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Karnataka Foeticide Scandal: Will Task Force Curb Corrupt Mindsets?

A team of health officials found a female fetus in the dustbin of a private hospital in Karnataka. Karnataka Health Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao announced setting up a state-level task force to curb female foeticide soon after the incident came to light.

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Rudrani Gupta
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In a shocking incident, a team of health officials found a 22-week-old female foetus in the dustbin of a private hospital in Karnataka. The hospital's owner-cum-doctor, Srinivasa, was arrested along with two nurses, a housekeeping staff, and a technician. The SG Hospital in Bengaluru Rural district has been sealed and an investigation is going on to trace more details about all the illegal abortions that the hospital facilitated. So far the police have found eight records of foeticides by Srinivasa since 2022.

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Last month, a huge illegal abortion racket that conducted over 900 foeticides was busted in Karnataka's Mysuru and Mandya. To curb this rising rate of foeticides in the State, Health Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao announced setting up a state-level task force, policies, and amendments to the existing legislation, a day after news of the SG Hospital incident came to light.

NCRB data shows that a large number of girls in India are missing

This shocking and heinous discovery comes days after the NCRB report that revealed that more than 50,000 kids are missing and 70 per cent of them are female minors. According to the report, a total number of 83,350 children are missing. Out of these, 20,380 are male, 62,946 are female and 24 are transgender. 

The large number of missing girls shows that our society is still practising social evils like female foeticide and infanticide. It shows that girls are still considered a burden to the family. And society did not take too much time to prove this right. The case of the abandoned female fetus in a private hospital proves our fears right.

The mindset it takes to kill a fetus for its gender

After reading about the case, the first question that came to my mind was how could someone be so unkind and inhumane as to kill a fetus just because of its gender. How could someone decide whether a person has the right to live or not based on the sex they are born with? 

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It takes a corrupted mindset to assume that a girl child doesn't deserve to live. The mindset denies that the child is a human with all the rights to have a healthy and happy life. The mindset considers the child, which hasn't even started to act, a curse, a burden or a result of ill fate. It is this mindset which later disrespects women who get the chance to live and find every way possible to snatch that 'golden' chance. 

Many people come and say that feminism is no longer required. That women are now so empowered that they are misusing their rights. But, ironically, in another world, we are fighting for the most basic right- the right to live. When the fight is for such a basic need, we automatically become grateful for the basic freedom we gain in life. So we cannot blame those women who trade one right to gain another. If cases like these come to the fore, every woman will be afraid of the corrupt mindset which might come their way at any point in life. The only factor that might save them is their luck because our society is not ready to accept its fault. If it did, educated people like doctors wouldn't perform sex selection, illegal abortion or female foeticide. In November itself, another female foeticide racket was busted in Chennai. A doctor and 2 women were arrested in the case, 

It is said that the future lies in the hands of the educated people of the country. But if those people themselves have a corrupted mindset, who will save us? 

You might be thinking why am I asking others to save women? Why I am not encouraging women to save themselves? I just have one line answer to your query- women can save themselves only when they are allowed to live. 

Views expressed are the author's own. 

Feminism Female foeticide in India Sex Selection in india Gender Inequality illegal abortion
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