In India, female foeticide is cruelly common with 1 in 25 female babies being aborted. For those baby girls who are born, often they are deemed ‘still-born’ and literally thrown into trash cans, strangled or burnt. India is still very much a male dominated society that lacks the education to understand that women should have equal rights. When a baby girl is born in India it can often be a burden on the family as their only perceived use is marriage and this is a costly affair that brings no value to the girl’s family.
Today, Brent and I visited a girl’s orphanage in our city of Punjab. Female foeticide is at its highest in this city with 749 girls born to every 1000 boys. ‘Unique home for girls’ as it is called is hidden down an alley way and the entrance is fitted with a little flap similar to a large letterbox where people can drop off their unwanted baby girls. Our experience here was truly moving and overwhelming. The home is run by 12 Indian women who volunteer their time to love and care for 60 odd girls who they call daughters. The youngest baby currently in the home is less than a month old. The women asked us for nothing but they are clearly in need of a lot.
The babies don’t wear nappies – part tradition part cost cutting so the constant washing and drying of clothes is both costly and time consuming and the stench of their shared room is overpowering with urine and baby vomit. Babies sleep 3-4 or more in a cot and everything is shared. While we were there, the school aged children sat together on the cold concrete floor and studied their English workbooks, for education is paramount for these girls. Despite it being early Sunday morning the girls sat in patient silence dutifully studying their books. Remarkably when I asked a girl of no more than 7 to read to me she read in perfect English. Interestingly she hadn’t the faintest idea of the meaning of the words and has merely been taught to blend sounds.
The amount of girls coming into the orphanage is rapidly increasing and the volunteers are hoping to build a larger building to facilitate the needs of the children. Brent and I have promised to return next Sunday with formula and nappies and hope to continue giving and volunteering here for the rest of our time in India. We are also hoping to raise some money to help them further with their building project and any other supplies they may need. We are asking that people please donate to this orphanage. Any amount no matter how small will be appreciated. In India $1 can go a long way. We also ask that you pass this information on to as many people as you can to help raise awareness and in turn funds for these extremely needy young girls.
At this stage we don’t know of a bank account where you can donate directly to the orphanage so we are asking that people give any donations to us so we can directly give the money to the orphanage. If you would like to donate please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can email you bank details. Please remember every little bit counts.
|Babies Angel (left) and Smila (Right) because she always smiles|
|Grumpy and in need of a sleep|
|Jasmine - Who they made my God-daughter|
|The beautiful toddlers|
|Even as babies they can line up in a straight line|
|The new borns|
|The girls studying|
|Me with Jasmine and one of the volunteers|
|Where babies can be left|
|Even as orphans these girls find it in themselves to smile|
|This little girl read to me in fluent English - But could not understand a word|
|Zenab - a favourite amongst the staff and children due to her cheeky personality|