March for India’s missing girls: march for Mitu


by Rumbold
4th March, 2011 at 3:01 pm    

There are going to be marches in India, Canada, America and Dubai this Sunday to protest against female feticide in India, and specifically the case of Dr. Mitu Khurana, an Indian doctor who is fighting to protect her daughters and have her former in-laws and a hospital for forcing her to undergo an illegal ultrasound test (as well as poisoning her . More details below from the campaign:

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This is for innumerable daughters who lost their lives before getting their lives. And for the mother who is fighting the system to save her daughters “March for India’s Missing girls, March for Mitu” is a part of a global initiative to protest against the government indifference to the continuously declining sex ratios. This is to protest against the improper implementation of the act which bans sex determination- Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques regulation act (P.C-P.N.D.T Act), resulting in a large number of Female feticides taking place. Delhi`s sex ratios have dropped to 821 females per 1000 girls.

The March also aims to protest against the harassment being meted out to Dr Mitu Khurana who is the first complainant under the P.C-P.N.D.T act, and is still struggling to save her daughters.

The major Goals and Objectives of “March for India`s Missing girls, March for Mitu” are-

1. Protest the daily murder of over 7000 baby girls in India.
2. To create awareness and remember the victims of this genocide.
3. To pressure the Indian government to enforce the laws to protect these baby girls and their mothers.
4. To collect signatures for Justice for Dr Mitu, who is fighting a lone fight to save her daughters.
5. To protest against the harassment by the Authorities who have tried their best to force Dr Mitu to withdraw her cases under P.C-P.N.D.T act.
6. To demand that the Authorities stop shielding the guilty under the P.C-P.N.D.T act, so that more women can come forward and report sex determination and save their daughters.

The Global Walk for India’s Missing Girls will be held on March 6th, 2011, in conjunction with the themes of International Women Day and is aimed to create awareness and spur action in the Indian and the International communities. The Walk will also take place in San Francisco, Washington DC, New York, Mumbai, Delhi, Jamshedpur, Kolkata , Chandigarh, Chennai, Agra, Goa, Bangalore, Goa, Sri Ganganagar, Dubai, Toronto and Vancouver and maybe Chicago

Students and friends from International Institute of Health Management Research, Campaign Against Pre-birth elimination of Females and Center for Human Progress have already collected almost 12, 000 signatures from all over the country in support of Dr Mitu Khurana.

The signatures already collected and those collected during the march, will be handed over to the Honorable Health Minister of India on Monday 7th March.

BE THERE and help us spread the word to show you care. DO YOUR PART AGAINST THIS GENOCIDE…AND BE A PART OF THIS MARCH.

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Filed in: 'Honour'-based violence,Sex equality






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  1. Miss Ben E Fit — on 4th March, 2011 at 3:55 pm  

    Thankyou so much for exposing this dreadful practice

  2. damon — on 4th March, 2011 at 11:20 pm  

    I’m not sure about this word feticide.
    A fetus is not a person. The main problem with this practice will be a shortage of brides, but India is facing population strain, and these ‘lost women’ are not going to go on and reproduce.
    Coercion is the worst thing about this I think.

  3. KJB — on 5th March, 2011 at 12:08 am  

    As usual, damon shows up to talk breeze.

    Damon – I know you specialise in being clueless, but kindly read up on this issue before you comment next time, OK? It’s not very hard.

    The main problem with this practice will be a shortage of brides, but India is facing population strain, and these ‘lost women’ are not going to go on and reproduce.

    A shortage of brides will hopefully be what mobilises people to do something about this on a wider and more immediate basis, but it is not about whether a foetus is a person or not (and let me just warn you here, that I do not care what Spiked Online’s view is on the matter). This debate bears no relation whatsoever to the abortion debate in the West – it’s about the practice of killing girl-children, whether in the womb or afterwards, purely because they are girls.

