If you are looking for perverse consequences of India's worsening gender ratio, look no longer. Millions of girls are missing, aborted because of a deeply entrenched preference for sons. The consequence shortage of women has reportedly led to practices like kidnapping brides and wife-sharing. But in the north India city of Indore in Madhya Pradesh something even more bizarre is happening, according to the Hindustan Times. Couples are paying surgeons to do sex change operations on infant girls to transform them into boys.
This seems altogether too lurid to be true. The newspaper did not interview parents who commissioned the operation or doctors who performed them. However, it still claims that there have been between 200 and 300 of these operations on girls aged 1 to 5. Afterwards the children are pumped full of male hormones.
The Indian government is taking the allegations seriously. The National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights ordered the Madhya Pradesh government to investigate the story swiftly. Inspectors have already visited four hospitals, checked records and interviewed doctors. The president of the Indian Academy of Paediatrics in Indore, Dr V.P. Goswami, described the claims as "shocking news". "We will be looking into it and taking corrective measures," he said.
The doctors accused of performing the procedure denied that they had been doing it for social reasons. They said that only girls with genital abnormalities were eligible for the procedure. However, it appears it would not be illegal, anyway, due to a loophole in Indian law.
Campaigners for girls' rights are horrified that girls are not even safe after they have been born. ~ London Telegraph, Jun 27; Hindustan Times, June 26