Helpline Successful In Combating Female Foeticide

Domestic violence organizations often use helplines to reach a larger population, while providing an anonymous format to offer help. The Punjab Government implemented a community health helpline 20 days ago to assist in locating ultrasound and abortion centers in a similar endeavour to protect women’s human rights.

The Chandigarh Tribune reports that this helpline (number# 4005252) is part of a pilot project coordinated by the National Rural Health Mission and has already reported a successful intervention. An ultrasound/abortion center in Sirsa, Haryana is being investigated after an anonymous caller reported that a young woman of Mansa village had recently aborted a girl child. Through immediate action, officials found that name/location of the ultrasound and abortion center. Also, they found out that the young woman had been forced to have an abortion by her mother-in-law. Now both the center and mother-in-law are under police investigation. The young woman is not being investigated since she was forced into the abortion by her mother-in-law after already having a 7 month old daughter.

Anurag Aggarwal, mission director, National Rural Health Mission says,

The hotline gives an opportunity to women to speak up in case they are being forced to get their female fetus aborted. If she is not able to say anything, her relatives or friends can inform us. The callers identity is not asked and the whole thing is anonymous.”

The helpline at 4005252 runs from 9am-6pm and gives residents an opportunity to air their grievances and make their suggestions on health services in the state. Through successful implementation, the helpline is a good tool for practical action on the female foeticide issue. I wonder if we could create a similar helpline in various Diaspora communities because the rates of female foeticide are also high outside of South Asia. What do you think?



bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark
tabs-top


21 Responses to “Helpline Successful In Combating Female Foeticide”

  1. SKS says:

    Everyone misses the bigger picture in this social evil that is female foeticide, WHY? Why families decide to abort females. One reason is economic. Dowry is the biggest menace. Next is poor parents cannot provide adequate security for their girl children . I know for a fact that my uncle had to accompany his daughters to college from his native village everyday. There was no hostel or board available. Girls are thought of as burden until they get married and then only if they are well settled in their husband's home.

    Rich people will always find means to abort females. laws are meant to appease the international community. Richest families in my native village have boys- most of them just one. That culture is embedded by centuries of oppression from the Hindu and Muslim practices.

    Why politicians become examples themselves? What a best way to bring positive change in the community. Sukhbir Badal and his wife had two daughters and then they decided to have another child- a boy. I am not against boys. What's wrong with just two girls. Clintons(Bill and Hillary), the Bushes, and now the Obamas have girl childs. What a great example from God.

  2. SKS says:

    Almost every second day I read a gang rape case (mostly in Malwa , mostly dalit minor girl) – I never read any follow up or severe punishment. Where is the justice?

    If govt. really cares then they must bring in tough laws for the protection of females. outlaw dowry and provide education and employment so that girls are not thought of as a burden.

    SGPC should do its job and do sikhi parchar– Real stuff.

    Walk the talk people for God's sake!

  3. P.Singh says:

    Thanks for that article Phulkari. The idea of a helpline is intriguing, and it's worth considering if it can help even a small percentage of women facing pressure to commit female foeticide.

    Sks – dowry and economics, while they may be factors amongst the poor, do not explain female foeticide amongst the middle and upper classes. Having a son, as opposed to a daughter, seems to be a matter of status amongst the well-to-do.

    On that note, a helpline may assist those women being forced into abortions, but what of the many, many women, who have internalized this need for a son, and internalized the high value of a son against the low value of a daughter? These are women who will not seek a helpline.

    I know that many on this site have considered this issue more thoroughly than I have, and I would love to hear their thoughts on what works and what doesn't work in addressing this problem.

  4. SKS says:

    Everyone misses the bigger picture in this social evil that is female foeticide, WHY? Why families decide to abort females. One reason is economic. Dowry is the biggest menace. Next is poor parents cannot provide adequate security for their girl children . I know for a fact that my uncle had to accompany his daughters to college from his native village everyday. There was no hostel or board available. Girls are thought of as burden until they get married and then only if they are well settled in their husband's home.

