Here it’s mothers who kill girl child!

Mothers starving their baby daughters to death? In a Lambani thanda in Chincholi taluk of Gulbarga district, there was uproar in the state, some ten years ago over hundreds of Lambani women selling their baby daughters for as little as Rs 3,000 and less through midwives to orphanages in Tandur, Ranga Reddy district and Hyderabad.

With the government taking action to discourage the sale of the baby girls since, the Lambani mothers of Konchavaram thanda have now found a new way of getting rid of their female newborns. They simply refuse to breast-feed them! Worse, they will not care for them even when are ill, leading to a slow death, say shocked government welfare officers. For the Lambani women of Konchavaram, Ontigudi and other thandas of the Konchavaram forests bordering Andhra Pradesh, the birth of a baby girl, more so if the woman has two or three, with no son, spells an end to marriages.

Midwives stumbled on the foeticide when during a recent visit the number of newborns did not add up. And that’s when they learnt to their shock that the mothers had themselves begun starving their babies to death, says Mr Anandraj, president of the District Child Welfare Committee. When a team led by the District Women and Child Welfare Officer, Ratna Kamaldani, visited the Konchavaram and Ontichinta thandas on Friday, a few mothers wanted to give their baby girls away until they were persuaded otherwise. If anyone is to blame for the problem it is the government, believe activists, pointing out how little it has done to improve the socio-economic condition of the Lambanis in the last decade even after the uproar over the sale of newborn girls.

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