01 May 2017 | Last updated 12:19 AM

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More needs to be done in order to eradicate
Fatima Peter | Sunday, 19 March 2017 AT 02:19 PM IST
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In an appalling and scandalous incident in Sangli district of Maharashtra recently, 19 aborted foetuses were found in a stream. The Sangli police suspect that all the 19 were female foetuses. The female foeticide racket, which was taking place in Bharti Hospital in Mhaisal village, came to light when one Swati Jamdade died, allegedly after an illegal abortion went wrong. Later, her parents filed a case against her husband who forced her to abort her third female foetus after giving birth to two girls.

The main accused, Dr Babasaheb Khidrapure, who holds a Bachelor’s degree in Homoeopathy, did not have the required medical degree to conduct abortions. He was later arrested when the incident came to light. His wife, who is also a doctor, is suspected to be involved in the crime along with other doctors working at the hospital.

It should also be recalled that in a similar incident in 2012 in Beed, Dr Sudam Mumne and his wife were accused of feeding female foetuses to dogs. They were illegally carrying on the business of female foeticide and feeding the foetuses to dogs so that they are not spotted. Later, they were arrested after a woman died during a pregnancy termination and a police complaint was filed, which led the police to bust the racket.

Female foeticide is one of the worst crimes against women, where she is murdered before she is born. But the problem is not something new and is prevalent in Indian society from many years. Mostly, such crimes take place due to orthodox traditions, the culture the society follows and the taboos associated with having a girl child. In a time where we see women working in various fields and taking up jobs which they was deprived of in earlier times, there is still need for a change of attitude in society towards women. Society needs to condemn the taboos related to females.

An expert who works in the field of women and children development points out one of the reasons because of which female foeticide exists in our society. She says that a family thinks that having a girl means a lot of responsibility and they have to keep worrying about her security and safety while she is growing up and when she grows up they have to be worried about her marriage. So, there is a need to create a safe environment for girls and women in society, which can be achieved through strict laws and awareness generation from the government's side.

Awareness should start right from schools where gender sensitisation is done for both male and female students. Here comes the need to include sex education for both genders in schools, which can play a vital role and inculcate in students the need to respect the opposite sex.

Basically, we can point out three important things which can play an important role in fighting the female foeticide problem, firstly, strict laws should be established against both parties where the medical practitioner and the one who is getting aborted or is being forced by someone else to get aborted face strict punishment. Secondly, awareness is needed in the society about respecting girls and giving them the same status that men enjoy. And thirdly, it is important to create a safe environment for women and girls, which can help to change the attitude of society towards women.   


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