Baby found buried alive highlights India's battle to protect girls
14 Oct 2019
Picture used for illustration.
A baby girl found buried alive in India was a suspected case of female infanticide, police said on Monday, the latest to highlight the preference for sons in a country where the number of girls has been declining.
A couple, who went to bury their newborn at a grave after she died in hospital, discovered the youngster inside an earthen pot buried several feet deep, said a police officer in Bareilly city in northern Uttar Pradesh state.
The baby was rushed to a nearby hospital, where she is recovering. Police are looking for the parents.
India has seen a dwindling number of girls, according to a government survey released in July. It showed that India's gender ratio, or the number of females per 1,000 males, was 896 in the period of 2015-17, down from 898 in 2014-16 and 900 in 2013-15. The number was 943 in the last census of 2011.
Indian laws ban doctors and health workers from sharing an unborn child's sex with the parents, or carrying out tests to determine the child's gender.
Yet female feticide is common in parts of India. Daughters are often seen as a burden, with families having to pay dowries when they marry, while sons are prized as breadwinners who can inherit property and continue the family name.