ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Sheela Rani ChunkathSubscribe to Sheela Rani Chunkath

Tackling Female Infanticide

The heinous practice of female infanticide (FI) is widespread in several Indian states - even in states which boast of a better record in reducing gender inequality. These include the three southern states, minus Kerala, but also Maharashtra. FI is not merely not dying away, it is emerging as a disturbing new phenomenon. That eradication of this practice is not on the agenda of the central or concerned state governments or even of the major political parties reflects the gender insensitivity in our society and polity. However, in Tamil Nadu over the last four-five years, a serious governmental effort is on to address the issue. Evidence from a set of interventions in Dharmapuri district suggests that with political will, widespread generation of awareness and social mobilisation, a dent can be made in eradicating the evil of FI.

Gender and Infant Survival in Rural Tamil Nadu-Situation and Strategy

Gender and Infant Survival in Rural Tamil Nadu Situation and Strategy Venkatesh Athreya Sheela Rani Chunkath Infant mortality rate (/MR) is a useful indicator of the health status of a population. In India IMR remains unacceptably high. A sample survey of district-level IMRs in rural Tamil Nadu shorn that the crux of the problem is early neonatal mortality compounded by the practice of female infanticide. The major medical causes of infant mortality are birth asphyxia, respiratory infection, premature birth and low birth weight. Better access to health facilities, training for personnel and good quality equipment are required to tackle the problem.

Female Infanticide in Tamil Nadu-Some Evidence

This paper reports and discusses evidence from a field survey on the existence of the practice of female infanticide in Tamil Nadu. Primary health centre records analysed provide strong corroborative evidence that the phenomenon is not, as earlier thought, confined to a few blocks of Madurai and Salem districts but is seen in an almost contiguous belt from Madurai to North Arcot Ambedkar districts of Tamil Nadu.
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