I was shocked beyond words when I saw Dr Mitu Khurana‘s story on ABC. You can read the entire story here.

I was shocked not because this is a story of a woman fighting for her rights to save her twin daughters from her husband and her in-laws. I was shocked because the woman is not one of those countless, helpless women that throng rural India and are subject to unmentionable exploitations every day. The victim here is a doctor, a paediatrician!! Whats even more shocking?? Her monster of a husband is a doctor too!!!!

The story made me angry! And along with it, I was engulfed by immense sadness. I was under a huge misconception that we, as a nation, are progressing. Apparently not! As Dr Mitu pointed out correctly,

With advancement in technology, people are coming up with more advanced ways of killing the girl child.

Not only did her husband and inlaws try poisoning her so as to induce abortion, her mother in law actually threw her 4-month old daughter down the stairs!

The only silver lining in the otherwise devastating story is that all is not lost. We have women who are running orphanages for girl child who are discarded by their family.

In Elizabeth Vargas’ words:

Poor women who cannot afford these services will simply kill or abandon their babies.   Some will take their newborn girls to a drop box, usually in the middle of the night, and leave the baby there.  One drop box is at a place called the Unique Orphanage in Punjab.  We went from the village with no women, to the orphanage with no boys.  There are only girls here…60 of them…all cared for by a wonderful woman who will raise each and every one.  It is striking to see all those little faces, some two days old, others teenagers, all unwanted by their biological families.  They are actually the lucky ones.  Their parents didn’t kill them.  They now have someone who loves them.

The orphanage is crowded – I counted three, sometimes four girls in each bed — but also immaculate.  No one knows their real birth date, so once a year they have one giant birthday party for everyone.

 I have always had immense respect for the men in white coats. In a lot of ways, they depict all that is good with our society. They depict technological advancement and man’s victory over the inevitable (or we would like to think). But, when those white coats are put up for sale for a couple of thousand bucks, there is very little nobility left in the ‘noble profession’.