How Uttar Pradesh's Proposed Law Would Impact The Birth Of Girls

August 2021

The northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh recently announced that it would enact the Uttar Pradesh Population (Control, Stabilisation and Welfare) Bill, 2021, which is purportedly aimed at addressing the issue of overpopulation. However, such a law, if enacted, would undoubtedly have a fatal impact on baby girls in the state. 

The draft Bill proposes to bar people with over two children from contesting local body elections, applying for, and getting promotion in government jobs and availing government subsidies, including government food rations at subsidized rates. Similar laws and policies also exist in eight other Indian states namely Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, and Uttarakhand. 

However, far from making development accessible to all citizens of India, such coercive laws and polices can result increased sex-selective abortion and female infanticide, given the deep-rooted and overwhelming preference for male children.  

A 2020 study by Nirmala Buch, a former senior IAS officer, found that the adoption of a two-child policy by states for panchayat elections resulted in a rise in sex-selective abortions; men divorced their wives to run for local body elections and families even gave up children for adoption to avoid disqualification in the election.

Situation in Uttar Pradesh

The state of Uttar Pradesh already has very poor child sex ratios.

As per the 2011 Census, Uttar Pradesh’s sex ratio for the overall population is 902 girls for every 1000 boys. As the per the Sample Registration System Statistical Report 2017 (SRS) released by the Census office in 2019, the child sex ratio had dropped to a dismal 878 girls for every 1000 boys in the state. 

A 2020 study by academicians from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia predicted that highest deficits in female births will occur in Uttar Pradesh, with a cumulative number of missing female births of 2 million from 2017 to 2030.

The introduction of coercive measures will only increase this number exponentially.

By penalizing the birth of additional children, such population control policies will result in families taking extreme measures to ensure the birth of a son, including choosing sex-selective abortions.

This is apparent in even the suggestions received by the UP law commission, that permission be granted to have more than two children if the two children are daughters. These suggestions from the public clearly reveals the bias that exists against female children. 

A 2021 article in the Lancet, noted that “...sex-selective abortion appeared to be more pronounced for third-order births than for second-order births after an earlier daughter or daughters. Sex-selective abortion continued to be more common in richer and more educated families than in poorer and less educated families, in contrast to differences in childhood survival and health-care access. The main determinant of missing female births in second-order and third-order births was an earlier daughter or daughters.” 

The Way Forward 

Researchers have repeatedly highlighted the need to strengthen policies that advocate for gender equity to counter the rise in sex selective abortions. To overall social development and a better standard of living, especially for the women, the governments should instead focus of education, ensuring no child marriages, access to contraceptives, and opportunities for employment for men and women.  

However, for real change in the culture each of us need to ensure that we pledge to save our #VanishingGirls by giving them LIFE – Love, Inheritance, Freedom and Equality.

We invite you to join the Vanishing Girls Campaign by signing the Pledge and supporting our work to bring legal awareness to women.

Her Canvas 2021 - Contest Winners

Her Canvas, a nationwide art competition that took place in January 2021, invited school students to paint, sketch or draw on the theme "Isn’t She Precious!" to celebrate the inherent worth of the girl child.

The art contest was part of a 40-day collaborative Vanishing Girls Campaign countering the false narrative that girls are a liability. It promoted the message that Daughters Deserve LIFE, where LIFE stands for Love, Inheritance, Freedom and Equality.

The Contest received over 1,800 entries, with 103 schools participating from 18 Indian states. Hundreds of children engaged on the topic and will grow up refusing to participate in social evils like sex-selective abortion.

Find the winning entries below:

WINNING ENTRIES

Tejaswaani Kapoor, 15, Uttar Pradesh, captures the warm bond of love between a mother and her daughter.
Tanisha Shilen, 17, Rajasthan, urges every one to let the Girl Child be born into the world and like flowers be given the opportunity to bloom in her strength and unique beauty.
Purva Kumta, 15, from Maharashtra expresses, “My painting depicts the girl child as who she truly is, a work of art. We always celebrate great woman. But to be great, the girl child needs to be encouraged and empowered to excellence from an early age. My painting emphasizes on the need to create an atmosphere of love, peace and equality for the girl child.”
Gargi, 15, Delhi, has creatively depicted in vibrant colours the inherent worth of the Girl Child.
Pragnya Kabi, 8, Maharashtra, aptly captures the theme of our contest: Daughters Deserve LIFE - Love, Inheritance, Freedom, Equality!

