Global campaign against female foeticide and infanticide

Last Updated: Friday, March 5, 2010 - 00:00

New Delhi: Days before Women`s Day, an Indian-origin woman has collaborated with Nobel Peace Prize nominee James Garrow to launch a global campaign against the malpractice of female foeticide and infanticide in India.

People from six countries - Ireland, Australia, Kuwait US and India- will conduct peaceful marches to protest against the gender holocaust.

"I realised the gravity of the situation when I decided to adopt a baby girl from India three years ago and was told to wait at least for two to three years," says Nyna-Pais Caputi, a US citizen currently living in Karnataka and the brain behind the project.

"Then the orphanage I visited in my home state pointed out a lake to me in the vicinity where baby girls used to be drowned by their parents," she told reporters.

Helping Caputi in her campaign is James Garrow from Canada who was nominated for the Nobel Peace prize along with the winner, US President Barak Obama. Garrow, who has worked towards saving around 31,000 baby girls in China from its one-child-per-couple policy, says he has now shifted his focus to India.

"India just happens to be the next target after China. A lot needs to be done. Charge and convict those who murder baby girls and execute the perpetrators," says Garrow, who is
planning his scheme of things to address this heinous crime in India.

Caputi, is also filming a documentary `Petals In The Dust: India`s Missing Girls` on the issue.

"The film is in pre-production stage and the trailer will be screened in April. I will also give a talk on female foeticide and infanticide at the University of California,
Berkeley," she says.

The film will explore the reasons behind the origins of this gender bias, why it is still so prevalent in India and its consequences. It will also document the experiences of
women who have been direct and indirect victims of this bias.

The Census of India, 2001 states there are 933 females per 1000 males in the country. However there places where the situation is very grim. Daman (Daman & Diu) district has the lowest sex ratio (591) while among states Haryana stands at the bottom with 861 females per 1000 males.

"I believe the elimination of girls from India`s population is not just India`s problem but of the entire world.

"I witnessed how the world rallied to support victims of the Haiti earthquake and I felt India too needs the world`s support to eradicate female genocide. Making the walk international would create awareness not only in the international community but also among Indians living abroad," says Caputi.

"Not only the government but the onus lies on every human being to raise a voice against this issue. Every one should take personal responsibility to stop this from happening in their family. Women participating in this practise should also be provided psycho-social education," says Harmesh Kumar, a physician who is organising the walk in San Francisco.

PTI




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