In a patriarchal society, where sons are perceived as an asset and girl child as liability, recently a mother was punished for giving birth to a girl child.
According to a medical journal The Lancet, over 12 million girl children have been aborted in India. Also, as per the minister for women and child development at least 2,000 girls are “killed every day” in the country. This reflects how our society is strongly biased towards having a boy child.
In a reflection of the same thought process, a shameful incident surfaced in Odisha recently. A mother who gave birth to a third baby girl was abandoned by her husband at the hospital itself.
As per Hrushikesh Mishra, a member of Dharamgarh Subdivisional Hospital Development Committee (DHDC), Odisha,
“The father, Chaitanya Bhainsal was eagerly waiting outside the labour room of a hospital where his wife was to deliver their third child. But his excitement soon turned into dismay when the nurses revealed the child’s gender, saying: “It’s a girl”.”
Just a little while later, Bhainsal abandoned his wife and the newborn at the hospital.
The mother was left all alone at the hospital. Realizing that there was nobody from her in-laws to help her return home, the mother discharged herself from the hospital.
But what happened next left us heartbroken.
The woman walked back home with the newborn baby in her tow. On reaching there she was not even allowed to enter the house, because she had given birth to 3rd girl in the family. In the midst of the danger of the coronavirus pandemic, she was forced to spend the night outside the house with her baby-girl.
The next day when the media and people from neighboring villages gathered outside the house, the father got scared and let the mother and the daughter in.
It is heartbreaking to see how even in the 21st century, women have to face extreme pressure to give birth to a son. It seems the initiative of “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” (Save Daughters, Educate Daughters), has been reduced to just a slogan, with no real impact on the ground.
We hope our society would realize that our girls are equal to boys, and give the girl child a life of opportunity and support.