Sunday, April 09, 2006

What's in a name?

Just the other day I came to know that a typist near my home we used to just refer to as 'Latha' was actually 'Vaendaam Paal' (the Tamil name literally meaning 'Unwanted Sex'!) During my postings at Rural Primary Health centers and School health camps I've met several children named 'Poadhum Pen' (the Tamil name literally meaning 'Enough Girls'!)

You should hand it over to the parents for being so considerate of their girl child's future while naming them. Imagine the amount of bullying and mockery these girls would've to endure all though schooling (if the parents bother to send them at all) and the rest of their lives. Can't help but pity Vaendaam Paal about what drove her into changing her name into something that doesn't evoke a 'What did u say your name is?' response...

In the same India that has parents who name their male children 'Gomathi Shankar' 'Radha Krishnan' etc live these people. In the same India where only a little over 920 female children are born for every 1000 male children.

In this same India a doctor has now been convicted for determining the sex of the fetus to aid abortion of female fetuses. In this same India brides are now in shortage and several men are finding it hard to get married!

Light at the end of the tunnel?? Only time will tell...
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