India is one of the worst performing countries in terms of child sex ratio in the world. Various social and economic reasons are responsible for preference for the male child, for example, dowry system, poverty etc. Let us look into the viability of recent suggestion given by Union Minister of Women and Child Development regarding saving the girl child.
Child sex determination is illegal under Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, 1994. Union minister suggested to make the child sex determination compulsory, followed by registering the gender of the child, and tracking the birth. This seemingly easy process to implement this suggestion is actually very complex considering the size of the country and the corruption prevalent in the system.
A completely new and efficient system will be required to track both the pregnant woman and the birth of the child after registration. The weak nature of a legal measure without a corresponding social will to bring about the change can be seen in the present legal and administrative system which has failed to curb this evil practice in most of the states in the country.
Implementing this suggestion is akin to opening a Pandora’s box. If the authorities are not able to check relatively small number of medical practitioners from indulging into female infanticide, how will they keep a vigil over huge number of pregnant women throughout India? What is the surety that same medical practitioners who secretly allowed people to kill the female foetus till now, wont indulge in such unethical practices under the new system? The mushrooming of private clinics will make the supervision all the more difficult.
Apart from that, if suppose, a woman undergoes an abortion after registration of the sex of the child, who will be accountable for that – the mother, father or in laws? A deliberate abortion can be easily termed as a miscarriage due to accident or natural reasons – it is not really difficult to imagine in a patriarchal society like ours.
Considering all these issues, it seems better to strengthen the present system itself. Along with legal measures, welfare initiatives like Save the Girl Child, Educate the Girl Child should be implemented in a better way.
Let Her come in this world without ascribing the identity before birth, may be her laugh would melt a few hearts!