Being a woman in India is a curse. A girl child is not wanted. The social fabric of India has worshipped the female devi but left the girl child to die very often. Murdering or rapping a female is not considered a serious crime in the Indian mind set. Bache hai ho jata hai —- will be a comment you hear from the leaders.
Disability is a curse, and added to that a girl child , is just not acceptable to society.
Even though there is a shift in attitude the burden is still felt by the parents. Their fear is rooted to many things. A woman’s role in India is mainly of a house wife. Even if both the partners are working it is the wife’s duty to manage the house and kids. A woman with disability is disadvantaged in the marriage market. Yes, Market as India still has arranged marriages. Dowry may not be publically displayed but the fact is Dowry has still remained in India. The parents with a disabled daughter will need to pay more for her. This thought that will he ever find her a home haunts the parents. The girl child cannot live in her father’s home forever. It is not the accepted norm.
Parents from financially weak background often starve the girl child. They rarely give her medical attention. However, if it is a boy they want him to live in whatever condition. They are aware that they will need to spend money on her when she grows up. A female with disability falls further in the social ladder.
A man who is non- disabled is reluctant to marry a disabled woman. YET, if the man is disabled or has a weakness even in behaviour marriage is not difficult. In fact, if he has a mental problem it is thought that marriage is the cure.
In short the value of the girl falls as she is not the perfect woman that men desire. In a world where the media advertises perfection to accept imperfection becomes even more difficult task. The disabled women strive to become the perfect wife. Often the disabled women face abuse and she gets little support from her parents. She too knows that returning to her father’s home is impossible.
Although there is a growing awareness and parents who do seek help are a minority. It will take a few more decades when female foeticide abortion is totally irradiated and women are treated as equal in India. It will take a mini revolution to totally change the psyche of Indian men.