A recent Indian government report shows that none of the 216 births recorded in 132 villages from a northern Indian district are girls, leading local officials to suspect female foeticide.
Furthermore, 16 of those villages have not recorded a single female birth since the beginning of the year, according to the district’s magistrate Ashish Chauhan.
Officials in the district of Uttarkashi, Uttarkhand state have marked 82 villages as “red zones” to closely investigate local data and have asked local health workers to stay on alert.
“It is shocking to have a zero girl child birth rate in 132 village of the district, as we have rarely heard of (or) seen any incident of female foeticide in the hills,” said legislative assembly member Gopal Rawat, as quoted by The Independent .
Chauhan told Times News Network that any parents found to be guilty will face legal action.
Female foeticide has been banned in India since 1994, but still continues in areas where communities place a higher value on boys than girls. Last year, police discovered 19 aborted female fetuses near a hospital in Maharashtra, while investigating the death of women who had undergone an illegal abortion.
A 2018 report stated that 63 million women were statistically “missing” from the country’s population.
Kalpana Thakur, a social worker, claimed that the lack of female births clearly points to a prevalence of female foeticide. “No girl child was born for three months in these villages. It cannot just be a coincidence,” she said, as quoted by NDTV. “This clearly indicated female foeticide is taking place in the district. The government and the administration are not doing anything.”
Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Indian government launched a campaign four years ago, aimed at saving and educating girls.
India’s patriarchal society has historically valued male children as family breadwinners and female children as a drain on the family funds. Parents with daughters are still often expected to pay dowries when they marry, even though the practice was outlawed in 1961.
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019