My mistake to be born here — a fictional story of an Indian girl

I am miserable, in pain and on a death bed with no one to care. Even my family does not want me to live. They dumped me on a street when I feel ill. I wondered about was my fault. I realised it was that I was born as a girl and not as a boy.

Lying on a hospital bed in a south Delhi’s government hospital, five-year-old Krishita had all soar memories about her childhood. An abusive father, ignorant mother and grandfather who hated her because his wife died on the day she was born. The darling of the home was her younger brother Samir born after many prayers.

Doctors at the hospital had pronounced that she may not survive from twin disaster many poor girls face at early age — malnourishment and ignorance to their ailments. Krishita had a curable lung dysfunction but her family did not provide appropriate medical treatment because of high cost.

They instead preferred to give their best for her younger sibling while ignoring her illness for years. One day, her family decided enough was enough and directed the mother to dump her on a road far away from their home. Her mother left her in an unconscious condition on a road near a south Delhi hospital.

Thinking her to be dead, a rickshaw-puller took her to a nearest government hospital, where she had been battling death for last three days. Doctors say her chances of survival are minimal.

Krishita could be among half a million girls under the age of five who die in India every year. And it translates into 131 girls dying for 100 boy deaths in this age group indicating the society’s bias towards the girl child.

Many girls, especially from socially and economically deprived sections, face Krishita type of discrimination in their families on a daily basis. Many of them consider it a societal norm as they are taught since childhood that they are physically and mentally weaker than the boys and have to play second fiddle to them.

Krishita like many girls justified discrimination at home as a societal norm. Her belief, however, changed when she heard a news item on television about five young girls taking on her family in a small village in West Bengal against child marriage. These brave girls were felicitated by former President Pratibha Devisingh Patil who also spoke about equality granted to all by the Constitution.

It was then the thought —it was crime to be born as a girl in India — crossed her mind.

Not untrue.

India is among the countries having worst sex ratios in the world. A woman gets raped in India every 20 minutes. Molestation and eye-teasing is norm rather than exception on Indian roads. A young girl dies of dowry torture every two hours. Around 60% of girls in the age group of zero to six are malnourished.

(The above narration is a fictional story to depict the plight of girls)

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