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The Girl Child

1 Sep

This is the first time I am addressing a social issue on my blog. Sometimes we are so preoccupied with earning our daily bread that we forget that we live in a society where there are some very unfortunate people who are not even given a chance to live like they would want, get educated, earn a living, especially girls.

While browsing through the channels on TV mostly looking for a good movie to pass my time with, I came across a show on National geographic, where a some village in the southern part of India was being shown. The first thought that came to my mind was “Oh! they want to show how poor and illiterate people are in India”… Another typical characteristic of channels like these.  I had almost hit the next button on the remote when this lady who was talking in flawless English appeared on screen.

She was Mrs. P.V. Sandhya President of the Arti Home trust in the district of Kadapa in Andhra Pradesh. She was explaining how she tried to convince a young couple in the nearby village to not abort a girl child that the wife was carrying which had been illegally determined in her 5th month of pregnancy.

The show went on to explain how the not only the rural , but also the urban middle class population in India are obsessed with a boy child. “it’s just for the sake of carrying their family name and empire forward” were the words of a middle aged divorced educated upper middle class lady, who was forced to abort her baby since it was a girl. She was brave enough to report this to the police and her case is still pending in some court in Hyderabad. She also recounted stories of her closest friend who was made to have 5 abortions, all because it was a female, and is still mute to all the injustice happening to her in hope of bearing a boy child someday.

Arti home is an organization which gives abandoned children especially girls a chance to learn, earn a living, and life on their own terms. It takes care of the general well being, medical and educational needs of any child which is left at the doorstep or handed over to them by unwilling parents. Mrs. Sandhya, recollected how there were many cases of parents leaving an unwanted girl child at their doorstep in the middle of the night and if it was a particular rainy night the baby stood very little or no chances to make it till morning till she was discovered by them. They went on to construct a concrete crib at the gates of their nursing home so that if the parents wanted to leave the child without revealing their identity, at least the child could not be affected by climatic conditions and stood a chance at survival. “If your baby is a burden to you, please leave it here…” it said.

Surprisingly the very next day of the construction of the concrete crib, a old couple were leaving a 3 day old baby girl and trying to escape when they were found and ushered in the home by the watchman. The baby’s condition was critical, and was transferred to an ICU immediately under expert medical care. Mrs Sandhya then made the grandparents of the child (who were there to abandon the baby) sign a official document handing over the responsibility of the child to Arti home.

Sadly the baby could not survive even under the medical care, as she was 3 weeks premature. It was heartbreaking to see such a beautiful creation of God succumb to the irrational and ignorant mentality of the people who had borne her.

This moved me so much that I looked up Arti homes on the internet, found their website and decided to help in whatever way I could. I also had the opportunity to talk to Mrs. Sandhya, and ask her about the kind of help that was required in her organization apart from monetary help. She informed me that they were in constant need of vitamin , and calcium medication for the children, and also books.

Unfortunately they do not have a point of contact in Mumbai, but there is an office in Hyderabad. If any of you reading this are from there please do make sure you visit their website(http://www.vftrust.org/), see the work that they are doing and if you think there is any authenticity in what I have said above, help in any way you can. Or you could just donate money like I have, via net banking or your credit cards. It’s just a mouse click away.