Thursday, April 12, 2012

Love them

Our neighbor’s daughter keeps visiting us whenever she can. She is going to be 2 years and is a very smart and loving girl. She was brought up by her grandparents since her mother came back to Kuwait after her birth. She joined her parents only recently. It is great to have her around but the other day only I was in the house since my children had gone for tuitions and hubby to cut his hair. I tried entertaining her but she was much attached to my daughter whom she missed. And then while I was sitting next to her, she took a cushion, placed it on her stretched legs and made me place my head on it. Then she started gently tapping me and saying “ba ba”.. It was such a happy moment for me. Later when I tried placing a chain on her, she removed it and wanted to dress me up! She is rightly named “Jewel” and she is being looked after like a precious jewel. Her mother leaves her with me only when she is tied up with some housework. Since I have passed that stage, I am aware how hectic it can be for her. But somehow these days my thoughts refuse to leave Afreen. As you might know she left this world which failed to love her.

Being a mother to a daughter, I know how loving they are. They need just a bit of love to blossom. They need only a bit of love to return the love in manifold. They would even be ready to die for you.

Even Afreen would have grown up the same way. But she was not allowed to. My heart cries for little ones like her who are born in the wrong place and into wrong hands. My heart weeps for her mother, who must have tried her best. I saw her crying yesterday and hope her tears won’t be in vain. The nation needs to act for future Afreens. There is no way we can hope that such monsters will not do their act. They have already been given birth are in this world and must be getting ready to marry, to hope for boys, to hope for a huge dowry and hoping to kill until they get what they want.

In India, we have the The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR):

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) emphasises the principle of universality and inviolability of child rights and recognises the tone of urgency in all the child related policies of the country. For the Commission, protection of all children in the 0 to 18 years age group is of equal importance.
This commission acts when they receive complaints on behalf of a child. I am sure Afreen’s mother was not in a position to complain or she did not know where to seek help. It is time this commission made every parent register as soon as a baby is born into this world. The Panchayat needs to keep track of these children too. I am sure there are enough funds. The commission also need to place cradles in every panchayat so that such unwanted babies are not killed. Maybe it is time the government started foster homes like those found in the US. From the cradles they can go into those who hope to adopt them.

There are many schemes under NCPCR one being the The Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) All States and UTs except   J&K have signed MoU to implement ICPS.

They also have monitoring schemes:

Monitoring Formats for ICPS

1. Monitoring Formats for the Central Level Monitoring

2. Monitoring Formats for the State Level Monitoring

3. Explanatory Notes

4. Online Submission of Monitoring Reports

They also have a childline service.


This Govt. of India launched Childline Service during the year 1998-99. The child line is a 24 hours free phone service, which can be accessed by a child in distress or an adult on his behalf by dialing the number 1098 on telephone. Child line provides emergency assistance to a child and subsequently based upon the child’s need, the child is referred to an appropriate organization for long-term follow up and care.
The Kerala state has also done much in this aspect under the KERALA STATE COUNCIL FOR CHILD WELFARE.

Other than the various programs for women and child they also have a Creche Programne which takes care of children.


The Kerala State Council for Child Welfare took on the task of setting up crèches for children of working and ailing mothers from the lower socio economic strata of society in 1975. The programme caters to children between the age group of 0-3 yerars. There are 250 creches under the control of the Council, financed by Indian council for Child Welfare These crèches serve the purpose of providing a safe, secure and healthy environment to babies, allowing older children to attend school instead of dropping out, for taking care of sibling and helping mothers to work as they are assured of the safety of their children. The services provided in these crèches include health care, supplementary nutrition, immunisation recreation as well as non formal education. A maximum of 25 children are taken care in each crèche by a trained crèche worker and a helper.

They also have electronic cradles. This needs to be in every state.



Every Child has a right to live. Unfortunate occasions (!) compel persons to discard their babies. Such abandonment in public unhygienic places threaten their lives. To save these kids Council have established an Electronic Cradle (Ammathottil) on 14th November 2002. Now there are Electronic Cradles in all the districts in Kerala.

