Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Female Infanticide

One of the worst crimes that is being committed is selective killing of female fetuses and infants soon after birth. Occasionally it is the mother who is responsible adds more tragedy to this crime. India takes the pride of place in committing and helping to perpetrate this most heinous crime against female life. Calling ourselves a developing nation is meaningless unless we give equal social and economic status to our women and treat them with respect they deserve with out being condescending. Hopefully with women’s empowerment this crime will become less and will in the course of time disappear.

I like to quote Dr.M.K.Mani a renowned Nephrologist and a sensitive human being from Chennai.

Cradle baby scheme

One or other illegal, worse, criminal action that governments all over the country have been unable to prevent is large scale murder of female infants. In 2002, the government of Tamilnadu introduced a scheme to prevent murder by persuasion if not by enforcement. Cradles were placed outside government hospitals and the girl babies could be deposited there. No questions were asked and the children were sent to orphanages to be brought up there. In few instances the parents openly brought their chideern over. They were counseled and in some cases they changed their minds and took the children back. The Dahrmapuri government hospital reported recently that it had received 955 babies since the scheme started. 39 were boys; 50 of the children were taken back by their parents. Despite this way out, many parents still resort to infanticide and between 35 and 70 cases are reported every year. Our neighboring Salem district the female to male birth ratio was 850 females to every 1000 males in the year 2000. Later studies are not available for the district as a whole, but studies from different primary health centres [PHCs] and villages show depressing ratios of between 706 and 901.Perhaps the cradle baby scheme needs more publicity in rural areas.

Pretty dismal isn’t it?

Kill the patient?

This morning while examining a patient I got a phone call. I told the caller that I will call him back after I finish this patient! The patient had the grace not to believe me and stayed put on the examination table.

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