coming from an Indian family with two daughters, I have never felt neglected; nor have I felt like the girls receive inferior treatment to my male cousins. We personally believe that boys and girls are equal, that girls can bring as much happiness, wealth and prosperity to their family as boys.
Savini and I are visiting a home, which was created to provide a second lifeline to girls who have been victims of gender discrimination, torture and neglect. In a world where we can literally do anything with the click of a button, these homes really shouldn’t have a reason to exist. Our hope is to spread awareness of this issue. Our hope is to see smiling faces on those who have been neglected by their own, just because they are girls.
Please take some time out to watch a touching documentary called ‘India’s missing girls’. Part 1 is attached below but please continue to watch the other parts on ‘Aditya Reddy’ page on YouTube.