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Saisha Verma, 15, from Chhattisgarh says "Girl Child Day is the only day dedicated to the little angels of our families. This day allows us to admire the daughters, their contributions and the splendor they bring to our homes".
Akshaj Dhadwal, 14, Delhi, has an important message through his art - "If girls are given better opportunities they can do even better than they are already doing despite the challenges they face. We should help and support them. It is the most significant need in the world at present."

List of Schools that participated:

Total: 103 schools from 18 Indian states.

SchoolState
1Air Force Golden Jubilee InstituteDelhi
2Akshar Arbol, ChennaiTamil Nadu
3Amruta Vidyalayam, MumbaiMaharashtra
4Auxilium SchoolTelangana
5Bethany High School, SarjapurKarnataka
6Bharti Public SchoolDelhi
7Buxi Jagabandhu English Medium SchoolOdisha
8Cambridge, Kandivali EastMaharashtra
9Dav Public School, NehrulMaharashtra
10Delhi Public School, PanvelMaharashtra
11Divine Mercy High SchoolGoa
12Dr. R. K. S. Masters Matric Higher Secondary SchoolTamil Nadu
13Eve's High School, AlwalTelangana
14Fr. Agnel Co. Ed. Sr. Sec. School, BhopalMadhya Pradesh
15Fransalian School Of Excellence, AurangabadMaharashtra
16Good Samaritan School, JasolaDelhi
17Good Samaritan, BijnorUttar Pradesh
18Good Shepherd International AccademyMaharashtra
19Greenpark International School, NamakkalTamil Nadu
20Guru Nanak Higher Secondary SchoolJharkhand
21Gurukul Olympiad SchoolMaharashtra
22Happy Model SchoolDelhi
23Heritage SchoolUttar Pradesh
24Jankidevi Public SchoolRajasthan
25K R Mangalam World School, FaridabadHaryana
26Kanaidighi Deshapran VidyapithWest Bengal
27Kendriya Vidyalaya JanakpuriDelhi
28Lakshdham High SchoolMaharashtra
29Leah Jones High School, KrishnaAndhra Pradesh
30LifeschoolKarnataka
31Little Flower High SchoolTelangana
32Mahoday Senior Public SchoolDelhi
33Mithibai CollegeMaharashtra
34Mount Carmel School, Anand NiketanDelhi
35Mount Carmel School, DwarkaDelhi
36Mount Zion AcademyTamil Nadu
37MVMSSS, Chetpet, ChennaiTamil Nadu
38New Era Public SchoolDelhi
39New Horizon Scholar SchoolMaharashtra
40Padma Seshadri Bala BhavanTamil Nadu
41Ramjas Public School Day Boarding DelhiDelhi
42Rosary Convent High SchoolTelengana
43Ryan At Joseph High SchoolMaharashtra
44Ryan Christian School, VashiMaharashtra
45Ryan Global School, KhargharMaharashtra
46Ryan Global School, KundalahalliKarnataka
47Ryan International School, AdajanGujarat
48Ryan International School, AmritsarPunjab
49Ryan International School, AryawartDelhi
50Ryan International School, BikanerRajasthan
51Ryan International School, BrookfieldKarnataka
52Ryan International School, ChemburMaharashtra
53Ryan International School, CochinKerala
54Ryan International School, DasnaUttar Pradesh
55Ryan International School, Dugri, LudhianaPunjab
56Ryan International School, EvershineMaharashtra
57Ryan International School, Goregaon EastMaharashtra
58Ryan International School, JaipurRajasthan
59Ryan International School, JalnaMaharashtra
60Ryan International School, MaladMaharashtra
61Ryan International School, MansarovarRajasthan
62Ryan International School, Mayur ViharDelhi
63Ryan International School, NoidaUttar Pradesh
64Ryan International School, Ozar , NasikMaharashtra
65Ryan International School, RohiniDelhi
66Ryan International School, SuratGujarat
67Ryan International School, Vasant KunjDelhi
68Ryan International, GhaziabadUttar Pradesh
69Sahoday Senior Secondary School, Hauz KhasDelhi
70Sahoday Senior Secondary School, Safdarjung EnclaveDelhi
71Saint Michael Senior Secondary SchoolDelhi
72San Academy Kamakoti Nagar ChennaiTamilnadu
73Sankara Vidya KandraTamil Nadu
74SBOA School And Junior CollegeTamil Nadu
75Sharada Mandir SchoolGoa
76Shri Shivaji Vidyalay BeedMaharashtra
77Skyline School Greater NoidaUttar Pradesh
78Somerville School, Greater NoidaUttar Pradesh
79Spring Valley SchoolKerala
80Sri Sankara Vidya KandraTamil Nadu
81St. Aloysius High School, Nalasopara EastMaharashtra
82St. Anns High School BolarumTelangana
83St. Augustine High School, Nerul, Navi MumbaiMaharashtra
84St. Claret SchoolWest Bengal
85St. Francis High School, Tidke Colony, NashikMaharastra
86St. Francis High School, Vasai WestMaharashtra
87St. Joseph High School, New PanvelMaharashtra
88St. Lawrence High School, VashiMaharashtra
89St. Mary's English High School, GeddalahalliKarnataka
90St. Mary's Senior Secondary School, Bahuakbarpur, RohtakHaryana
91St. Michael Junior School, Prasad NagarDelhi
92St. Michael Senior Secondary School, Pusa RoadDelhi
93St. Paul AcademyUttar Pradesh
94St. Xavier High School, Borivali EastMaharashtra
95St. Xavier's College, RanchiJharkhand
96St. Xavier's High School, AiroliMaharashtra
97St. Xavier's High School, Durg BorsiChhattisgarh
98St. Xavier's High School, Mira Road, Shanti NagarMaharashtra
99St. Xavier's High School, NagpurMaharashtra
100Sunbeam Varuna VaranasiUttar Pardesh
101Victoria Girls Primary SchoolDelhi
102Vidya Niketan School, SaketDelhi
103Vishwajyot High School, KhargharMaharashtra

