Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

12/3/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Critics don't like the scheme, but few ready alternatives are available.

A response to widespread infanticide in India is gaining acceptance as an alternative to the socially-accepted murder of baby girls.

Babies in an orphanage in India. It's a better alternative to murder, but still not the best.

Babies in an orphanage in India. It's a better alternative to murder, but still not the best.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

12/3/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: Infanticide, India, female, children, orphanages, adoption


NEW DELHI, INDIA (Catholic Online) - In many cultures, girls are traditionally valued less than boys. Boys can perform more labor in agrarian societies and more profit. Girls however, are often viewed as a liability. This is particularly true in rural parts of India where poverty and a lack of education combine with traditional practices to create an epidemic of female infanticide.

Girls are much less favored than boys because girls marry with a dowry paid by the parents. Often poor, families in the countryside cannot afford to pay these dowries, so they often see girls as a liability. Although they often keep firstborn girls, subsequent female children are much more likely to be killed.

Common forms of infanticide include exposure in garbage pits and poisoning as well as other cruel forms, such as where parents simply denied treatment for basic illnesses to their young, growing girls. And although it is illegal or parents to get ultrasounds and sex-selective abortions, the practice remains widespread for those who can afford it.

Enter the humanitarians, who since the early 1990s have operated an increasing number of orphanages dedicated to unwanted female babies. Known as "cradle babies" parents are turning to a new practice in place of murder.

At social centers and hospitals across the Southern India, where infanticide is most common, empty cradles are made available. Unhappy parents can simply place their babies in the cradle, a form of safe surrender.

These girls are then sent to orphanages where they are later adopted out. Children with disabilities are often sent to state-run homes for long-term care.

Many infertile couples turn to the orphanages to find children.

However, the practice of infanticide continuities in rural communities. Local communities support the practice which has a long tradition, so it is rarely prosecuted. Many baby girls simply go missing.

The problem is so significant that there are 916 girls per 1,000 boys in India. This number is an improvement from an all-time low of 849 just 20 years ago, before the cradle babies scheme was launched.

Now, the government is looking at providing extra financial support to poor families that have girls.

Critics of the cradle baby scheme say it shifts responsibility of the children to the state and that it does nothing to reverse the practice of abandonment. They are right, however without better education, support, and legal enforcement of the law, it may be the only option many baby girls have versus death.

A birth foretold: click here to learn more!

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.



Comments


More Asia Pacific

Historic World War II Japanese battleship amazingly discovered by Microsoft co-founder Watch

Image of More than 1,000 of the Musashi's crew were killed during the battle and sinking. Three-hundred-plus survivors were taken aboard by other Japanese warships, according to the U.S. Navy report.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The sea has given up one of its long-kept secrets to Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. He says he has found the wreck of a long-lost World War II Japanese battleship, the Musashi near the Philippines. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Musashi, once one of ... continue reading


Where are Christians the most persecuted? It is NOT the Middle East Watch

Image of Increasingly, Christians in India are becoming persecuted because of their faith.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new study from the Pew Research Center has shown some interesting finds about religious violence, notably that the country with the highest level of social hostilities occurring because of religion is not in the Middle East, it's in India. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Modern day plague: Swine flu deaths pass 800 in India Watch

Image of A lack of knowledge about swine flu in India is helping to stoke panic.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There is heightened concern - if not outright panic at the alarming cases of swine flu being reported in India. At least 800 known people have died of the disease, and medical authorities there are struggling to contain the current outbreak. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Would you spend two months on a train? World's largest railway opens in China Watch

Image of China has opened a railroad that runs to Spain, in order to bring cheap goods to Europe faster and cheaper.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

China has successfully built and tested the world's largest railway line, sending a cargo train on a 16,156-mile round trip to Spain and back. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The train arrived with cheap goods and returned with expensive olive oil during the ... continue reading


At nearly $305 million, Gauguin becomes most expensive painting of all time Watch

Image of The painting depicts two young women wearing brilliant colors before a landscape. One is in native dress, the other in a colonial, missionary style dress.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Paul Gauguin oil painting of two Tahitian girls, staring out into space with questioning glances, appropriately entitled "Nafea Faa Ipoipo" or "When Will You Marry?" has gone on to become this world's single most expensive painting. The nation of Qatar bought ... continue reading


Climate change disasters forcing Indian parents to sell children into slavery Watch

Image of Uprooted by climate-related disasters, many Indian children are tricked, forced into prostitution or forced labor.

By Nita Bhalla, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Disasters resulting from climate change are pushing poor Indian families into poverty so deep that they are lured by traffickers into selling their children into bonded labor or prostitution, Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi said on Thursday. NEW DELHI ... continue reading


Name and shame: Smartphones join the forceful battle against sexual harassment in India Watch

Image of In India, there were 309,546 crimes against women reported to the police in 2013, up from 244,270 the previous year, according to the National Crime Records Bureau.

By Nita Bhalla, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Indian women armed with Smartphone's are using the influence of social media to fight sexual harassment by filming and publicly shaming men who molest them as greater awareness of violence against women spreads. NEW DELHI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - In the ... continue reading


Terrifying TransAsia plane crash, caught on tape, adds to the list of fatal Asian air tragedies Watch

Image of A TransAsia Airways ATR 72-600 crashes into a Taipei river, killing at least 26 with 17 still missing.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

26 people are reported dead after a TransAsia Airways airplane crashes into the Keelung River. Following its takeoff from the Taiwanese capital Taipei, the plane clipped its wing on a bridge. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The terrifying crash, that leaves 17 ... continue reading


Angry North Korea makes first credible threat to U.S. in decades, officials alarmed Watch

Image of North Korea has vowed to annihilate that United States because of remarks made by President Obama.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

North Korea is up to its old and familiar tricks, threatening to attack the United States with nuclear weapons and cyber attacks, and rejecting any further negotiations. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - These threats appear to be a desperate act of retaliation ... continue reading


Lake Baikal, one of world's biggest freshwater sources, falls to lowest level in 60 years Watch

Image of Lake Baikal stretches for 400 miles through southeastern Siberia, north of the Mongolian border.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Lake Baikal in Siberia, one of world's biggest freshwater sources is currently at its lowest levels in 60 years. A hydroelectric station is being blamed for the "excessive drainage" of the lake's resources. Communities in the surrounding area are under a state ... continue reading


All Asia Pacific News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 18:18-20
18 'Come on,' they said, 'let us concoct a plot ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 31:5-6, 14, 15-16
5 to your hands I commit my spirit, by you have I ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 20:17-28
17 Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, and on the road ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for March 4th, 2015 Image

St. Casimir
March 4: Casimir grew up in a world where his life was not his own. As a ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter