Dr Karuna Hazarika
(Principal, Tezpur Medical College. firstname.lastname@example.org)
Today is the fourth Sunday of September, celebrated as National Daughter's Day. It's a day specially dedicated to the daughters to show them affection and care. Different countries celebrate it on different days. The day is specially celebrated to show that the daughter is special and wanted. This is usually celebrated by sending gifts, best wishes, and flowers and enjoy with an outing for celebration as part of it. It is to show how much they are appreciated as the daughter, which to plays a role so special to some families. Especially, in India, the daughters play a different role to carry out special care and bond to the parents in their day-to-day life. So, this is also a special day for the parents to show they care, to make them strong, empowered and educate them to carry out their entire life with dignity.
'Daughters are a special gift of God'. To realize this, the day is celebrated worldwide, of course, not on the same day. Different countries celebrate on different days but the aim is unique and the same. In some parts of India, the girl child is considered a burden to the family and inferior to sons. It is very disheartening that women are panelized when they give birth to a girl child. The mindset is that it is considered a burden to the family and society. This results in different social issues like dowry, female infanticide and feticide as well. Most in developing countries parents prefer a son over a girl. They feel proud when a son is born in their family. The developing country sees daughters as a burden while others celebrate for the girl child. The discrimination of females started long back in different parts of the world. If we look at the scenario in the western world it was almost the same, where women were not allowed to decide on political and economical fronts as they are under the influence of male dominance in society. The USA has far from its way with women empowerment and rights. Discrimination persists in some parts. The women faced discrimination from the beginning as they were viewed as inferior to men. The law even did not recognize wife's independence in economic, political, or civic matters in the Anglo-American society of eighteenth centuries." Women did not get the right to vote until 1920. Wives stay at home and the husbands go out for work, this was the state of affairs till 1960. There the gender discrimination is still taking time to get rid of it.
International Daughter's Day is celebrated on different dates worldwide. International Day of Girls is another day for observance, specially dedicated to a girl child by United Nations. General Assembly of United Nations had taken the resolution 66/170 and declared 11, October as the International Day of the Girl Child. The resolution was adopted on December 19, 2011by the General Assembly. The resolution aims to recognize girls' rights and unique challenges faced today around the world and to promote empowerment and consider human rights fulfilment.
Today, in India government has taken various initiatives for the overall development, empowerment of girls child including access to better healthcare, education and gender sensitivity fronts. Hon'ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the daughters for their accomplishments in various fields and has saluted the spirit of daughters in the country for making their names in various fields in his Twitter account. PM Modi also commented that all people working for women empowerment deserve compliments and appreciation as well. January 24 was first celebrated as Girl Child Day by the Ministry of Women and Child Development in the years 2008 and since the initiative is celebrated across the country. Teenager Srishti Goswami of Uttarakhand was made Chief Minister for a day and accompanied by State Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat and attended various official meetings and also reviewed the government schemes running in the state. It was a commendable initiative to show respect and the overall scene in women empowerment.
The irony, nearly 4.6 crore females are 'missing' in Indian demography in the year 2020, mainly due to the selection of sex despite stringent acts in India. It was reported by United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and noted pre-and-post–birth sex selection practice is the root cause. The preference of son is the main reason and underlying gender inequality and easy access to technology and generalized trend for small family size. It's blamed the overall shocking news for India is deep-rooted patriarchy in society along with the materialistic mindset that brings even the highly educated people engage in killing the female child before or after birth. India is the second-highest contributor of the world missing females, almost one third (32.1 per cent) of a total 142.6 million. China is in the number one position, with 73.3 million (7.2 crores) missing females that is 50.7 per cent of all missing females in the world. Indian sex ratio projection is 108.147 males per 100 females in the year 2021. The gender ratio of India is 943 females per 1000 males as per Census 2011. There are 949 females to 1000 men in rural areas while 929 females to 1,000 males in urban areas. Present world scenario with 110 boys born for every 100 girls India has world's 5th most inclined sex ratio at birth after China, Azarbaijan, Viet Nam, Armenia.
It is a state of dismay worldwide with a pathetic scene in India. If we look into tribal areas where the entire scene is different, the sex ratio is quite encouraging in comparison to other states. There is steady gain in some states like Uttarakhand, Telangana, Punjab, in some like Karnataka, Rajasthan, J&K, it's a setback after gain but the scene is worsening in Chhattishgarh, Himachal and Assam. This is as per the annual report of the Civil Registration System of 2019(SRB). The good news is that none of the states and union territories shows the number of girls born below 900 against 1000 boys born. Assam is especially a state where the ratio was 921 in 2017 and fallen sharply to 903 in 2019.
We must realize the gravity of the issue and take the steps to encourage the parents to take care of the female child. If we consider the figure 4.6 crore missing in the year 2020, willful way and the data due to total Covid-19 death, it looks injustice to the issue. The root social cause must be eradicated and more campaign is the need of the hour, then only we can do justice to our daughters and female child.