These babies if lucky might find a good and loving home from adoption centres. One such called Journeys of the Heart Adoption Services sources kids from India.

Journeys of the Heart Adoption Services (JOH) is passionate about adoption – we truly believe that adoption is a win-win situation for the child and the adopting parents and playing a role in it is a tremendous joy
Let the girl child live. She will never let you down.

Edited to add:
Maxwell Pereira, a former Joint Commissioner of Police for the New Delhi Range of the Capital City, says that female infanticide happens at a larger scale in affluent societies than in underprivileged neighborhoods.

“In Delhi, again South Delhi has the highest percentage”, he said in an interview with CNN IBN


  1. The anguish that made you write this post will be, I’m sure shared by all conscientious beings. It is not the lack of laws and safeguards per se that creates such tragedies and hideous s acts. It is the frailty of man.
    I read in an authoritative article some time back that Nature seems to have taken a bias in favour oif female gender. The XY sex determination system has naturally of late shown an inclination to prefer XY rather than XX. Meaning natural selection has begun to prefer female chromosomes. This was not a trivial study but undertaken with lot of statistical care. Hence more female infants are born, it concludes.
    However economic , social prejudice and cultural background seem to be deflecting the natural preference. Apart from Kerala and I guess Tripura / Mizoram most other States show a male skewed sex ratio.
    What is required is multi-pronged dealing. Emancipation and liberation of women is not just borne out of Anglican pedagogy or haute couture life styles. Such women more than often are lacking in empathy. Socially, female child must be accepted irrespective of religious faith or dogmas and economic back ground. Only when society fights the prejudice with sustained help for the female child will she be not seen as a liability. Religious heads and social grand ethnic groups have to play a vital role. First and foremost women themselves the ones who have the social and economic backing must come forward to lend succor and help to the female child, the hapless mothers.
    A dignified economic emancipation will certainly help a long way to eradicate the taboos. The state of affairs is pathetic as much go unreported.
    Criminal minds like the poor girl’s father have to be dealt separately as incorrigible.

    1. Anil: Thank you so much for the detailed response.. it is intresting to note how nature itself is acting in defense.. Was this noticed in India or the world over?
      And your statement "First and foremsst women themselved the ones who have the social and economic backing must come forward..." is the most important. Unless women helps themselves and others like their own, nothing is going to change.

  2. Hi, Read the piece here.

    -- The 9/11 attacks have had myriad long-term consequences for Americans across the country. But the aftermath of the 2001 tragedy took a surprising toll on pregnant women -- by causing them to miscarry a disproportionate number of male fetuses.

    That's the conclusion of researchers at the University of California, Irvine, who have been studying the impact of 9/11 on male babies since 2005.

    In a smaller study published that year, they found that women in California miscarried more male babies in the year after 9/11 than they did in other years from 1995 to 2002.

    This time, the team tracked all fetal miscarriages in the country, using data from the National Vital Statistics System collected between 1996 and 2002.

    Their study, published this week in BMC Public Health, included more than 156,000 fetal deaths. In September 2001, the death rate of male fetuses compared with female increased by 12 percent. That's 120 extra losses in a single month.

    And because only 10 to 30 percent of miscarriages are reported, Tim Bruckner, the study's lead author and a professor at UC Irvine, suspects the finding is an underestimate.

    "The magnitude is reflected in our data, but that 12 percent likely applies to a much larger number," he said.

    An evolutionary adaptation is likely to blame for the increase. Experts speculate that male fetuses are more sensitive to female stress hormones. When a pregnant woman experiences some sort of crisis -- whether personal or not -- her male baby is more vulnerable to be miscarried.

    In this case, women across the country were undergoing a process of "communal bereavement" -- empathizing with others, even if they hadn't experienced a direct loss during 9/11.

    "It's a situation where witnessing harm, even if you don't actually suffer yourself, can actually induce harm," Bruckner said.

