Udaipur: An infant girl
apparently abandoned by her parents was found at the doorstep of a
children's home here in yet another grim reminder of the fact that
girls are less desirable than boys in Rajasthan.
Employees at Mahesh Ashram, owned and managed by Udaipur-based NGO
Maa Bhagwati Vikas Sansthan, found a baby born only half an hour
ago Monday morning at the doorstep.
The preference for the male child was highlighted in Aamir Khan's
episode "Satyamev Jayate" telecast on Sunday. There have been many
incidents in Rajasthan of infant girls being dumped in garbage
bins or beside drains.
S.L. Dharmawat of Mahesh Ashram told IANS Wednesday: "We came to
know about the baby when the bell installed in the cradle started
to ring after a couple of minutes."
An official of the ashram on condition of anonymity said the
infant girl was wrapped in a piece of newspaper. "As the skin of
the infant was soft, the paper got glued to it and we could not
peel it off completely. She was administered vaccines immediately.
Now her condition is normal," said the official.
Mahesh Ashram runs two cradles in Udaipur, 400 km from the
Rajasthan capital Jaipur.
The official said the delivery apparently occurred in a house. The
baby weighs over two kg.
The official added that it appears the baby was abandoned because
it was a girl.
Many instances of girls being left abandoned have been reported in
the state recently. Dharmawat said: "The ashram at present has two
cradles in Udaipur city. It plans to open 16-18 cradles over the
next four months in the entire district. Nineteen children are
presently living in the ashram. Since the last over five years, a
total of 67 children have come here, out whom 43 have already been
"Though people have started to show interest in adopting a girl
child, the percentage in comparison to boys is still very low, at
around 20-25 percent," he said.
According to Census 2011, Rajasthan has 883 girls between the age
of 0-6 for every 1,000 boys. The child sex ratio in 2001 was 909.
Alarmed over the state's skewed sex ratio, the state government
recently announced steps to curb pre-natal sex determination tests
at ultrasound clinics.
The steps include increasing the number of health department
inspection teams and equipping them with devices like hidden
cameras and voice recorders.
The state government has also increased the amount of money given
to a person who complains about errant ultrasound clinics.
Aamir Khan, in his programme "Satyamev Jayate", aired Sunday, had
highlighted the story of a sting operation done seven years back
by two Jaipur based journalists to expose increasing female
foeticide cases in four states - Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat,
Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
He said in his show that he would appeal to the Rajasthan chief
minister to get the cases against the doctors clubbed together and
tried in a fast-track court. He also appealed to the viewers to
support his signature campaign.