Isn't She Precious!

Every day in India, 7000 unborn girls are selectively aborted in the womb, just because they are girls. The discrimination against the girl child at birth continues in life and is based on the false premise that girls are a liability. It is important to counter this narrative and celebrate the inherent worth of girls. 

January 24 has been commemorated as National Girl Child Day in India since 2008 to raise awareness on the need to protect and promote the girl child.

On January 24, 2021, a 40-day collaborative campaign is being launched by several likeminded organisations, to reinforce the message that Daughters Deserve LIFE, where LIFE stands for Love, Inheritance, Freedom and Equality.

Following the online launch event, various partnering organizations will lead workshops, rallies, awareness programs and webinars culminating on the International Women’s Day on March 8, 2021. 

Her Canvas 2021

Her Canvas 2021 is a nationwide art competition inviting school students to paint, sketch or draw on the theme Isn’t She Precious!

We want you to use art to promote the message that Daughters Deserve LIFE, where LIFE stands for Love, Inheritance, Freedom and Equality.

Every day in India, 7000 unborn girls are selectively aborted in the womb, just because they are girls. The discrimination against the girl child at birth continues in life and is based on the false premise that girls are a liability.

This art contest is part of a 40-day collaborative Vanishing Girls Campaign that counters this false narrative and celebrates the inherent worth of the girl child.

Prizes

The top 5 entries will each receive special vouchers for ₹3,000/- and the first 100 entrants will all receive a certificate of participation.

