Monday, October 24, 2011

I saw this on another blog today....praying that these girls discover God's name for them, which is beloved, wanted, precious and treasured.

Hundreds of Indian Girls Named 'Unwanted' Choose New Names

October 22, 2011: Girls hold certificates stating their new official names during a renaming ceremony in Satara, India.
More than 200 Indian girls whose names mean "unwanted" in Hindi have chosen new names for a fresh start in life.

A central Indian district held a renaming ceremony Saturday that it hopes will give the girls new dignity and help fight widespread gender discrimination that gives India a skewed gender ratio, with far more boys than girls.
The 285 girls -- wearing their best outfits with barrettes, braids and bows in their hair -- lined up to receive certificates with their new names along with small flower bouquets from Satara district officials in Maharashtra state.
In shedding names like "Nakusa" or "Nakushi," which mean "unwanted" in Hindi, some girls chose to name themselves after Bollywood stars such as "Aishwarya" or Hindu goddesses like "Savitri." Some just wanted traditional names with happier meanings, such as "Vaishali," or "prosperous, beautiful and good."
"Now in school, my classmates and friends will be calling me this new name, and that makes me very happy," said a 15-year-old girl who had been named Nakusa by a grandfather disappointed by her birth. She chose the new name "Ashmita," which means "very tough" or "rock hard" in Hindi.
The plight of girls in India came to a focus after this year's census showed the nation's sex ratio had dropped over the past decade from 927 girls for every 1,000 boys under the age of 6 to 914.
Maharashtra state's ratio is well below that, with just 883 girls for every 1,000 boys -- down from 913 a decade ago. In the district of Satara, it is even lower, at 881.
Such ratios are the result of abortions of female fetuses, or just sheer neglect leading to a higher death rate among girls. The problem is so serious in India that hospitals are legally banned from revealing the gender of an unborn fetus in order to prevent sex-selective abortions, though evidence suggests the information gets out.
Part of the reason Indians favor sons is the enormous expense of marrying off girls. Families often go into debt arranging marriages and paying for elaborate dowries. A boy, on the other hand, will one day bring home a bride and dowry. Hindu custom also dictates that only sons can light their parents' funeral pyres.
Over the years, and again now, efforts have been made to fight the discrimination.
"Nakusa is a very negative name as far as female discrimination is concerned," said Satara district health officer Dr. Bhagwan Pawar, who came up with the idea for the renaming ceremony.
Other incentives, announced by federal or state governments every few years, include free meals and free education to encourage people to take care of their girls, and even cash bonuses for families with girls who graduate from high school.
Activists say the name "unwanted," which is widely given to girls across India, gives them the feeling they are worthless and a burden.
"When the child thinks about it, you know, 'My mom, my dad, and all my relatives and society call me unwanted,' she will feel very bad and depressed," said Sudha Kankaria of the organization Save the Girl Child. But giving these girls new names is only the beginning, she said.
"We have to take care of the girls, their education and even financial and social security, or again the cycle is going to repeat," she said.

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The Byrd's Nest said...

I read this on my Yahoo news feed yesterday. I can't imagine being named "unwanted", I'm so happy for these girls that changed their names but emotionally who is there to help them deal with all of these feelings? I guess I think and feel deeply about it because my girls carry things so deeply in their hearts. There is so much to pray for isn't there? Love you girl

Cheri said...

I saw this too. I cannot imagine.

Trish said...

Thanks for stopping by to visit us and keeping us in your prayers. Can't wait to hear more on R's adoption, I'll keep you in my prayers also.


James, Dawn and Family said...

WOW I had no idea...

Asta Lander said...

I read this in the newspaper. It is the most wonderful story I have heard in ages. May they know 'His delight is in them'.

Brad and Renae said...

I saw this article too...and it just broke my heart. I am so happy for these girls though, think how much courage that took to stand up for the name change. So proud of them. ~Renae

Mrs. L. said...

It's unthinkable to think that one gender is more important than the other. It makes me so sad to think of all those girls not loved or wanted. I am glad that God is redeeming each girl that he so dearly loves.

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