People will go to any length to have a boy: IPS officer Esha Pandey
On International Day of the Girl Child, Esha Pandey, an IPS officer, writes about the pressure her mother had to face because she had three daughters and no sons. However, today, two of them are IPS officers and one is an MBA graduate.opinion Updated: Oct 11, 2017 18:17 IST
My father has three girls. He has always been very supportive and loving for all of us and that shows in how we have shaped up. My mother is a gold medallist in MA Sanskrit and has been working since 1979. My father is the eldest son and was expected to bear at least one boy. Lo and behold he is the father of three girls!
While growing up, I went through a gamut of emotions on every Bhai Dooj or Rakshabandhan. Mind you, not because I missed having a brother, but because my mother was made to suffer. People believed my mother might have an evil eye because she doesn’t have boys of her own. Such was the lust for a boy in our society.
Through all this my parents were extremely supportive to all three of us and helped us shape our careers. Today, two of us are proud IPS officers and the youngest one is an MBA. We have chosen our own life partners and our parents couldn’t be prouder.
Recently I had a discussion with a group of educated young men and women about this perennial issue. I was surprised to find that this group of people wanted boys as much as that group which troubled my parents, thirty years ago. The difference is they camouflage it very well and do not discuss it. But most wives are fearful of not having a boy and many exclaimed that if the first-born is a boy there is no societal pressure to have a second child. They said that it’s not the men that the society questions but women and therefore, they wanted to have a boy.
My research on this topic has brought out various cliche's of life: people will go to any length to have a boy. It might be ‘swarn bhasm’ from a baba or a particular setting of the moon that will help you conceive a boy.
I also came across a story where in some thirty five years ago, when society was still very simple and government was paying more attention to steel plants and License Raj, a baba told a very educated lady (who was visiting him after the birth of her second girl) that the Kundali of her eldest daughter is such that she will have five girls and only then a boy. The lady was very troubled because her husband was heir to a lot of property and none of which her daughters could inherit. She asked a midwife about a home remedy to get rid of a foetus and systematically eradicated four of them without anyone’s knowledge. When she conceived for the fifth time, she was a hundred percent sure it would be a boy. It was, but her body failed to carry him till the ninth month, he was delivered in the eighth month and died. She was never able to have children after that.
In this day and age, where women are at the forefront of everything, girls need to be treasured. My women colleagues and I are prime example of how much a girl can achieve with a little confidence and a lot of parental love. The lawmakers have done their bit by making sex determination and abortion illegal and giving tremendous boost to the girl child through various schemes, let us do our bit. Let us become a ray of hope for the girls. Let us save them, let us teach them and give them a better future. #BetiBachaoBetiPadhao
Views expressed are personal. The writer, Esha Pandey is a serving IPS officer, currently posted as DCP Special Police Unit for Women and Children, Delhi Police.
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