At a time when crime against women is on the rise and patriarchal mindset spurs people towards honour killing, the opium-cultivating village of Guradia Narsinghpur in western Madhya Pradesh's Mandsaur district has heralded a revolution of sorts.
Located in a district notorious for girl child trafficking, Guradia Narsinghpur village under Gatod tehsil has adopted family planning vigorously. Most families do not have more than two children even if both are girls.
The village, which has a population of 1,286 people, has achieved literacy growth of more than 80%. "All the families in our village are happy with two kids. I have two daughters and I don't wish for a son. We consider birth of girls as a blessing and treat them at par with boys," said 38-year-old Krishna Bai, who helps her husband in farming. Bai has studied up to Class 8 and knows the benefits of family planning.
She endorses the belief of village sarpanch Prem Narayan Patidar. "We are self-motivated people. I have two children as I know I cannot take care of more than two kids. The whole village shares the same opinion. Around 99% of the families don't have more than two children," Patidar said.
For the district administration and health department, Guradia Narsinghpur is a village that makes them proud. Mandsaur district collector Shashank Mishra said the administration has begun the process to declare it as an ideal village. "Its literacy and family planning statistics are remarkable," he said.
Of late, more than 13 couples have undergone family planning on their own and all of them had either two or one girl child.
An informal survey conducted by Guradia Narsinghpur village panchayat revealed that more than 60% of families have only girls but they never opted to have a third child in the hope of a boy.
"I am happy and satisfied with our only daughter because I can give her proper education with our limited earning," village resident Nayaki (27) said. Most families hold two hectares of land in the village.