    Rich people will always find means to abort females. laws are meant to appease the international community. Richest families in my native village have boys- most of them just one. That culture is embedded by centuries of oppression from the Hindu and Muslim practices.

    Why politicians become examples themselves? What a best way to bring positive change in the community. Sukhbir Badal and his wife had two daughters and then they decided to have another child- a boy. I am not against boys. What's wrong with just two girls. Clintons(Bill and Hillary), the Bushes, and now the Obamas have girl childs. What a great example from God.

  5. SKS says:

    Almost every second day I read a gang rape case (mostly in Malwa , mostly dalit minor girl) – I never read any follow up or severe punishment. Where is the justice?

    If govt. really cares then they must bring in tough laws for the protection of females. outlaw dowry and provide education and employment so that girls are not thought of as a burden.

    SGPC should do its job and do sikhi parchar– Real stuff.

    Walk the talk people for God's sake!

  6. P.Singh says:

    Thanks for that article Phulkari. The idea of a helpline is intriguing, and it's worth considering if it can help even a small percentage of women facing pressure to commit female foeticide.

    Sks – dowry and economics, while they may be factors amongst the poor, do not explain female foeticide amongst the middle and upper classes. Having a son, as opposed to a daughter, seems to be a matter of status amongst the well-to-do.

    On that note, a helpline may assist those women being forced into abortions, but what of the many, many women, who have internalized this need for a son, and internalized the high value of a son against the low value of a daughter? These are women who will not seek a helpline.

    I know that many on this site have considered this issue more thoroughly than I have, and I would love to hear their thoughts on what works and what doesn't work in addressing this problem.

  7. P.Singh says:

    …should have read the article more carfefully – I skimmed over the primary function of the helpline.

    That said, a helpline may be useful in the diaspora, as Phulkari suggested, even if it functions as something other than a hotline to locate ultrasound centers.

    Some of you may be aware of the Guru Nanak Sikh Temple elections taking place in Surrey, BC. The Youth Slate is committed to creating a committee focused on women's issues, which may be a first for gurdwaras in BC. Given that this gurdwara has one of the largest memberships in North America, and has the potential of generating significant revenue, there will be money to put towards projects aimed at issues of domestic violence.

    I'm pretty confident the Youth Slate would be very interested in initiatives addressing the issue of female foeticide. If anyone here is familiar with initiatives/projects which have proven to be successful or useful, please do share what information you can. Thanks.

  8. P.Singh says:

    …should have read the article more carfefully – I skimmed over the primary function of the helpline.

    That said, a helpline may be useful in the diaspora, as Phulkari suggested, even if it functions as something other than a hotline to locate ultrasound centers.

    Some of you may be aware of the Guru Nanak Sikh Temple elections taking place in Surrey, BC. The Youth Slate is committed to creating a committee focused on women's issues, which may be a first for gurdwaras in BC. Given that this gurdwara has one of the largest memberships in North America, and has the potential of generating significant revenue, there will be money to put towards projects aimed at issues of domestic violence.

    I'm pretty confident the Youth Slate would be very interested in initiatives addressing the issue of female foeticide. If anyone here is familiar with initiatives/projects which have proven to be successful or useful, please do share what information you can. Thanks.

  9. Harinder says:

    Girls are considered burdens by Punjabi famlies because of :–

    1) NAME :–
    The families name cannot be continued with girls given that girl has to follow her husbands pedigree :– So her surname caste, relgion all follow her husbands identity :-
    Ans :- Allow girls to retain their genetic family lineage including the surname and let children surname also be equally divided amongst the children.