    Female fetuses are hardier than males, because women have adapted to produce what Bruckner describes as "the alpha male." In times of prosperity and security, male fetuses are more likely to be brought to term, because there's a greater chance that they'll be healthy and robust. During periods of scarcity, however, male miscarriages are much more common.

    "A woman's body faces a decision -- evolutionary, not cognitive -- of whether to carry her male baby to term, or abort the fetus," Bruckner said. "If you're pregnant in a time of low resources, there's less impetus for your body to bear that child."

    Indeed, the phenomenon reported by Bruckner & Co. has been observed before -- and threatens to become more common. Reduced male birth rates have been reported during other instances of national stress or suffering, like economic recessions or natural disasters.

    And while studies have yet to examine whether the recent recession led to an uptick in male baby miscarriages, Bruckner says it's "a logical extension" of his team's findings.

  3. Anil: That is interesting.. specially since males are supposed to be stronger and should survive better during hard times.. but then I have always felt that women are stronger mentally, if not physically. Women also know how to adjust better.. they survive better.

  4. Hi,
    I'm afraid you got it wrong. Female is stronger than men.
    Pity when I wrote on similar lines in one of my post a good blogger friend ( female) was very upset and she ceased coming to my blog. She alleges traits of MCP in me and women baiting.

    The fact I again mention is that be it in human beings or beasts female of the species are naturally determined to outlive, outwit, and out think the male. It is a biological bonus for being physically , say, not equipped as the male. And to that end Nature has endowed acumen, cunning, street smartness and all survival qualities and prowess on the female. This is not a male biased view. A clear judgement made by learned men of science. Even if we look around we can see little girls or be it female puppies out smart the male.

    Nature prefers the fairer sex.
    Its food for thought not meant for offensive and ill feeling.

    1. I get your point Anil.. and I am not going to fight over the same and lose a good frnd :).. but like your blogger frnd even I want to disagree with you on the point that it is only the women who have been endowed with all those qualities that you mentioned. In my opinion, those are traits inherent in every human being irrespective of gender. If women exhibits them more strongly then it is only because they are forced to. I am sure you will admit that it is a man's world out there and women are forced to learn the survival tricks from the start. For some it becomes a second nature.
      Does nature really prefer the fairer sex? I am not entirely convinced on this.

  5. Hi, gone through your post, really liked it. Aafreen's case is just one example, sad fact is that there are many more such cases which don't come into light. In fact, "female foeticide, female infanticide, and deaths due to deliberate negligence of health-these three have led the male-female population gap to be 64 million (that was according to a 2008 UN report). You have rightly suggested "foster care" and mandaory registration of births in panchayats, these two can surely help a lot. But finally it boils down to the mentality of society, We should contemplate how we can chnage the mentality of society. That will bring about the permanent positive change.. Hope this happens soon..

  6. Hi,

    I love such discussions.
    Yes Perhaps nature wants female to dominate. The question of species and their survival is linked to female than male. Even rearing not just giving birth.

    And as I noted the physical limitations are perhaps taken care by other facets of survival techniques.

    Have you wondered why the Jews diaspora excel in all walks of life? Finance, trade, science , literature , art take it. Perhaps it is the honing of survival skills over many many generations. Remember right from the word go the Jews were the hounded lot and they had to excel in all walks to stay afloat.

    It is such kind of evolutionary adjustments that may be happening in females of species.

    Such instincts and traits are borne in all creation. Just think you may find pother interesting ideas.

  7. Yuva: A warm welcome to my blog.. Thank you for your comments. Yes, the mentality needs to change.. this is the only way the female gender can be saved.... society will find itself in a dangerous situation if one does not stop this practice.

  8. Anil: Nature may want the females to dominate since thery are more nurturing but it is not happening. She continues to be treated as a frail being.. one who needs to be protected, put under codes and later given to the highest bidder! and this can happen only if she survives in the womb!

  9. Hi Team,

    We worked on a 2 min. short film on female foetecide issue which sends across the message for this terrible menace in our society in a lighter way. Hope you would like it.


    1. Thank you Deepak....hope this film does it's job..


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