If this doesn’t bring tears to your eyes, your ducts aren’t working.
The AP reports that 285 Indian girls who were given names like “Nakusa,” or “Nakushi,” meaning “unwanted” in Hindi, took part in a renaming ceremony to help give them a new start and help fight gender discrimination. The girls chose new names, some of Bollywood stars or Hindu goddesses; some “just wanted traditional names with happier meanings, such as “Vaishali,” or “prosperous, beautiful and good.” One 15-year-old “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 national sex ratio has dropped in India from 927 girls for every 1000 boys under the age of six to 914, and in some areas it’s even lower: 881 in Satara, for example.
The AP reports that “Such ratios are the result of abortions of female fetuses, or just sheer neglect leading to a higher death rate among girls.” Indian hospitals are legally banned from revealing the gender of a fetus because of the problem, but “the information gets out.”
Sons are favored in India partly because of “the enormous expense of marrying off girls,” including arranging marriages and providing dowries. Government financial incentives to combat the problem are announced “every few years,” the AP reports.
The ceremony took place in Satara and was the idea of district health officer, Dr. Bhagwan Pawar, who called Nakusa “a very negative name as far as female discrimination is concerned.”