Skip to main content

Regretting impact of 2002 riots, Tata Institute report talks of high incidence of sexual abuse of Gujarat girls

By Rajiv Shah
In a shocking revelation, a new report by high-profile NGO Save the Children, Wings 2014: The World of India’s Girls” has said that Gujarat’s 63.1 per cent girls may be subjected to sexual abuse, which is apparently, the highest in India. Pointing out that in the country as a whole there are 47.06 per cent such girls, the report, which has been prepared by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai, says that most of these girls suffer silently, and “don’t report to anyone”. The report, significantly, carries a congratulatory message from Najma Heptulla, minorities minister under the Narendra Modi government, among others.
Lamenting poor child sex ratio (CSR) in Gujarat, as also other states, the report says, though “concerted community-level interventions” have meant that there should be significant improvement in CSR in states like Punjab, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana, there have been only “marginal improvement in states like Tamil Nadu and Gujarat over the past ten years”. In fact, it regrets, “None of these improvements signify a considerable shift in son preference. CSR has crossed the 900 mark in only two states in the north-west – Himachal Pradesh and Delhi.”
Pointing out that “in states like Delhi and Gujarat, it seems that roughly the same proportion of families is resorting to sex selection today as a decade ago”, the report states, “A study conducted by the Public Health Foundation of India in 52 districts in 18 states reflected the poor implementation of the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act. The study found that there were as in June 2009, that is, 15 years after the Act came into force, only 606 cases were pending under the Act, of which only 21% were related to communication of fetal sex while the others were for violations of other technical compliances.”
Specifically referring to Gujarat among other states, the study says, “Surprisingly, despite it being so rampant, no case of illegal sex determination had been fi led in Gujarat, West Bengal, Goa, Assam, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. In fact, data till 2006 reveals that as many as 22 of the 35 states in India had not reported a single case of violation of the Act since it came into force.”
Saying that in the two decades starting 1990 have shown “significant improvement in enrolment of children - especially girls - at the primary level”, and “in eight major states, more than 11% girls in this age group were not enrolled in school”, the study says, “By 2011, this figure had dropped to less than 6.5% in three of these states (Jharkhand, Gujarat and Odisha) and less than 5% in three others (Bihar, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal).” However, “gender gaps” remain, it underlines: “In the 11-14 age group, for example, Bihar has surpassed Gujarat, ranked among the more economically developed states, both in terms of both gender parity as well as overall enrolment levels.”
Referring to how following violent conflicts, such as the 2002 communal flareup in Gujarat, “there is a tendency for increased family and community controls on young girls as a result of real and imagined possibilities of sexual violence”, the report says how the phenomenon of ghettoised schooling was seen happening “in the aftermath of the 2002 Gujarat violence”. It adds, “Homogeneous ghettoised schools make girls’ social experience insular and confined to their own communities, where even basic friendships with other children cannot develop. Worse, this has a direct negative impact on the mobility of girls who get more restricted to home and community spaces.”
In fact, the report states, over the “last 20 years, conflicts in India have assumed geographical, community and caste dimensions. It must be recognized that even in the absence of a violent event, many areas are characterized by a simmering conflict that compounds the anxiety for safety of girls. In December 1992 and January 1993, Bombay, Surat, Ahmedabad, Delhi were among the cities where attacks on Muslims, murder, rapes of women and girls took place. During the 2002 Gujarat massacre, the plight of children affected by mass violence and conflict came into sharp focus, when mass marriages of girls took place in the relief camps and children, especially girls, were assaulted sexually, brutally maimed and murdered.”
The report particularly regrets, Gujarat is one of the states, along with Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh, where the state completely shed its responsibility towards such girl children, adding, “In place of the state, it was NGOs and community organisations who took responsibility for sustained relief and protection, especially of women and girls”
Insisting on the need for “recognition of caste-based and communal violence resulting in greater violation of girls’ rights”, the report refers to “specific impact of conflict situations on the girl child, as seen in Gujarat (2002), Khairlanji (2006), and Muzaffarnagar (2013)”, adding, there are increasing instances of “exceptional physical and sexual violence” with “a long-term impact on their right to development, protection and participation due to increased restrictions, poor living conditions, loss of educational opportunities and early marriages.”

