It is female foeticide by another name. Those who can’t kill her in the womb, abandon the girl child at railway platforms, in trains or near public parks.
Two-month-old Jyoti was found abandoned on a Muzaffarpur-bound passenger train on August 17, 2009 at the Allahabad Railway Junction. The Railway Protection Force rescued and handed her over to the Rajkiya Balgrih, a home for destitute children.
According to the Childline, Allahabad, a Ministry of Child and Women Development initiative for rescuing and rehabilitating under-18 kids in trouble, some 283 abandoned kids were rescued between January and August 26, 2009 in Allahabad alone.
And the scourge is spreading across the state.
In the first eight months of 2009, the organisation has already rescued 270 deserted kids in the age group one to three in Varanasi. The number of rescued children is 161 in Kanpur and 46 in Gorakhpur.
Two-year-old Ruby and one-and-a-half year-old Kamla were abandoned at the Varanasi Railway Junction. Both girls were physically challenged and were suffering from tuberculosis.
Cases of abandoned kids have registered a steep rise in the last two years.
“It is the safest form of doing away with one’s responsibility of bringing up children, specially the girl child,” says Raj Krishna, centre coordinator at Childline, Allahabad.
“During routine medical check-ups, Jyoti was found to be suffering from a congenital cardiac ailment. It seems to be the only cause for abandoning her.”
Childline’s Kanpur arm received 43 newborn girl children in a span of two years. On an average, 25 to 30 of such kids are reported at the centre every month.
Says Abihishek Sahi, centre coordinator of Childline, Gorakhpur: “Abandoning of the girl child in trains is the easiest way of getting rid of the newborn. Of the 46 abandoned children rescued in the first seven months of 2009, 38 were girls.”