Guidelines

  1. All school students under the age of 18 can participate 
  2. The painting, sketch or drawing must capture the theme “Isn’t She Precious” to emphasize the inherent worth of every girl child
  3. Only original work will be accepted
  4. Submission
    • Scan or take a clear photograph of your artwork 
    • Submit before 6 PM (IST) on National Girl Child Day, 24 January 2021
  5. Winners will be announced at 6 PM on 31 January 2021

Terms & Conditions

  1. Contestants represent and warrant that the art is original, created by the entrant and they own the rights to their work
  2. By submitting their art to ADF India for this Contest, all entrants agree to assign the copyright of the art submitted to ADF India, which includes the right to use the art in any manner and media, including without limitation, the right to publish, adapt, distribute, copy, display or translate in printed or electronic media, even if they are not the winning entries.
  3. By entering the Contest, the Contestant fully and unconditionally agrees to be bound by these rules and the decisions of the organizer of the Campaign, which will be final and binding in all matters relating to the Contest.

For any queries, please email askme@vanishingirls.in


True Independence for Girls in India

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) recently released the State of the World Population 2020 report which drew attention to 19 forms of human rights violation against women and girls, one of which is son-preference resulting in sex selection. According to the report, one in three girls missing globally due to gender-biased sex selection is from India — 46 million out of the total 142 million missing girls. The number of girls missing due to female foeticide reflect the deep-rooted bias against daughters and the poor status of girls in the country.

“It should be shocking but it isn't that while 5 lakh COVID-19 deaths worldwide is causing such a furore, there is not a word on 460 lakh deaths of girls in the country”.

Kamla Bhasin, Social scientist and activist 

Tomorrow, India celebrates its 74th Independence Day. We can be proud of how far we have come as a nation. The Constitution of India resolved to assure the dignity of every individual and to secure to all its citizens:  JUSTICE, social, economic and political; LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship; and EQUALITY of status and of opportunity. We have, as a sovereign republic, delivered on several of these constitutional promises. However, even today, women and girls in India suffer the effects of son-preference, sex-selective abortion and other rigid patriarchal norms. 

The Vanishing Girls Campaign pledge to #giveherLIFE - Love, Inheritance, Freedom, and Equality is aimed at realizing true independence for girls in India. 

Love: Every girl has the right to be born into the world and be loved and cherished just as sons are. The progress of our country would not have been possible without the contribution of women and girls. From the freedom struggle movement to the current COVID-19 pandemic, India’s daughters have been at the forefront, developing and supporting the country hand-in-hand with men. Daughters are no less than sons, and they deserve equal love, care and respect.

Inheritance: The right to inheritance is imperative for the empowerment of women and girls. India’s Child Sex Ratio continues to drop because girls are seen as an economic burden. The right to inheritance is linked to the value of daughters. Recently, in a landmark judgement, the Supreme Court of India held that a daughter will have an equal share in the family property after the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005. “Daughters must be given equal rights as sons. Daughter remains a loving daughter throughout life. The daughter shall remain a coparcener throughout life, irrespective of whether her father is alive or not”, stated Justice Arun Mishra. This is an important step towards securing equal inheritance rights for women.

Freedom: A patriarchal society like ours gives most of the decision making power to men in households, in communities and even in governments. This practice in turn suppresses women and girls to stereotypical gender roles, thereby withholding their independence. They are discouraged from speaking their minds or showing leadership skills, and limited by the dangers of a crime-ridden society. In our work with the campaign, we have even seen mothers being forced to abort their daughters against their will. 

Equality: Gender bias and inequality meted out to women and girls across the country have resulted in unequal access to resources and opportunities for them. By placing nearly half the population at a disadvantage, India will only hinder its own growth. 

There is an urgent need for policy initiatives to bring gender parity in our society. More than ever, we need to stand with women and girls to guarantee their fundamental rights, as provided by the Constitution, so that they can enjoy true freedom in India.

ADF India, through its Vanishing Girls campaign, aims to eradicate sex-selective abortion in our lifetime and save the lives of thousands of girls who are killed in the womb every day. We are advocating for the strict enforcement of the Pre-Conception Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994.

On July 4, 2020, the Delhi Government’s Health and Family Welfare Department inducted Mrs. Tehmina Arora, Director, ADF India, in the Advisory Committee for District Level Appropriate Authorities under the PCPNDT Act. 

