Mar 15, 2012

From the Cradle to the Grave [74/365]

The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS) was the scene of one of the most gripping stories of pain, tragedy, malice, human trafficking, prostitution and human compassion played out in recent decades.

On 18th January, 2012, baby Falak (literally 'sky') was brought in with severe injuries to her skull, broken arms, cheeks branded with a iron and human bite marks all over her body. That the injuries were inconsistent with the explanation that the 15 year old who claimed to be her mother, who herself was a victim of trafficking and abuse, cannot dull the trauma that the two year old baby Falak would've gone through.

In the weeks since she was admitted, she has survived five major surgeries and many near fatal moments. She was even the most favored orphan available for adoption across India and abroad.
But on the 15th of March, just when things appeared to be looking up, she suffered a massive cardiac arrest and passed away. In her sleep.

Following massive media wrath and public outrage, ten people have been arrested and in the months and years to come, we will slowly but surely get to see how such atrocity could've have happened on a human being so young. However this is also a sign of a larger malignant tumor in the Indian society. In a country where female infanticide is still prevalent, this was bound to happen.

Our parents hate girl children. The high cost of raising a girl, getting her married off and the prospect that this entails a massive dowry makes most Indian couple choose to 'nip the plant at the bud' itself. Boys are better. They will study harder, get better jobs and bring in lots of dowry. The odds are stacked against the ordinary girl even before the ninth month.

While some can find comfort that baby Falak has finally left a cruel world for a better one, I wonder if the perpetrators of this crime will ever pay enough.

Rest in Peace, dear Falak.
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