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Opinion » Lead

Updated: March 20, 2012 00:43 IST

Who killed Baby Falak?

Farah Naqvi
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The two-year-old died a horrible death because the system did not care enough to want her to live.

A child died and we collectively mourn. She was just two years old. And she fought bravely, but the tubes and wires connecting her to life support in the AIIMS Trauma Centre were no match for the systemic failures that carried this baby to her death. For the truth is that Falak never really stood a chance.

What we know of Falak's life are odd fragments from media reports. A 15-year-old girl brings an unnamed baby to a hospital. The baby has human bite marks on her body, and has been beaten, almost to death. It turns out the teenager is not the mother, and has herself been abused by a partner who dumped the baby on her just months ago. Some days later, the real mother is found — 22-year-old Munni, trafficked across many State borders, from Bihar to Delhi and sold into a second marriage in Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan, forced to leave her three children to the mercy of strangers who promise to look after them but never do. Names of several men pop up along the way — Shah Hussain from Bihar, Munni's husband, who sold her; Sandeep Pandey, husband of the teenager's friend Pooja, who raped her, then tried to sell her in marriage to an old man in Etah in Uttar Pradesh, and then passed her on to a taxi driver Rajkumar; Rajkumar, the teenager's current partner and pimp; Jitender Gupta, the teenager's father who beat her so badly that she ran away into the arms of these pimps. There are other odd fragments — a man named Manoj and his wife Pratima, arrested from Patna — they are the ones who eventually handed the baby to Rajkumar and to the 15-year-old, leading finally to Falak's death.

Confusing human dots

How do these confusing human dots really join? There is much we might never know. All we really know is that the desperate, violent lives of Munni and a 15-year-old girl unknowingly crossed, and a little baby girl went from the arms of a helpless, trafficked mother into the care of a raped, abused, and disturbed teenager.

These tiny fragments are like a million shards of broken glass, which when pieced together create a hideous distorted mirror. A mirror to what we are — a nation with no state or social safety nets for the most desperate. Falak, Munni and the unnamed teenage girl were in free fall through every crack in our system. Their lives tell a thousand stories.

Girls in India are often born unwanted, if they are born at all. The decline in the child sex ratio (0-6 years), from 945 in 1991 to 927 in 2001 and further to 914 females per 1,000 males in 2011 — is the lowest since independence. Falak was probably among those unwanted, devalued girls, easily dispensed with. And had she lived, she may have been among the malnourished millions, among the 42.3 per cent of under-fives in India who are underweight or the 58.8 per cent who are stunted (The HUNGaMA report, Naandi Foundation, 2012). As a girl, she was at the lowest end of this malnourishment ladder. Perhaps if she were stronger she would have survived the abuse.

And what of the young 15-year-old teenager who first battered and then tried to save Falak? A run-away from the slums of Sangam Vihar, right in the heart of the capital. Her mother died and her father abused her, and so she ran for security to her would-be pimps. They prostituted and raped her, again and again. And yet this frightened young girl did not reach out to any system for help.

Should she have gone to the police? Could she have? Rape, it seems now, is such an everyday occurrence, and justice so elusive, it may have made little sense. For where would she go from the police station after lodging her FIR, with no family backing, no one to take her in? Where does she stay, how does she live as she fights a rape case? No support before, during or after. We offered her nothing but rape laws and a gender blind criminal justice system. Although the NCRB claims a conviction rate of 26.5 per cent in 2010, (marginally up from 26.12 in 2003), these figures are hugely misleading. According to legal activists, given the number of convictions overturned in appeals, a better approximation would be a 5 per cent rate of conviction in rape cases. So did this underage, runaway girl from a slum stand any chance of help through the courts? The rules of evidence, the procedural hurdles, a hostile police, the lack of community and public support to a rape survivor, and the enormous social stigma — these are the odds she would have been up against. What she did have was a damn good chance of being called a liar or a disobedient slut and being sent right back home. The truth is that we failed to give this young disturbed abandoned girl a choice more “real” than the one she sought in a violent abusive relationship. Today she probably needs psychiatric care more than the bars of a prison cell, but even that it seems is not on offer.

Falak's mother Munni was apparently sold and trafficked across two State borders from Bihar to Delhi to Rajasthan. Year 2010 saw 3,422 incidents of crime related to human trafficking reported compared to 2,848 in 2009, an increase of 20.2 per cent (NCRB, 2010). Clearly our men in uniform didn't manage to see or stop these traffickers. And this year they will add Munni to their statistic. But will we do anything to offer her a better life? Where are the “rehabilitation” programmes for women like Munni? As Munni went from a husband who sold her, to a pimp who re-sold her, did she have anyone to turn to? Look at the condition of the Nari Niketan shelter homes we have in India for women in distress, where abuse is the norm rather than the exception. Central schemes consist only of Swadhar and badly run short-stay homes.