Comments

TRENDING

Ganga world's second most polluted river, Modi's Varanasi tops microplastics pollution

By Rajiv Shah  Will the new report by well-known elite NGO Toxics Link create a ripple in the powerful corridors of Delhi? Titled “Quantitative analysis of microplastics along River Ganga”, forwarded to Counterview, doesn’t just say that Ganga is the second most polluted river in the world, next only to Yangtze (China). It goes ahead to do a comparison of microplastics pollution in three cities shows Varanasi – the Lok Sabha constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi – is more polluted compared to Kanpur and Haridwar.

How real is Mamata challenge to Modi? Preparing for 2024 'khela hobey' moment

By Prof Ujjwal K Chowdhury*  Third time elected West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee is on a whirlwind tour of Delhi, meeting everyone who matters within and beyond the government, the Prime Minister, the President, some Cabinet ministers, Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, several other opposition leaders, et al.

Did Modi promote Dholavira, a UNESCO site now, as Gujarat CM? Facts don't tally

By Rajiv Shah  As would generally happen, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tweet – that not only was he “absolutely delighted” with the news of UNESCO tag to Dholavira, but he “ first visited ” the site during his “student days and was mesmerised by the place” – is being doubted by his detractors. None of the two tweets, strangely, even recalls once that it’s a Harappan site in Gujarat.

Madhya Pradesh tops India's 145 instances of 'anti-Christian atrocities' this year

Counterview Desk  A report prepared by the Religious Liberty Commission of the Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI), founded in 1951 as the national alliance of evangelical Christians of the Protestant denomination, in its just-released report, “Hate and Targeted Violence against Christians in India: Half Yearly Report 2021”, has said that an analysis of 145 cases of violence it has documented against Christians, mainly by non-state actors, “stems from an environment of targeted hate.”

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

UP arrest of 'terrorists': Diverting attention from Covid goof-up, Ram temple land scam?

By Advocate Mohammad Shoaib, Sandeep Pandey* That corruption is rampant in police department is a common experience. However, there is another form of corruption which devastates lives of individuals and their families. It has now emerged as a common phenomenon that police more often than not register false cases because of which individuals have to spend number of years in jail.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Demolition drive: Why aren't high-end hotels, farmhouses treated same way as Khorigaon?

By Our Representative A public hearing, sponsored by the civil rights group National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) to hear the affected citizens of Khorigaon, off Faridabad, Delhi NCR, has seen local people complaining how their houses are being demolished even as the entire area was converted into a prison through heavy police deployment.

How BSF, police, court turned Bangladeshi woman slave victim into accused in crime

Counterview Desk  Civil rights leader Kirity Roy has strongly objected to the manner in which the Border Security Force (BSF) , the police and the judiciary in West Bengal have treated a 35 years old Bangladeshi woman victim of human trafficking, who was subjected to sexual exploitation for 15 long years, has been declared guilty of violating the Foreigners Act, violating all human rights norms.

If not Modi, then who? Why? I (an ordinary citizen) am there! Main hoon naa!

By Mansee Bal Bhargava*  The number of women ministers is doubled in early July from the first term after cabinet reshuffle by the present government led by Narendra Modi. While there were 06 women ministers in the previous term, this term there are 11. The previous two governments led by Dr Manmohan Singh had 10 women ministers in each tenure. Are these number of women ministers something to rejoice in the near 75 years of independence? Yes maybe, if we think that things are slowly improving in the patriarchal system. This change is less likely to achieve gender balance in the parliament otherwise we require more than 11 as per the 33% reservation . This change is also less likely because the men politicians’ inability to handle the country’s mess is becoming more and more evident and especially during the corona crisis. Seems, the addition of more women ministers may be a result of the recent assembly elections where women played a decisive role in the election results. For example