Though we gained independence six decades back, people in our country refuse to lose their age-old traditional beliefs. Many of their old beliefs revolve around backward attitudes towards gender roles and equality.
India is, undoubtedly, developing at a good pace, but when we observe the social situation at grass-root levels, our country is still struggling with issues like female foeticide and infanticide.
Chhattisgarh's Raigarh seems to be suffering from this regressive condition; locals celebrate Durga Puja with a lot of fervour but ironically, the village s struggling to find nine girls for 'Kanya Bhoj'
What is Kanya Bhoj?
According tradition, on the last day of the Navratri, villagers wash the feet of nine young girls and feed them as a mark of respect for goddess Durga.
It is a part of the worship to recognise female power that the girl child symbolises and reaffirm their importance in the society.
What is the issue?
There has been a constant fall in the percentage of girls in the district. According to the last two state's census data (girls aged between 0-6 years), Raigarh district has witnessed a fall in the number of girls by minus 3 per cent.
In 2009, the number of girls in the district were 172, and in 2011 it reduced to 143.
Chhattisgarh's girl population overall has shown a decline of 11 per cent, but in the case of Raigarh it is 29 per cent.
When we pray to a number of female goddesses and believe in the power of 'Shakti', our nation really needs get rid of its terrible attitude towards the girl child.