Disappearing daughters

Forty million girls do not just go missing, though in India that is the case
On a 10 hour-long flight, while I was trying to fight fear of height and motion sickness, I decided to switch on my tab and play something to get my mind of mental stress.

Out of the long list I chose to watch Mardani. I’d heard Rani was really good and so was the story line; and sure I was convinced at the end.

The plot moves around one of the country’s most insurmountable issues of young girls going missing in most big cities and the crime branch trying to fight it with the mafia.

90,000 girls go missing on an annual basis; more than 34,000 are never found.  Take a minute and let that sink in.
90,000 girls go missing on an annual basis; more than 34,000 are never found.
Take a minute and let that sink in.

The movie was just a window to this evil crisis so I decided to look it up and learn more.

When you think about it, discrimination against girls begins in the womb. Approximately 50,000 female fetuses are aborted every month. It’s enough that women are treated worse than stray animals at home or outside, by in-laws or family, but it doesn’t end there, they’re being buried as babies, killed in the womb, kidnapped to be sold and raped, this list is endless. An estimated 40 million girls have gone missing in India, which has a total population of 1.1 billion as of 2010.

Pregnant women visit ultrasound clinics, which are booming businesses in the country, to determine the sex of their babies before they are born. In India, it is reportedly a crime to use an ultrasound to find out whether the child is a male or female.

Even my Twitter feed has plenty of messages from police bureaus and family looking for their missing children. The very recent one is of a 4-year-old girl gone missing from India Gate on 28th September, ’14. But apart from re-tweeting and commenting on the post what else can you do? Is the question right? Well, here I am trying to figure out how one can be of any help.

90,000 girls go missing on an annual basis; more than 34,000 are never found. Take a minute and let that sink in.

This is clearly a much bigger racket than one could imagine. It starts and ends with the underground, the mafia with its connections reaching top notch biggies at high positions. Everyone is involved.

I can’t help but think about children living on the streets and in slums, where little girls can be kidnapped under their parents’ nose without anyone raising a brow of doubt.

Activists say, some children were trafficked and forced to beg on the streets. Some work on farms or factories as forced labour and others have their organs harvested and sold. Younger girls are pushed into sex trade or sold for marriage.

The first time I actually got my head around this issue was when I saw Liam Neeson’s Taken; in which his daughter gets kidnapped to be sold to rich business tycoons and the girls are judged on their appearance and virginity. Much later did I realise that reality ain’t that different.

Now I try to link a lot of other issues to this and it all fits. From dowry, arranged marriages, pre marital sex and depriving girls from education. It just all fits into the scenario. The girl is a produce and a product to satisfy someone’s needs. If this thought sickens you, this blog isn’t for you. It’s for the rest of you who think that’s the purpose of our existence.


Another misconception is that this happens only with girls. No. Even young boys aren’t spared their adolescence. Many cases involve poor migrant construction workers who move from site to site around the city, the children are unfamiliar with the place and once they lose their way, they wouldn’t know how to return and parents don’t have a dated picture of their child for the police to track.

Reasons of kidnap and ‘missing’ children can be endless but the basic fact remains that they are being abused and ill treated buy the rest of us. We were all babies once.


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