    Women are seen as being a ‘waste of resources’ because a variety of backwards traditions and sexist views about women persist in India. There’s absolutely no need for me to go into detail on that; you can look it up yourself, I’m sure. On a basic economic level, girls are seen as a loss, whilst boys are an investment and (hopefully) profit.

    Thank you for the ongoing coverage of Mitu’s plight, Rumbold – I will be distributing this.

  4. damon — on 5th March, 2011 at 1:18 am  

    KJB. I’m quite happy to have it pointed out to me why this is such a problem. I did say I thought coercion is the worst thing about this. Infanticide is of course pure murder, but gender selection of a fetus is not of the same order – unless it was being practiced through barbaric methods – which I’m sure it often is.
    Did I speak out of turn or something KJB?

    I’ll be interested to see where they hold their march/walk in Dubai. In the old town area that is full of South Asian bachelor migrant workers who have little more than a ”bed space” to sleep in?
    Maybe they can discuss the morality of someone in India having a £14 million wedding too, and the country having a space programme and nuclear weaapons, while British tax payers are giving the county aid for their poorest people.

  5. Awakening Tempest — on 5th March, 2011 at 1:57 am  

    This is important and we should support this. People who normally are isolated from reality, live alone and who have no children naturally think this is not an issue – whereas people who understand society, family and values, and is religious totally will support this.

  6. Rumbold — on 5th March, 2011 at 11:33 am  

    Excellent points KJB, and thanks.

    Damon:

    A shortage of brides sadly has not led to this practice diminishing.

    Maybe they can discuss the morality of someone in India having a £14 million wedding too.

    Many activists to complain about this too, and the lavish dowry that goes with it. I am not sure why sure are trying t downplay this whole issue. The main problems is that millions of potential women are killed off, that this further helps to hammer home the point that women are not considered equal to men, and solidifies a system where being pregnant with a female is considered a failure.

    Awakening Tempest:

    People who normally are isolated from reality, live alone and who have no children naturally think this is not an issue – whereas people who understand society, family and values, and is religious totally will support this.

    I am not sure that is the case. Plenty of religious people and those who uphold tradition contribute to this practice in India.

  7. Niels Christensen — on 5th March, 2011 at 4:31 pm  

    @awakening tempest

    Wrong, it’s families who do this killing, be it in China, Korea, India and a couple of places in the Arab world.
    But, as in the example of Korea, it’s great that there is a surplus of poor women i the Philippines.
    But sooner or later, the market value of women should get higher.

  8. damon — on 5th March, 2011 at 5:41 pm  

    Rumbold, as KJB says, I just turn up to shoot the breeze.
    But really, where do you start in a place like India?
    I have shared a house in England with some Indian professionals working in the NHS, and as British as they have become after five or more years living there, they quietly still had views that I found somewhat shocking. The idea that the poor of India are just unfortunates who nothing much could be done for, for example – and that having servants was quite normal for their middle class families back home.

    Was it my place to try to talk them out of their world view, which was like something out of Downton Abbey?
    Not really, as when I did bring up such issues, they just thought I was being weird. And I suppose I was.
    They were interested in careers, cars, computers and the latest mobile phones, not discussing things like this:
    http://www.channel4.com/programmes/unreported-world/episode-guide/series-2007/episode-12

    If there are less women they probably will become more valued, and the dowry system could even be reversed.
    Or at least people might be forced to ”marry down” – which would be a good thing overall.

    On ‘From our own correspondent’ today, was a tale about the rickshaw pullers of Calcutta, with one poor man from Bihar sending much of his £1.50 a day he earned, back to his family there, and saving towards his two daughters dowrys.

    Have your marches and campaigns by all means, but who really is taking any notice? Not the grasping, corrupt, materialistic, snobbish section of Indian society.
    It could be said that there is apartheid in India. Maybe we should just boycott it.

