I woke up this morning very distressed due to a report I watched on BBC World last night on how U.K. Indian women were aborting girls. The Oxford University study suggests 1,500 girls are "missing" from the birth statistics in England and Wales from 1990 to 2005. One British woman, who spoke to the BBC anonymously, said she had an abortion after a doctor in India found she was to have a fourth daughter. Last time I checked, finding out the sex of a baby in India was illegal. Then how was this happening? BBC did an undercover filming on a renowned gynaecologist, Dr Mangala Telang - a doctor recommended by the British High Commission to find out that not only does she secretly perform the ultrasounds to reveal the sex of the unborn child but also provides recommendations to those couples who wish for an abortion after having found out they are having a girl.
There's some disturbing new evidence in India about a growing gender imbalance in the country that's home to more than a billion people. A report published jointly by the Indian government and the United Nations Population Fund shows an alarming drop in the number of baby girls. An estimated seven million girls have gone missing from India's population over the last 25 years. Some of them will have been killed after they were born, or allowed to die within their first few days. But most of them will have been aborted. Selective abortion is happening all over India as ultrasound machines - which carry out the scan - have become cheaper, but it has always been worst in Punjab and Gujarat.
It is even more disturbing to find out that it is the elite class of India that mostly indulge in such practices mainly because they have easy access to ultrasound machines and have the money to pay for such illegal practices.
Whenever, I make a trip back to India, I find my friends and family gloating about how rapidly India is developing on its way to becoming a super power in the very near future. When I ask them questions on this growth, I often find out that their theories are based on availability of hi-tech jobs that have sprung up in the past few years due to heavy outsourcing from the U.S., easy access to foreign merchandise, huge lifestyle change that imitates the ones seen on Hollywood/Bollywood movies and most recently the increasing value of the Rupee. No one talks about education, the discrimination, the corruption, the superstitions that till date tie our society down and worst of all no one does anything about it. How does such a society develop? How does such a country become a super power? How come we don't admit what it true and try to bring a change?
I am proud to be a mother of a girl.