    2) Dowry :- —
    The menance of dowry and marraiges costing upto 01 crore as aconsequence female foeticide became a natural defence mecahnism
    Ans : Cut the cost of marriage and make both boys and girls to share the marriage costs. Abolish dowry

    3) Guarding females virginity is equated with honour of family :- —-

    The men in Punjab consider themselves to be guardian of female virginity till their marriage there by adeding to the burden to mens chore
    Ans : Let females set up their own moral standards rather then depending upon their men and let it not be linked to family honours ( it has it orign in Islamic thought)

    All above measure will do away female foeticide practises

  10. Harinder says:

    Girls are considered burdens by Punjabi famlies because of :–

    1) NAME :–
    The families name cannot be continued with girls given that girl has to follow her husbands pedigree :– So her surname caste, relgion all follow her husbands identity :-
    Ans :- Allow girls to retain their genetic family lineage including the surname and let children surname also be equally divided amongst the children.

    2) Dowry :- —
    The menance of dowry and marraiges costing upto 01 crore as aconsequence female foeticide became a natural defence mecahnism
    Ans : Cut the cost of marriage and make both boys and girls to share the marriage costs. Abolish dowry

    3) Guarding females virginity is equated with honour of family :- —-

    The men in Punjab consider themselves to be guardian of female virginity till their marriage there by adeding to the burden to mens chore
    Ans : Let females set up their own moral standards rather then depending upon their men and let it not be linked to family honours ( it has it orign in Islamic thought)

    All above measure will do away female foeticide practises

  11. Roger Mangat says:

    this is a hypocritical site.the people who run this site are only comfortable with the sychophants and with the wusses who provide a sanitized version of sikhism.

  12. SikhChick says:

    The problem of female foeticide cannot be handled by a single approach. Those Sikhs that label themselves Sikh or consider themselves part of the Sikh community are often uneducated in their own faith, regardless of economic status. We are all Singhs and Kaurs and should be less worried about the attachment to our last names, if we are following the teachings and examples of our Gurus (some of whom changed their own names). When we die, we die alone, and without a name. All family lines will end at some point during history. As Sikhs, we also need to raise strong men AND women. We push our women to support our sardars who keep their hair, and do not give our women the same support. We live Punjabi lives as Sikhs, and not the other way around. The other problem is that, religion aside, as Punjabis, we often teach our little girls that they are supposed to live a certain way, support their men, only expect certain things, and that any professional or academic success they garner is only ultimately good for finding a good match. Because without marriage, their identity is worthless. That leads parents to believe the same and act accordingly.

    These people need to treat their daughters as members of the family instead of a temporary liability and not treat marriage and children as their only accomplishments. Being a wife and mother are beautiful things, and a woman should be able to stay at home as a housewife if she chooses. But these are not the only things that a woman is or can be. And if she chooses to be something else or be something else along with being a wife/mother, these should also be supported and be treated as a source of pride for the family.

    Changing this mentality is near impossible. But it's not impossible. Start in your own homes and your own families in India and in the diaspora.

    Re: helplines in the diaspora, they are in various areas. Manavi and Sakhi aren't for female foeticide in particular, but they serve South Asian women suffering from domestic abuse of any kind, whether it is physical, mental, emotional, etc. Manavi is based in New Jersey and their hotline is (732) 435-1414. Sakhi is in New York and their hotline is (212) 868-6741. There are organizations like this all over North America. They have been around for over 20 years, and are valuable resources for women being pressured or absused by their spouses or in laws.

  13. SikhChick says:

    The problem of female foeticide cannot be handled by a single approach. Those Sikhs that label themselves Sikh or consider themselves part of the Sikh community are often uneducated in their own faith, regardless of economic status. We are all Singhs and Kaurs and should be less worried about the attachment to our last names, if we are following the teachings and examples of our Gurus (some of whom changed their own names). When we die, we die alone, and without a name. All family lines will end at some point during history. As Sikhs, we also need to raise strong men AND women. We push our women to support our sardars who keep their hair, and do not give our women the same support. We live Punjabi lives as Sikhs, and not the other way around. The other problem is that, religion aside, as Punjabis, we often teach our little girls that they are supposed to live a certain way, support their men, only expect certain things, and that any professional or academic success they garner is only ultimately good for finding a good match. Because without marriage, their identity is worthless. That leads parents to believe the same and act accordingly.

