Amritsar, Punjab: Last year over five lakh female foetuses were aborted or girl children were killed after birth in Punjab.
Chandigarh, the hub of economic, social and contemporary culture in the region, has one of the highest ratios of female feoticide as well. On an average, 30 per cent NRIs visit India annually for female foeticide, most of them young couples.
These facts may sound repetitive and just another survey statistics, but they do once again highlight the incessant social plague called female feoticide. And when city-based social counsellor and author Jyoti Bawa mentions them in her latest book she is addressing the young generation and future parents. Converting the popular and acclaimed play “Khuh bolda hai”, written by her husband Punjabi playwright Amit Bawa, into a book, Jyoti is set to take forward her decade-long fight against the stinging realities of our social setup.
“The girl child is facing social dilemma every passing day, whether its to do with the way they dress or who they are friends with to marriage and professional life. We contradict ourselves when we say that women have the power and then treat them differently.”
Emphasising that the book highlights the social stigmas and social hypocrisy regarding women empowerment, the 31-year-old writer says that there is a list of factors leading to female feoticide. “It’s not a problem of the slums, but as much of the educated, high class, even more. Having a son is associated with a status, in the family and in society. The fact is that we still do not consider our daughters fit enough to carry forward our family’s legacy or name, despite being given the best of education. And the fact is that even women think it necessary to bear a son, considering it as a sign of respect in the family. All these so-called norms and stigmas have made it a deep-rooted problem,” she shares.
The book talks about facts and the after-effects of female feoticide. “The NRI community is as much to blame for encouraging this evil. Certain medical advancements over the years, too, have added to the problem. Specifically designed tests like the ones to check the sperms for the sex of the conceived child, too, have made it difficult to check this illegally activity completely,” she says.
Working with the artistic community in the city over a decade to fight and spread awareness about female feoticide through her cultural NGO, Jyoti’s production “Khuh Bolda Hai” has found support from various prominent artists. Jaswant Mintoo, who has directed the production on female feoticide, says, “It all starts from the home.The ‘dubious’ role of the men folk, the fact that a majority of women are not ready to fight it out, rather become a partner in the crime and the legal loopholes make it easier for us to live with it.”
With her book, she plans to reach out to the direct audience, the youth.
Source: The Tribune