Connecting local responses around the world
I am new in this community, but am really warmed by the welcome I have got here. I am a doctor by profession. When I was pregnant with twins, my in laws and husband fraudantly got a sex determination test done, and on knowing that I am carrying twin daughters, started forcing me to abort them.
However unlike many other families , my parents stood by me, brought me back to my parents house, and here I gave birth to my twin darlings, who are the source of constant inspiration to me.
I filed a complaint under the P.C-P.N.D.T act, which bans sex determination during pregnancy. I was shocked to know that even after 16 years of the act being passed, and even though U.N.I.C.E.F had given in an report that India is losing 7000 daughters daily due to female feticide, no woman had dared till date to come forward and lodge a complaint under this act.
Very soon the reason became clear. I was pressurized by authorities, police and even Judiciary to withdraw my complaints. I started receiving threats. I even lost my job, because I refused to withdraw my complaints.
In the meantime I realized that despite the fact that I have very supportive parents, it is very difficult for a woman in India to fight against the Patriarchal mindset.
I along with Mrs. Bijayalakshmi Nanda, who is running a Campaign against Pre Birth Elimination of Females, organized an interschool Poster making competition on the issue of female feticide in the month of February-March 2010. This was a way to increase awareness amongst the youth regarding the issue. On 8th March 2010, a global march was held, protesting against this practice due to which millions of girls had lost their lives before even they took birth, because their parents wanted a son. The Photographs of the March held on the event of International women`s day are here.
A small documentary has been made by a group by the name of Petals in the dust. The link to documentary on youtube is here.
However the pressure on me to withdraw my cases continued. One of the female judges openly threatened me that if I do not withdraw my cases, I will be forced to bring my 5 year old daughters to the court on every hearing. By this time I had joined a management institute by the name of IIHMR. Dr Ash Pachauri was teaching us there. I shared my problem with him. He encouraged me to share my problem with 120 of my classmates. That day 120 students stood by me, and offered all their support to me. There started a signature campaign, where students went to all states and collected 11,000 signatures against female feticide. I was happy not only because they were helping me, but because these students were going to be the parents of tomorrow. They were not only enlightened, and had started feeling for the cause, but each one of them went to different schools and colleges and raised awareness on the issue. The photographs of Signature campaign are given here.
We do plan to take the campaign further. I would really love to know how we can raise more and more awareness on the issue so that we can handover a better world to our coming generations.