National Girl Child Day: “Tomorrow is here” by Natasha Badhwar


Natasha Badhwar, Tomorrow is here, Mint Lounge, October 28, 2011.

“She was just like me except for the diamond earrings and solitaire ring she was wearing. We recognized each other instantly. South Delhi girls, modern Indian women, now professionals.

This was my third pregnancy and she was my ultrasonologist, the doctor who did my ultrasounds. …

Here’s what I learnt accidentally. I found out that a disdain for daughters and boy-worship isn’t just the domain of the poor, the ignorant and the illiterate. As a big-city snob, I hadn’t expected any better from maids and villagers, and random grandmothers. My illusions were smashed in one thunderous moment when we became witness to the callous and casual misogyny of my doctors, my city friends and general all around posh “people like us”. It was devastating at that time. Here we were, flushed with joy, holding a miracle of a baby. And yet I felt that I was stranded in a wasteland, surrounded by debris. Even joy needs validation, I found out.”

Read the whole article here.

National Girl Child Day: Naqvi-Shivakumar article on sex selection and the girl child


Farah Naqvi and A.K. Shivakumar, India and the sex selection conundrum, The Hindu, January 24, 2012.

What was our immediate response to further decline in the child sex ratio in India? Within days of the provisional 2011 Census results (March-April 2011), the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare reconstituted the Central Supervisory Board for the Pre-conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex selection) Act 1994 , which had not met for 3 years, and on November 30, 2011 the Ministry of Women and Child Development formed a Sectoral Innovation Council for Child Sex Ratio. But we are busy dousing flames in haste without looking to dampen the source. This fire-fighting approach is unlikely to succeed, because putting out fires in one district virtually ensures its spread to another. That is what has happened.

The decline in child sex ratio (0-6 years) from 945 in 1991 to 927 in 2001 and further to 914 females per 1,000 males in 2011 — the lowest since independence — is cause for alarm, but also occasion for serious policy re-think. Over the last two decades, the rate of decline appears to have slowed but what began as an urban phenomenon has spread to rural areas. This is despite legal provisions, incentive-based schemes, and media messages. Indians across the country, bridging class and caste divides, are deliberately ensuring that girls are simply not born. This artificial alteration of our demographic landscape has implications for not only gender justice and equality but also social violence, human development and democracy.

Read the whole article here.

Article: “Eve Teasing: Girl Commits ‘Suicide’


Peeyush Khandelwal, “Eve Teasing : Girl Commits ‘Suicide’ “, The Hindustan Times, May 2, 2010.

A Class XII student from Shalimar Garden area in Ghaziabad allegedly commited suicide on Saturday morning.  She was allegedly subjected to eve-teasing for over two years by men in her neighbourhood. No arrests were made till Saturday evening and the accused were absconding, police said.

Article: “12 yr old girl tortured & filmed by students of NMIMS”


Bapu Deedwania and Yogesh Sadhwani, RR Patil jumps to save girl in NMIMS YouTube scandal, Mumbai Mirror, April 29, 2010.

12-year-old girl who was tortured and filmed by students of Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS) college. A week after the two management students were arrested by D N Nagar police for the incident and let out on bail, child rights activists have decided to take up the matter with the state home minister.

Article: “W(h)ither the girl child?”


Philip Umman, W(h)ither the girl child?, The Hindu, April 25, 2010.

Are things still the same for the girl child in India as they were in the 70s or 80s? Death from ‘accidental’ household burns was a common feature on Page 3 of newspapers those days. The girl child was the beast of burden — looking after younger siblings, working in other households, ignored when it came to education and behind the boys in getting nutrition. But things have changed.

Have they??