The development of India post independence has changed it into a democratic, industrial country, a forerunner for becoming a global power in the coming years .India is advancing at a fast pace in the field of science and technology, and also in imitating of the western culture but these account to nothing, many Indians are still following the age-old traditional beliefs. With the advent of 21st century, one expects a better and an improved standard of living which primarily includes the safety & security of the people living in the country/ society especially the women and children.
India is predominantly a patriarchal society, where women and girls have a subordinate position in the family. “A woman’s work is related to household duties” is the common idea across people in many states of the country. Today, we find ourselves surrounded with people who are strong believers of male- female discrimination to the extent that female foeticide is still prevalent in India. In fact, it has been a practice for hundreds of years and still continues to be and not just in rural areas but also in the urbanised cities.
Invention of new technologies and improvement in services across the Health Care domain to monitor the ‘foetal health’ instead of taking care of the unborn child became a terminator of female foetuses. In 2011 Census, it was reflected that the girl-boy ratio for the age group 0-6 yrs was 916 girls/1000 boys which is the worst as compared to the last 3 decades (1981 – 962 girls/1000 boys , 1991 – 945 girls/1000 boys and 2001 – 927 girls/1000 boys )
To avoid such misuse of technology, the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act was passed in 1994.It was enacted by the Parliament of India to stop female foeticide and control the declining sex ratio in India. This act banned the determination of the sex of the child and also checks the misuse of prenatal diagnostic technique for sex selective abortion. This act makes it mandatory not only to register all kinds of scans conducted but also to maintain records of every such scan. On violation of this Act, the concerned doctor and patient are both penalised heavily. As expected this resulted in a resistance from the doctors.
The reason for female foeticide can be linked to the pre-existing evils of dowry, immense love for male child and the common notion ‘daughters are a burden on the family’. The need of the hour is to come together and help each other in eradicating such practices from our society. The mindset of boy-girl inequality should be changed – for this forced marriages, dowry, illiteracy among women should be done away with. We the citizens of this country and more importantly as human beings should abolish practices and traditions like female foeticide.
To conclude I just wish to quote:
“People never learn anything by being told, they have to find out for themselves”
Our time to learn and act upon has come…hasn’t it?