Sign the pledge to #giveherLIFE

WINNING PHOTOS OF THE #GIVEHERLIFE ONLINE PHOTOGRAPHY CONTEST 2019

For this year's International Day of the Girl Child on 11th October, the Vanishing Girls Campaign commemorated the occasion by launching a nationwide online photography competition. The Vanishing Girls Campaign invited all photographers (amateur and  professional) to participate in this contest to bring awareness to the cause of the Girl Child.

The theme of the Contest was: #giveherLIFE (Love, Inheritance, Freedom, Equality). The jury consisted of five reputed professional photographers: Karan Khanna, Altaf Qadri, William Chang, Riddhi Parekh and Paromita Chatterjee.

The Contest received over 500+ entries from across the country. The winning images appropriately reflects the consideration the photographers have put in for their respective entries. We appreciate the generous support of all those who participated in the contest to contribute to the cause through their photographs. There were eight winners selected. The first, second and third winners received a cash prize of ₹15,000/-, ₹10,000 and ₹5,000/- respectively. Five consolation prize winners were awarded a cash prize of ₹1,000 each. Find the winning entries below:

Grand Winner 📸 UDAYAN SANKAR PAL, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
"This image is a story. Almost an essay in one photo, Youth and old age showed in one frame in such a beautiful way. A great positive message. Love the composition, the colors, the subjects, the play of age and playfulness with the animals in hand."
Contest Judge @riddhi_parekh on the photo
Second Place Winner 📸 RATHIN DEY, Santipur, West Bengal
"An ember sparked will softly glow, and fed by fuel, will grow and grow.
I once was cinder, sparked by courage.
First timid, till the flames grew and grew."
Third Place Winner 📸 MOHAMMAD ANAS, Delhi
With 7000 girls aborted every day in the country because of sex-selection, India ranks 4th in the world with the worst child sex ratio. This genocide of girls remain hushed, silenced and ignored despite these alarming data proving how to this day girls are unwanted in the country. Where is the outrage? Where is the uproar?
Consolation Prize Winner 📸 PURANJIT GANGOPADHAY, Kolkata, West Bengal
Life Cycle : A heartwarming photo of a mother passing down a livelihood skill to her daughter in rural West Bengal
Consolation Prize Winner 📸 AMITAVA CHANDRA, Kolkata, West Bengal
This sunny photo captures the smiles that follow in the family when both the son and daughter are loved equally and given equal opportunities.
Consolation Prize Winner 📸 ANAND SUBRAMANIAN, Mumbai, Maharashtra
Let them live, Let them thrive: Girls are the future of our country. This meaningful photo captures this lovely school girl in a backdrop forming the colors of our national flag.
Online Photography Contest | Consolation Prize Winner 📸 SAGARIKA SUNDI, Jharkhand
This photo comes alive with the apparent delight of the little girl with a book in her hand. Education is an important tool that enables women and girls to participate in decisions that affect their lives and in improving their social status. The fact that people would rather spend on their daughter’s marriage expenses or dowry instead of education is disheartening. Make education accessible and a priority for all girls in our nation.
Consolation Prize Winner 📸 NEHA, Gurugram, Haryana
"Almost aborted
Loved less
Married early
Considered a liability
21st century but still in the dumps!"... .
This emotional photo freezes pain to hoist a thought-provoking reality

#giveherLIFE - Celebrating the Girl Child

campaign giveherlife, international day of the girl

To get free passes to the event: REGISTER HERE.

Since 2012, October 11 has been marked as the International Day of the Girl by the United Nations. The day aims to highlight and address the needs and challenges girls face while promoting girls' empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights. 

This year, Vanishing Girls Campaign marks the occasion by celebrating the girl child at Dilli Haat, Opposite INA Market, New Delhi on the theme #giveherLIFE (LIFE: Love, Inheritance, Freedom, Equality) on Friday, October 11, 2019 from 5 PM onwards

The celebration will include musical performances by Zephyr, the acapella society of Kamla Nehru College and Swaranjali, the Indian music society and the band of Hansraj College, Delhi University. Asmita theatre, one of the leading Hindi theatre groups in the country will also awaken the audience on the issue of sex-selective abortions in India.

To join us in this celebration and to get free passes to the event: REGISTER HERE.