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Craze For Baby Boy Over Baby Girl And Why Its Wrong, Unscientific and Irrational

As per the last Population Census carried out in 2011, India’s sex ratio was 943 females per 1000 of males. This is quite alarming and highlights the fact that many families in 21st century India still give preference to baby boy over baby girl. This mindset needs to be corrected in an urgent manner, as a high sex ratio leads to a wide variety of socio-economic problems. A number of people have also been cheated by dhongi babas (charlatan) and fake doctors, who promised to help deliver baby boys. The craze for baby boy has become a mental illness and it needs to be cured with awareness and some tough rules.

Why Indians prefer baby boy?

The preference for baby boy In India is due to various reasons as described below:

Continuation of family line: Many families believe that only a baby boy will be able to continue the family line. This is an archaic mindset, which has no place in the modern society. However, such beliefs still continue in many communities due to lack of awareness and peer pressure.

Earning capacity: There is a general belief in the society that a baby boy will have higher earning potential when they grow up to become an adult. This too is an old belief that has been passed on from generation to generation. This may have been a valid argument a few decades back, but quite irrelevant today because there are now plentiful career opportunities for women. If we look around, we can see that women are now employed in almost all spheres of human endeavor.

Girls are considered economic burden: Due to prevalence of dowry system in several communities, girls are considered an economic burden. It is believed that once the daughter is married, she will become a part of her husband’s family. Due to this mindset, many families are reluctant to spend money on their daughter’s proper education, health, and other needs.

General poverty: In a developing country like India, there are many families that have hand to mouth existence. Poverty adversely affects women, as their families may not be able to support their needs. Whatever resources there may be, the preference to those is likely to be given to male members in the family.

Inheritance: Even though the law provides equal rights of inheritance to son and daughter, the same is hardly followed in the society. It is generally believed that only the son has rights of inheritance. Women are sidelined, as it is felt that they will become part of another family after their marriage.

Old age concerns: Many people think that a son would be able to take care of them during their old age. This stems from the belief that their daughter will be married and will not be able to help them. However, this is quite the opposite because women are actually more caring than men. But people still prefer baby boy because they are habituated to think like that.

Why India’s sex ratio is high?

If things are left to nature, most species including humans are able to maintain a healthy sex ratio of 1:1. However, due to preference for baby boy and subsequent interferences, India’s sex ratio is skewed towards males.

Prenatal sex discernment: Even though this is banned in India, people still manage to get it done illegally. This is directly impacting the birth of baby girls, as they are being aborted quite frequently.

Neglect of girl child: Families that prefer baby boy have an uncaring attitude towards their daughters. In such a scenario, the nutrition and healthcare needs of the girl child may be neglected by the family. This in turn leads to increased female mortality and higher sex ratio.

Winds of Change: Girls are outshining boys in the family

In today’s modern society, women are excelling in various fields and there are plenty of opportunities for them. India has always celebrated women, as can be seen with superwomen stories of Sita, Laxmibai: Rani of Jhansi, Savitribai Phule, Sarojini Naidu, Iron Lady Indira Gandhi, Lata Mangeshkar, Kalpana Chawla and several other women. Girls are now outshining boys and there have been various examples in recent times, as given below.

Priyanka Gandhi: It is true that Rahul Gandhi first joined the political mainstream, but if you ask people, they will readily tell you that they like Priyanka more. Priyanka is more charismatic and has the natural ability to connect with the masses, something that seems to be missing in Rahul. In a very short time since she joined active politics, Priyanka has been receiving wide media coverage and good feedback from people. On the other hand, Rahul is still fighting to overcome his “Pappu” image in the public.

Indra Nooyi: The entire world knows Indra Nooyi, as she has served as CEO of PepsiCo and is now a Director and Board Member at Amazon. However, very little is known about her brother. Indra Nooyi has been ranked amongst World’s top 10 most powerful women (Forbes), which clearly shows that women can be equally good business leaders or even far better than men.

Mary Kom: People usually believe that men are physically stronger than women, but Mary Kom proved that wrong by becoming a world boxing champion. She has won medals at seven world championships and Olympic Bronze medal at 2012 London Olympics. As compared to her great success, very little is known about her brother.

Priyanka Chopra: In the Chopra family, it’s Priyanka Chopra who has brought fame and glory for the family. In comparison, not many people know about her brother Siddharth Chopra. So, it’s wrong to think that only men can bring success for the family.

Awareness is the need of the hour

State and central governments are doing their bit to save and educate the girl child and ensure a bright future for them. A number of schemes have been launched to help the girl child such as ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’, Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana’, Dhanalakshmi Scheme, etc. Prenatal sex discernment rules have also been tightened to discourage illegal abortions. Various NGOs are also working to spread awareness in the society about the need to protect the girl child.

People with old mindsets need to understand the importance of baby girl and realize that women have equal capabilities as compared to men. Thankfully, many families have started realizing this and are giving equal importance to baby boy and baby girl. However, there’s still a lot of work to be done. Please share this message with your friends and family, so that we can spread awareness to achieve a healthy sex ratio. It’s only when the girl child is empowered that we can be called a developed and powerful nation in the world.

About Satya Singh

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