India’s ‘obsession with sons’ means millions of lonely men
The persistence of India’s outlawed dowry system and the availability of illegal gender-testing has resulted in millions more boys than girls.
It is having a profound social impact — finding a wife has become so difficult, some are turning to traffickers.
“I never thought it would be this difficult for us to get married,” said 32-year-old Vikram Hooda, taking a break from working his family’s rice paddy in the northern Indian state of Haryana.
“The villagers make fun of us because we aren’t married,” said Vikram’s younger brother Prakash, 23.
“They don’t understand that there are so few girls here.”
The Hoodas are a family of five brothers. Only one is married.
“If you go by the statistics, the number of girls killed in India, by female foeticide, is much more than any genocide of this world,” Dr Mitu Khurana said.
Dr Khurana is raising twin daughters alone. She said her former husband tried to force her to abort one or both of them after an ultrasound was carried out, unbeknown to her, while she was in hospital suffering from food poisoning.
The Lancet suggests the gender disparity indicates the abortion of between 3.1 to 6 million female foetuses between 2001 and 2011.