Idea Caravan

Since childhood we've been taught to develop our brain to think of new ideas. As kids when we used to  watch cartoons - Tom & Jerry, a *light bulb* would go off in Jerry's brain and even at that tender age of 6, we'd understand that that means a "Brilliant Idea!"

There already been too many cliches about Idea being used in daily life, from your boss telling asking you to "Get new ideas - think out of the box"; and the catch phrase, "An idea can change your life"; to the famous TVC slogan, "Get Idea!"

Cliche or not, fact remains, Ideas make the world go round.

Recently, the prestigious TEDx event was organized in Mumbai. And as everyone knows, TEDx is information & knowledge sharing. The good people at Franklin Templeton Investment had this amazing idea to partner with them and share the ideas of the speakers not just with a bunch of people attending the event but with everyone through videos.

Out of all the ideas presented at the event, I really loved this one particular presentation by one Mr. Evan Grae Davis. It's about the discrimination towards girl child. Gendercide

This is one of those subjects that I've always been against - the killing of girl child. And the presentation of Mr. Davis has truly revealed the dark truth behind this heinous crime going on in the society.
It's not something that's happening in dark alleys or in a mafia don's den or in top secret government facilities. This is going on between us, within our society, within the four walls of our houses and in front of our families.

Here are some of spine-chilling facts revealed by Mr. Evan Grae Davis.

- In india 5 million girls are aborted every year
- India & China abort more girls than those born in United States.
- Mortality rate for girls under the age of 5 is 75% higher than boys of same age.
- UN estimates that as many as 200 million girls are missing in the world today. 

The presentation showed video of a lady who told the Mr. Evan and his grew that she killed 8 of her daughters right after their birth with her own hands because they were not boys. Here's an old village lady, who looks like she'd gladly give food to a stranger if the lost traveler knocked on her door, but she's also someone who'd kill 8 of her kids for being girls with her own hands. 

This is all because of a culture where male child is held up on a pedestal while the female child has been frowned upon. And what is the root cause of all this? Dowry.

It's not just because of this Indiblogger contest that I got interested in this issue. I've always been a staunch opponent of female infanticide and dowry. Just last week I returned from a 1 & half month long trip of North India. I became friends with many fellow travelers along the way. While I was in McLeodGanj, I met this Gautemalan lady who was fascinated with Indian culture and mythology. We got talking and I told her a bunch of stuff about Indian mythology and stuff. The conversation slowly moved to present day and the plight of women and when I explained her the concept of dowry and female infanticide, she was shocked out of her wits. It was difficult for her to grasp the concept that the father of the bride would give gold & money equivalent to the groom's qualifications, and how this is making parents kill the girl child because they know that 25 yrs later they won't be able to pay dowry to their daughter's in-laws.

Another incident took place with an autorickshaw driver in Mumbai. I was returning from a late night party and since I knew I was going to consume alcohol I chose not to take drive my vehicle, instead opted for public transport. While returning, I got chatting with the driver and turned out he was from UP. He told me that he was returning to his village next month and he was gonna get married. I asked him about dowry and he told me that his in-laws would give him money since he educated. I lectured him about how he shouldn't accept it and how dowry is a bad practice, to which he told me that he's not going to ask for it but in their village even if the guy doesn't ask, the girl's family gives dowry with the fear that if they won't their daughter will be treated badly by her new family. 
And believe me, this was not the first time that I got talking to an autorickshaw driver and lectured him about dowry.

I may not go from one village to another and tell the elders to change their age old practice but I try my best to talk to such not-so-literate people from villages and change their myopic opinion about such issues. Maybe, you should do it too. One person telling them that what they're doing is wrong, may not change their view but if 10-20-50 educated people tell them the same thing, they'll rethink and maybe the new generation will stop this age-old inhumane act.

It's about time we take a stand and kill this practice instead of killing our daughters.

As Mr. Evan rightly said, "The three deadliest words in the world: It's a girl" You can find out more about his documentary here.


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