Saving India’s Girls

Indian Orphanage

Last Sunday police in Bhopal arrested a doctor and janitor after discovering 400 bones (from fetuses and newborns) buried behind a hospital. According to the Associated Press, the bones represent the remains of unwanted baby girls.

Selective abortion of female fetuses has led to a gender imbalance in India, where many districts report 800 girls are born for every 1,000 boys. International non-profit groups estimate that 10 million female fetuses have been killed over the past 20 years.

The government is now determined to take action through what it is calling the “cradle scheme”–essentially a plan to raise unwanted children in a series of yet-to-be-built orphanages.

“What we are saying to the people is have your children, don’t kill them. And if you don’t want a girl child, leave her to us,” says Renuka Chowdhury, the country’s minister of state for women and children.

“We will bring up the children. But don’t kill them because there really is a crisis situation. We will have cradles strategically placed all over the place so that people who don’t want their babies can leave them there.”

February 21, 2007
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