The Unwanted - Part 1
Published on: 17/01/2013
“The Unwanted”, is a 35 minutes documentary which portrays the phenomenon of vanishing girls from Indian society. The estimate suggests that around 10 million girls were simply not born over the last two decades in India. The latest census figures of 2011 reveal an alarming “gender gap” in the age group of 0 to 6 years which happens to be the worst in the history of Independent India. Customary beliefs among Hindus such as dowry system and need of male progeny to perform last rites are some of the factors responsible for the male child preference in Indian society. The documentary highlights the fact that the modern scientific techniques such as ultrasound scans are enabling this disturbing trend with disastrous results. Female foeticide is a result of an unholy alliance between traditional views and modern technology that is creating havoc with the sex ratio in Indian society. A gender balanced society in India will not possible without a deep shift in the mindset of people who prefer a boy child. Female Feticide is the act of aborting a fetus because it is female. This is a major social problem in India. Foetal sex determination and sex selective abortion by medical professionals has today grown into a Rs. 1,000 crore industry (US$ 244 million). Social discrimination against women and a preference for sons have been promoted . According to the decennial Indian census, the sex ratio in the 0-6 age group in India went from 104.0 males per 100 females in 1981, to 105.8 in 1991, to 107.8 in 2001, to 109.4 in 2011. The ratio is significantly higher in certain states such as Punjab and Haryana. It is estimated that more than ten million female fetuses have been illegally aborted in India. This process began in the early 1990s when ultrasound techniques gained widespread use in India. There was a tendency for families to continuously produce children until a male child was born. The Government initially supported the practice in order to control population growth. The Preconception and Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act was passed in 1994, making sex-selective abortion illegal. It was then modified in 2003 holding medical professionals legally responsible. However the PCPNDT Act has been poorly enforced by authorities. Female feticide has also led to an increase in human trafficking. In 2011, 15,000 Indian women were bought and sold as brides in areas where feticide has led to a lack of women.