Where have all the children gone? | india | Hindustan Times
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Where have all the children gone?

india Updated: Nov 24, 2008 01:14 IST
Aditya Ghosh
Aditya Ghosh
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Just when you thought you had done enough advocacies to change hackneyed mindsets to adopt… there are not enough children.

Instead of feeling happy about the fact that less number of children are being abandoned, the mind only cringes.

The complexities of Indian social system can be intriguing — images of three-dozen mutilated female fetuses dumped in a well in Orissa last year are still fresh, so is the blitzkrieg against ultrasound clinics in the state this summer which yielded quite a few offenders.

And you have a palpably probable premonition. That ‘they’ have just got smarter.

It pays to be smarter though. The pain and the agony, the trauma of leaving a newborn in this big, bad world to fend for itself can be comfortably dealt with. Since a casual finger brushed over a little photo of Goddess Laxmi pasted next to the Ultrasound is enough to evoke semiotic sense.

Nothing can be proved, of course. There is no data, no correlation, or is there?

If a dwindling sex ratio can prove increasing trend of female foeticide, isn’t there some hint to why there are less number of children available for adoption? It is indeed easier to kill them in the foetus than abandoning them, when they are (un)fortunate enough to be born. When the former goes up, latter comes down.

But what about India’s 11 million abandoned children — more than nine million of them girls? Well, they are not blessed
with fairness creams, may have a little patch here and there, they may be older than the malleable age… all tied in thick red tape.

Parents, from across the seas, are their only hope.

But they need to meander through the red tape for almost a year before hoping to catch a flight back with their daughters or sons, despite the promise by J.K. Mittal, chairman of Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA) in 2007, to bring the waiting period down to a couple of months…