You are reading: Mother’s matter
The murder of the female baby is just one part of India’s female foeticide issue. The other two parts of the problem is the negative stigma a mother will face for willingly caring for the ‘burdened’ child, as well as the harsh reality her daughter will grow up in.
One part of Saras.Care’s ultimate goal is to save the female child. She needs to be saved from the relentless abuse she will face due to factors such as expensive dowry; inability to take care of their parents in old age and lineage continuity. For these reasons, daughters are aborted, abandoned and starved, amongst other horrifying torture. Furthermore, from my research, I have concluded that part of the reason that some women may abort a female child is to prevent her from growing up in a society where she will be discriminated, disadvantaged and always unequal to her male counterpart.
The anonymous platform Saras.Care will provide; that encourages victims; witnesses and medical professionals alike to report the planned abortion of a female foetus is one way to save the female child. However, saving the girl child is only one important aspect Saras.Care is trying to achieve. Another being; educating the girl child and empowering the mother. While we can save the daughter; she is still going to be unwanted; unloved; unequal to her male counterparts. As Rassamal, a traditional healer in India says, ‘The first daughter will be accepted, the second killed, then the third will be a son’.
From my own interpretation, gathered from reading countless literature and articles, women who raise daughters are viewed with shame and disgust. These raw emotions are typically not her own; but from those around her who expected her to birth and raise a son. A woman who births a daughter is rarely ever celebrated. Furthermore, it can be suggested that due to this negative stigma, the basic necessary support for women to raise their daughter in a loving, welcoming environment, may be too much to ask. Instead; she may be deprived of basic supplies; such as food and water, to adequately raise her daughter. Furthermore; the lack of support from those around her, may too, cause mental health issues alongside health issues.
At Saras.Care; ideas have been bounced around in order to find ways to do this. Some key ideas involved partnering with other not-for-profit organisations and seek their assistance on a ground level to ensure they can execute care for the female child; offering drop in counselling sessions to both mothers and daughters to discuss any hardships being faced and to receive help and encouragement to keep persevering. Saras.Care could partner with organisations to provide the mother with nitrous foods to help feed her daughter(s). Or work with universities to provide scholarships to ensure women can further their education. All in which seek to not only educate the daughter, but also empower her mother.
We should aim to have a society free from patriarchal mindset and preference for male child. The Indian government needs to keep enforcing the message that unethical conduct conducted by anybody who illegally abort their female child will face repressions for their actions. And it’s time we rally behind the females; mothers and daughters alike in India. It is time we applaud them for their strength, courage and bravery; to show dignity and grace in the face of relentless adversity. We need to break the cycle; because we don’t want these daughters to grow up to become mothers and face the exact same, generational issues. Girls will grow up to be strong women because a strong woman raised her. We need to save the girl child, educate the girl child and empower the mother.