Death in the Womb

I was killed for a crime that I did not commit. Rather, for a crime that wasn't a crime at all. 

I quietly lay in the dingy womb hoping to see the beautiful world outside. I lay there dreaming of the evenings when I would play with grandpa in the park. I dreamt of nights when grandma would tell me the tales of beautiful fairies and princess in the castle. I dreamt of daddy scolding me for hiding his car keys. I also dreamt of my brother teasing and irritating me. I dreamt of the love that would be showered upon me once I become a part of the world of these wonderful people. But all my dreams were shattered. 

My story came to end even before it could start. My story ended the day doctor aunty told ma and daddy that I would be born as a girl. The clinic had a board saying: "Spend just Rs 500 now and save Rs 5 lakh later." 

"It'll all be done in 15 minutes," I heard doctor aunty saying. I thought it was time for me to see the faces of the two people who created me. But little did I know my creators would be my destroyers. I shouted'albeit in silence. It took a little knife and Rs 500 to mute my voice. It was all done in 15 minutes. I was denied a life.

Rohan, whom I thought I'd call bhaiya, faced no such situation. He was given the right to witness the colors of life because he'd be an earner and would carry on the family name. He'd also support parents in their old age. But daddy what if he turns out to be like you? What if he too finds his monthly income too meager to support ma and you? What if he too leaves you, one evening, in a nice old age home? Then wouldn't his right of existence be justified? Does he really have a better right of existence in this world?

Mamma, I remember the scriptures you read when you did not know the gender I was to have. "In this land, a woman is worshipped ' Nari sarvatre pujyate," this is what you had read. It is in this very land that mamma you did not allow me to see how the women are worshipped. 

Female feticide, the gravest of all issues concerning women, was most common in urban China in the second half of twentieth century. Female infanticide is still a problem in the developing countries, especially developing countries where males are valued over females. In most countries in the world, there are approximately 105 female births for every 100 males. In India, there are less than 93 women for every 100 men in the population. Some are killed in the womb, others 'perished' as infants, while many women succumb in a desperate bid to have a male child. Today, we are living with the illusion that we are at par with the developed giants of the world. Considering the scenario, we must think a hundred times even before we call ourselves citizens of a progressive nation of the 21st century. We may have developed technologically; but are we putting these technological developments to right use?    


More by :  Purva Bhatia

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