  9. damon — on 7th March, 2011 at 12:03 am  

    Just watching the cricket from Chennai tonight, at the same time as reading up on this issue.
    This kind of thing (below) is happening just a couple of hours drive outside the city:

    The English-language newspaper The Hindu reports that on an average 105 female infants were killed every month in Dharmapuri district throughout 1997. This was in spite of efforts to protect female children (The Hindu, 1998). In another region, the Kallars (landless laborers in Tamil Nadu), view female infanticide as the only way out of the dowry problem. One mother interviewed in India Today said:

    I killed my child to save it from the lifelong ignominy of being the daughter of a poor family that cannot afford to pay a decent dowry. But all the same, it was extremely difficult to steel myself for the act. A mother who has borne a child cannot bear to see it suffer even for a little while, let alone bring herself to kill it. But I had to do it, because my husband and I concluded that it was better to let our child suffer an hour or two and die than suffer throughout life (Venkatramani, 1992, p. 127).

    Officials estimate that approximately 6,000 female babies have been poisoned in Kallar villages in the past decade. The Usilampatti government hospital records nearly 600 female births among the Kallar every year. Five hundred and seventy are taken immediately from the hospital. Approximately 450 (or 80%) are estimated to become victims of infanticide (Venkatramani, 1992). The Kallar also believe that if you kill your girl, your next baby will be a son.

    http://www.domesticviolenceservices.com/female-infanticide.html

    Advertisements in India for ultrasound clinics urge couples to spend “500 rupees today to save 50,000 rupees tomorrow”

  10. Irfan — on 7th March, 2011 at 12:08 am  

    This is actually the greatest crime in the world against women but it doesnt get that much attention presumably because India is a major trading partner and it isnt Muslims doing this..

    Advertisements in India for ultrasound clinics urge couples to spend “500 rupees today to save 50,000 rupees tomorrow”

    This is because in Hinduism the dowry is given by the girls family to the boy upon marriage making having girls a very expensive business.

  11. douglas clark — on 7th March, 2011 at 12:29 am  

    damon,

    How did you find the Paisleyites?

  12. Shamit — on 7th March, 2011 at 12:32 am  

    Advertisements in India for ultrasound clinics urge couples to spend “500 rupees today to save 50,000 rupees tomorrow” -

    As far as I know ultrasound to find out sex of babies is now illegal in india – I am sure the practice probably exists in some rural parts but I find it hard to believe that Damon found advertising for ultra sound in 2011.

    If so, could you let us know at least some of the locations -

  13. douglas clark — on 7th March, 2011 at 12:37 am  

    Irfan,

    It seems, according to Wikipedia that this is the male / female ratio in India, by religion:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_India

    You have to scroll down a bit to the table.

    You will notice the huge deficit in females in the Sikh community. 786 per 1000 males. Can this possibly be right?

  14. damon — on 7th March, 2011 at 12:54 am  

    How did you find the Paisleyites?

    Very nice Douglas. I was suprised that they were all so old, and so few. The big man was there running the show.

    Reading a bit more about that one particular hospital in the town of Usilampatti, Tamil Nadu – in what the Hindu newspaper called the ”female infanticide belt” – it looks like the government got their act together and changed the practice locally.
    http://www.hindu.com/2003/12/09/stories/2003120911540500.htm

    How could you have had 450 out of 600 girls born in a government hospital every year being killed, and no one noticing?

    Shamit, some of the stuff I was reading (just from googling) is ten years old.
    It seems there have been drastic improvements in some areas in recent years.

  15. douglas clark — on 7th March, 2011 at 1:26 am  

    damon,

    Yes, they are all old. When you say ‘the big man’ do you mean the Reverend Ian Paisley?

    Shit, I thought he was dead.

    On your latter point about female infanticide in India, it appears that people don’t notice. It seems to me that we should avoid statistics improving that without evidence reflected on the ground, so to speak.

    I’d suspect that your ‘improvement’ googling is, perhaps to read favourable opinions rather than reality.

