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Andhra Pradesh couple sold their daughter to fund their other daughter’s treatment. Is this where we are at on International Women’s Day ’21?
The recent news of parents deciding to sell their daughter for ten thousand rupees made me wonder what do we even think of a girl’s life? Is she an object for which we’ve set a price to bargain and agree and make a deal?
According to the report in The Times of India, the couple from Andhra Pradesh tried to sell off their younger daughter to a 46-year-old man to fund their elder daughter’s treatment. The 12-year-old was sold to a man named Chinna Subbaiah for Rs. 10,000 who then, married her last Wednesday.
However, the girl was rescued the very next day by women and child welfare officials who shifted her to a district childcare centre. She is currently undergoing counselling at the centre.
According to the report, the couple’s elder daughter who is sixteen suffers from a respiratory illness. The couple allegedly demanded Rs. 25,000 from Subbaiah, who is their neighbour, in exchange for their younger daughter to fund the elder one’s treatment. However, Subbaiah bargained and made a ‘deal’ of Rs. 10,000 with them.
We are not buying this financial crisis reason, at all. There are various other ways to fund a child’s treatment if it is unaffordable. We’ve got government schemes and hospitals along with NGOs and even certain benevolent individuals. But that’s not even the point here. Nothing in the world justifies fixing a price on a girl’s life.
Is this where we are now? After all the development and progress? And all this happened when we were just a few days away from International Women’s Day, by the way.
When we say a girl child is an asset, this isn’t what we mean! We don’t mean she is an asset we can sell when we need the money. Even if the parents can’t raise the money, there are NGOs and certain authorities who can be approached when they need it. Nothing justifies selling a human being for money. That is the reason slavery was abolished, remember?
Why is it that we find no hope and no future in a girl child’s life that selling her has become such frequent news? There won’t be any justice in the world if this isn’t on our minds.
Poverty and unemployment are quite rampant. And I may be speaking from a place of privilege and cannot express it properly. However, as a woman myself, I know that my life isn’t anybody’s to sell. No one gets to decide a girl’s fate. Rather, we need to educate her so decides her own fate!
The argument, ‘but education is so expensive‘ doesn’t count. It is a basic right. Period.
Years of struggles by women and child organisations and individuals cannot be destroyed now. We can’t let our little children be bought and sold like cattle! They are our family, our future, our planet’s future.
According to the news, it was the neighbours who heard the girl’s cries and reported it to their village sarpanch. Kudos to the neighbours and the sarpanch for being vigilant and stepping in at the right time to save the girl.
This International Women’s Day, let’s all pledge to be vigilant and step in whenever we see injustice! Let us try to take action or at least report the incident to those in power.
Picture credits: Picture by tzahiV via Canva Pro for Getty Images
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