A Sangli resident cremated his daughter in front of her in-laws’ home, after the latter forced her to undergo an abortion that claimed her life. This extremely tragic step taken by a father has sent shockwaves through the city. The report stated that his daughter was forced to undergo an abortion as she was carrying a girl child.
The incident underscores the appalling trend of punishing women for conceiving a girl child. It also reveals that our government and lawmakers have a long way to go when it comes to ensuring that the ban on sex determination tests is followed. Doctors who agree to female foeticide must be punished as they, apparently, have no qualms in ending lives - of the baby and, often, the mothers too. Though the report states that investigations in the Sangli case are on, we need to address this issue on a war footing. Let the probe steamroll ahead and the harshest punishments be awarded to the pregnant woman’s husband and the doctor if found guilty.
In several cases, inability to offer dowry is stated as the reason why these sick families resort to female foeticide and female infanticide. Our authorities should tackle the dowry issue with the same sense of urgency and iron will as they would for female foeticide cases. In smaller towns as well as in metros, the term ‘dowry’ is often wrapped in euphemisms and referred to as ‘gifts’ passed on to the groom’s side as per tradition or goodwill. It’s imperative to recognise such demands for what they are - vile - and refrain from such activities.
Only education can help change the rigid mindset of those who partake in such crimes. There’s nothing tougher for a father than to cremate his daughter. Let’s ensure the woman as well as her baby girl’s deaths do not go in vain.
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