    [Could someone tell me how to get UK English as opposed to our American cousins ridiculous abuse of English? If I write favourite it tells me it should be favorite. No, it bloody well shouldn't.]

  16. Rumbold — on 7th March, 2011 at 8:29 am  

    Shamit:

    Sex determination is illegal, and Mitu Khurana is the first woman to bring a case under this act against the hospital which before an illegal ultrasound on her.

  17. KJB — on 7th March, 2011 at 11:54 am  

    Douglas:

    On your latter point about female infanticide in India, it appears that people don’t notice. It seems to me that we should avoid statistics improving that without evidence reflected on the ground, so to speak.

    Depressing though it is, I don’t think that people don’t notice – I think it’s about a mainstream culture of complicity. One of those things where everyone does it, so nobody is going to stand up and address it. I suspect that often, those who feel the horror of it the most are the women, since they actually bear the children, but they have been taught culturally to keep shtum and take their husbands’ and in-laws’ lead on things.

    Indian society encourages women to internalise the burden of misogyny and blame the victim rather than change the hateful culture. Hence women often genuinely believe that by killing their daughters, they are doing the right thing in sparing them a life of misery. Some people may not even think they’re doing anything wrong because, as I say, it’s a cultural thing. To give you an idea of where I’m coming from here – as you know, I am from a Sikh background and my parents have at times attempted to make me feel guiltily grateful that they let all of us women go to university, because it was not the norm in those days!

    Part of the problem is that people are so ignorant – many poor people in India don’t know the law of their own country, and this isn’t helped by the government not really enforcing its own laws. Dowries are ILLEGAL, but still the practice of giving them is widespread. There is a massive culture of fear around them – people think that their daughters will not get married, or could end up being physically harmed, if they do not provide money and/or gifts. Think of it as emotional extortion. As for the horrendous practice of ‘bride burning’ – I had a cousin, who my family strongly suspected, died under those very circumstances.

  18. KJB — on 7th March, 2011 at 12:03 pm  

    As for your spelling tribulations -

    Are you using Firefox? If you’re not, I strongly recommend you do, as it’s much safer (and quicker and easier to use, thanks to the tab system) than Internet Explorer.

    Presuming you DO have Firefox, you can go here: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-us/firefox/addon/british-english-dictionary/ and install the British English dictionary. Once you have, and you start typing, you should be able to right-click, select ‘Languages’ and then ‘English/United Kingdom’ and that should take care of it.

  19. damon — on 8th March, 2011 at 12:30 am  

    Did they never make any films or drama about this infanticide? It is so hard to believe that 80% of the six hundred girls being born each year at Usilampatti hospital in Tamil Nadu – only 30 miles from Maduri, where I spent a few days once, were being murdered by their parents, obviously in some huge conspiracy by all involved.

    Where was the Erin Brockovich type figure blowing the whistle on this dreadful complicity?

    They could have made Bollywood film drama out of the story …. in the style of that Meryl Streep movie, ‘Silkwood’.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silkwood

  20. halima — on 8th March, 2011 at 5:14 am  

    We should start a thread today on International Women’s Day to highlight actions and positive measures different countries are enacting to deal with this problem.

  21. Dr Mitu Khurana — on 11th March, 2011 at 3:58 am  

    It is a difficult fight … because the authorities are patriarchal. I am repeatedly told to reconcile with my husband and give him a son if that’s what he want. the focus is on saving the Families , rather than saving the females. Time and again a woman who has complaint is asked to withdraw her cases and do a settlement . Things cant change till two things change – one is the extreme patriarchal mindset of the authorities and second is the high degree of corruption. Till than women and girls will continue to be killed ….

  22. dfdd — on 13th March, 2011 at 1:05 am  

    “I have shared a house in England with some Indian professionals working in the NHS, and as British as they have become after five or more years living there”

    What the fuck does that even mean? You sound like a bigoted moron

    Oh and seeing as you’re currently living in India, why the fuck haven’t you become more Indian?

    Fucking hypocrite.

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