    These people need to treat their daughters as members of the family instead of a temporary liability and not treat marriage and children as their only accomplishments. Being a wife and mother are beautiful things, and a woman should be able to stay at home as a housewife if she chooses. But these are not the only things that a woman is or can be. And if she chooses to be something else or be something else along with being a wife/mother, these should also be supported and be treated as a source of pride for the family.

    Changing this mentality is near impossible. But it's not impossible. Start in your own homes and your own families in India and in the diaspora.

    Re: helplines in the diaspora, they are in various areas. Manavi and Sakhi aren't for female foeticide in particular, but they serve South Asian women suffering from domestic abuse of any kind, whether it is physical, mental, emotional, etc. Manavi is based in New Jersey and their hotline is (732) 435-1414. Sakhi is in New York and their hotline is (212) 868-6741. There are organizations like this all over North America. They have been around for over 20 years, and are valuable resources for women being pressured or absused by their spouses or in laws.

  14. Harinder says:

    Punjabi culture is imposing great hardships on SIKH families.
    The kind of value system we have ;
    all of us are discouraged to have childrens not only girls but even boys .
    See the cost of nuturing a child in sikh family :–
    1) marriage costs :- 50 lakhs
    2) Educational costs : Rs 30 lakhs as all want to become doctors or engineers.
    SGPC should look into this

  15. Harinder says:

    Punjabi culture is imposing great hardships on SIKH families.
    The kind of value system we have ;
    all of us are discouraged to have childrens not only girls but even boys .
    See the cost of nuturing a child in sikh family :–
    1) marriage costs :- 50 lakhs
    2) Educational costs : Rs 30 lakhs as all want to become doctors or engineers.
    SGPC should look into this

  16. Rajinder Singh says:

    Brother Harinder, Dont worry about 50 lakhs. Just lower your standards. Set a low bar. Let your kids do better than you and feel happy in life. Why do people make life of their own kids miserable ? It is totally illogical. Besides if those little perverts are really your kids they ought to be able come out the hole you are dropping them in. Dont you think so ?

    You want to see your kids rise in front of you or you want to see them fall from great heights you left them at ? Remember, Gravity wins in the end.

    Leave things to their natural state (which is low level in nearly all cases), and hope for resonance with a profession of choice, as opposed to making them vibrate at unnatural frequencies with forced vibrations.

    Anyway, what is 50 lakhs and a degree going to do for your son without girls ?

  17. Rajinder Singh says:

    Brother Harinder, Dont worry about 50 lakhs. Just lower your standards. Set a low bar. Let your kids do better than you and feel happy in life. Why do people make life of their own kids miserable ? It is totally illogical. Besides if those little perverts are really your kids they ought to be able come out the hole you are dropping them in. Dont you think so ?

    You want to see your kids rise in front of you or you want to see them fall from great heights you left them at ? Remember, Gravity wins in the end.

    Leave things to their natural state (which is low level in nearly all cases), and hope for resonance with a profession of choice, as opposed to making them vibrate at unnatural frequencies with forced vibrations.

    Anyway, what is 50 lakhs and a degree going to do for your son without girls ?

  18. Here is a common man’s arm-chair research and analysis about this issue based on the available historical census data of India in comparison with two other countries China and USA.

    Female Feticide – A Mysterious Propaganda
    =========================
    http://prassoon.sulekha.com/blog/post/2009/12/fem

  19. Here is a common man’s arm-chair research and analysis about this issue based on the available historical census data of India in comparison with two other countries China and USA.

    Female Feticide – A Mysterious Propaganda
    =========================
    http://prassoon.sulekha.com/blog/post/2009/12/fem