The rampant practice of female infanticide continues to claim more lives even as the centre keeps on promoting its "Beti Bachao Beti Padhao programme. In a heartbreaking incident, a woman in Punjab's Bathinda allegedly dumped her twin granddaughters in a canal just two hours after birth.
The 65-year-old woman, who was the maternal grandmother of the newborns, and her son took this step because they allegedly did not want another girl child. The infants' mother already has two girls aged 11 and three.
The victims' mother lodged a complaint with the police following which the woman and her son was arrested.
The accused Malkit Kaur and Baljinder Singh, 35, allegedly took the newborn girls from the hospital and dumped them at a canal soon after birth.
For centuries, there has been a traditional preference for sons over daughters in India. This is fuelled by a belief that a son would carry forward the family name and look after the parents in their old age while daughters would cost them dowries.
This bias has made female foeticide and infanticide rampant in India and leading to a dangerously skewed sex ratio.
The government has launched various programmes to tackle this over the years and even banned determination of foetus' sex in hospitals.
However, the schemes have little impact on the intended audience with thousands of female foeticide and infanticide issues being reported every year.