Little Baby Radhika had a narrow escape from being brutally buried alive after a spiritual guide advised her father to sacrifice her to bring good health to his next child. Thankfully, a kind caretaker on the burial grounds of Uttar Pradesh state, India, noticed that the baby who was brought in to be buried was still alive and crying.
He immediately notified the police, who arrived on the scene just as Baby Radhika’s uncle and father were about to lower her into a freshly dug grave. Baby Radhika was found wrapped up in a cloth along with religious symbols, and brought to a nearby hospital, where she is being treated for severe malnutrition.
Mother denies involvement
Although Baby Radhika’s mother was also found at the scene, only her father and her uncle were arrested. The men were arrested on charges on attempted murder and conspiracy.
Her mother, Bharati, denies being involved in the crime, saying, “Tell me which mother would want to kill her own child”. Although unfortunate, it’s no surprise that this tragic incident took place in India, a country that has one of the highest female infant mortality rates worldwide.
India’s missing girls
Human rights campaigners have said that up to 8 million female fetuses have been aborted in the past decade, and countless baby girls have been murdered after being born.
Apart from the fact the males are believed to have higher earning power in countries like India, the practice of paying dowry also contributes to the high rates of female infanticide. Although the practice of parents paying dowry to marry off their daughters has been officially abolished in India, many traditional Indians still adopt the practice, causing many to view baby girls as liabilities.
Poor and uneducated families especially are often pressured into aborting or killing their baby girls, as they fear not being able to pay dowry and marry off their daughters.
Appreciating the women everywhere
After celebrating Mother’s Day just recently, it’s difficult to imagine millions of innocent girls, who would have grown up to become mothers themselves, having their lives taken away cruelly on a daily basis.
All we can do to help is raise social awareness about the fact that these barbaric acts are still taking place, and hope that some day soon baby girls and women everywhere will be cherished and loved for who they are.