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    » 06/20/2012, 00.00

    INDIA

    Rajasthan: girls denied, 2,500 female foeticides and infanticides a day

    Nirmala Carvalho

    Some families leave their baby daughters to die of hunger and thirst to get around the law. In Jaisalmer District (one of the worst), five suspicious cases are recorded this month. Its state has one of the worst female-to-male ratios (883-1,000). For doctor with the Pontifical Academy for Life, "Religious leaders, NGOs and government institutions must work together" against this social malaise.

    Mumbai (AsiaNews) - With nearly 2,500 cases of female foeticide or female infanticide a day, the state of Rajasthan is one of worst places to be a girl in India. Selective sex tests, which are illegal, lead to selective abortions; however, now some people who want to get rid of baby girls found another way of getting around the law: water and food deprivation.

    Since early June, the authorities in Jaisalmer District (one of the worst) have recorded five suspicious deaths of baby girls.

    Last Friday, police in the village of Sangad (Jaisalmer) arrested Dileep Singh, after his daughter died under suspicious circumstances two days earlier.

    According to Superintendent of Police Mamta Vishnoi, the accused deprived his daughter of necessary medical treatment after her birth. At present, her body is undergoing autopsy. The father will remain in custody for 15 days.

    In the villages of Tejmalta and Mandi, three other baby girls died from unknown causes. One, born on 8 June in full health according to the doctors, was found dead a day later in a state of malnutrition. In another case, the family of the dead baby disappeared. Police is searching for them.

    "To escape the law, these people are using inhuman methods," Jaisalmer District Collector Shuchi Tyagi said. "After leaving the newborn to die, they pour salt or other chemical agents on the body to accelerate the process of decomposition. At that point, no autopsy can determine the cause of death."

    Following these incidents, Tyagi gave the order that all the births of baby girls had to be communicated to any district authority, health, police or municipal officials.

    Speaking to AsiaNews, Dr Pascoal Carvalho, member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, said, "Our country considers human life sacred, always. Ahimsa (non-violence) is one of India's most precious value. Yet, respect for life is gradually being eroded, and a culture of death is spreading."

    "The last national census (2011) shows that Rajasthan has 883 females under the age of six per 1,000 males of the same age. In 2001, they were 909 (girls) per 1,000 (boys). This imbalance reflects a serious social malaise."

    India, the doctor noted, "is a patriarchal society. Discrimination against women expresses itself in a very destructive fashion with female infanticides and foeticides; this, despite the government's efforts to raise awareness in the population." What is more, in Rajasthan, "the districts of Jaisalmer, Brmer, Pali, Chittorgarh, Ganganagar and Jhunjhunu are notorious for killing baby girls."

    "Religious leaders, NGOs and government institutions must work together to promote the value and dignity of girls," Carvalho said. For the "Catholic Church, the sacredness of human life begins at conception," and "Many of its hospitals are already teaching and promoting a culture of life, among patients."

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    See also

    28/01/2013 INDIA
    Karnataka, 20 fetuses found under a bridge, they were all girls
    Found in the district of Belgaum, where, the imbalance between males and females under the age of 6 is 931 girls per 1000 boys. Member of the Pontifical Academy for Life: selective abortions and female feticide are the worst form of violence against women.

    21/06/2012 INDIA
    Stop female foeticide, reject abortion, says Mgr Gracias
    The auxiliary bishop of Mumbai speaks about a case in Beed District (Maharashtra), where police discovered aborted female foetuses, including one in the eighth month of pregnancy. Similar cases have been reported across the state. Now police is investigating hundreds of women and targeting shady clinics.

    10/10/2012 INDIA
    Three million girls "missing" as a result of selective abortions and infanticide
    The 2011 figures are from a study released by India's Central Statistical Organisation. Tomorrow, the world marks International Day of the Girl. "Government, civil society and families should work closely together" against patriarchal gender bias, says doctor member of the Pontifical Academy for Life. Maharashtra wants selective abortion to be treated as murder.

    26/03/2012 INDIA
    Day for Life in India: woman burnt alive by her husband for giving birth to two girls
    It happened yesterday in West Bengal. Meanwhile in Mumbai, 400 people attended a rally to celebrate the event. Bishop Agnelo Gracias, President of the Diocesan Commission for human life: "It is in giving that we receive. Jesus died on the cross to give us life. "

    14/12/2006 INDIA
    Catholic Church against gender discrimination in India
    In India every seven minutes a woman dies from pregnancy-related complications. Millions of female foeticides are executed every year. Mgr Fernandes urges concrete steps taken against all forms of gender discrimination.



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