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Measure – 04: Change the Mindsets

March 8, 2008

The fundamental cause for kudimaari is the mindset that perceives daughters having a lower denomination than sons. If this mindset were to be changed such that girls and boys were seen as equals in the society, female fetuses and female infants will not be targeted for elimination.

The most obvious solutions is perhaps also the most difficult. The mindset needs to be changed, but how can this be achieved?

There are at least two ways to work on this. One, on an individual level. Expecting parents need to be educated, individually and as a couple, on this issue. But working at an individual level will not be sufficient. It is important to change the environment in which that couple exists. And an important aspect of this environment is the shared social values. That is, it is important to change the village’s mindset as well as the couple’s.

It takes a village to raise a child, but so does it take a village to kill one. The couple that decides to undergo a sex-selective abortion has taken a decision partly influenced by their beliefs of how their child will be perceived by the society in which they will be raising that child.

Therefore, two, the village needs to be educated. The social values that the village shares on this issue need to be changed such that kudimaari becomes a social stigma and kudimaars are ostracized.

Again, the question on praxis: how to change these social values and perceptions?

The message already exists. Now, how to get this message to the society most effectively?

I will take a look at some endeavors on this front, both which have already been taken and which can be taken.

Here’s one attempt at it, a video clip by Pradipto Nandi of Aditude Productions made for Punjab Health Systems.

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