Not an aberration

The tragedy is that neither the abused teenager nor Munni is an aberration. According to NFHS III (2007), one in three Indian women aged 15-49 years has experienced physical violence; and one in 10 has experienced sexual violence. Nearly two in five married women have experienced physical or sexual violence by their husband. Sixteen per cent of never married women have experienced physical violence since they were 15 years of age by a parent, sibling or teacher. One in four abused women have never sought help to end the violence. Two out of three abused women have not only never sought help, but have also never told anyone about the violence. Abused women most often seek help from their families. Very few abused women seek help from institutional sources. (Quoted in Psychosocial Care for Women in Shelter Homes, UNODC & NIMHANS, 2011)

And as for Baby Falak — child abuse remains among the most rampant and hidden forms of everyday violence in Indian homes. Systematic data, information and services on child protection are still not easily available. The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights set up in March 2007 is a beginning. But there's a long way to go. In the meantime, a child has died a horrible death. She was just two years old. And she died because we didn't care enough, and we didn't care in time. She symbolises many. Let us plug every hole in our safety nets for women in distress and for victims of child abuse, so that her death does not go in vain.

(The author is a writer & activist, and a member of the National Advisory Council. Views expressed here are personal. Email: farah.naqvi64@yahoo.com)

More In: Lead | Opinion

Since education is made compulsory, Articles like these with examples must find a place in Indian school textbooks. It will at least educate the young children about child abuse and will ensure that they will be heard when they speak up. But for Falak's case, its helpless. When morons like Falak's father are in this country crime against women can never be curbed! RIP

from:  Sathish
Posted on: Apr 11, 2012 at 14:06 IST

why is GOD blind ; why did HE let this happen ? My prayers to make India a safe place for ladies and teenage girls
Being a mother of a girl baby ;my heart aches

from:  preena
Posted on: Apr 10, 2012 at 19:45 IST

It is really very sad that a girl has abused a two year old child just to show her retaliation against the injustice and abuse she had undergone...why are hearts so hardened that nobody is even sparing small angels like Falak uncared...I wonder where this world is heading. Baby falak left this brutal world...Sweet angel...may your soul rest in peace

from:  Blazy Abraham
Posted on: Mar 23, 2012 at 20:00 IST

Reading about this incident was soul-destroying, yet that emotion does not even come close to what this innocent child went through. As a mother of a 3 year old, I feel gut-wrenched, horrified and enraged. How can people who are interested, contribute practically? Financially or otherwise?

from:  Monica Ray
Posted on: Mar 23, 2012 at 15:45 IST

Thank you for pouring out the words I felt. I am not good writer like you. But, feelings are one and the same brother. I really feel for this society we live in. Indians/Humans are better than this. But, system we created, system we fail to acknowledge that we need to follow, system which is non-existent due to political leaders not implementing bills and watching porn in assemblies, system's systemic failure is creating havoc right now. India is better than this. But, what is that we need to do? We supported Annaji in his fight against corruption. System drowned him with technicalities. Judiciary is drowned with tonnes of cases. Bureaucracy is drowned with corruption. Media is drowned with sensationalism and money/TRP ratings. Political leaders chose that path to earn money. Nepotism in political system and stench and rot is making me puke. Is there a chance for a better India? Morals and ethics are sliding down in schools/colleges. May be I am just seeing bad.

from:  Nikhil
Posted on: Mar 22, 2012 at 13:30 IST

Farah,I need to know how can I contribute to this cause. I want to understand how does one make the govt answerbable for the pathetic state. We are ashamed and alarmed! But as educated citizens of this country how many of us have really exercised our rights for ensuring that India is a better country... we choose not to vote (my vote hardly matters its the rural India who forms the majority), not to use right to Information and not even exercise our own freedom! Its very esy to blame the system but how many of us are willing to join the system giving up our cushy well paying corporate jobs. Its is only people like us who need to make a difference to better the system... enough of passing the buck!

from:  Manika
Posted on: Mar 22, 2012 at 11:40 IST

Such physical abuse is prevalent in all sections of the society, be it middle-class, or upper-class and I believe the society now has prone to such incidents and expect the victims to stay silent than fight for justice as justice in India has become a distant thought.

from:  Snigdha
Posted on: Mar 21, 2012 at 19:40 IST

We Indians did it. Yes we same Indians who feel sad whenever such cases
come up but hesitate to talk about hideous crimes that have been
occuring in our country since long times. I guess most people who even
have hint of organ trade or flesh trade in India would never talk about
such taboo topics leave aside doing anything about it. If terrorists
from outside come and kill 200 people there would be protests in Mumbai
for days because then people can relate to it but no one is ready to
talk about cases of organ trade or child trafficking.

from:  Yogesh
Posted on: Mar 21, 2012 at 07:12 IST

Hats off to the author for clearly stating her views and addressing the issue like an eye-opener.The sad truth is that, our much educated, self-centered society is more concerned about money and power, and in the urge to find more,people forget the term "humanity" and are enticed about the more fortunate ones than the less fortunate ones. Who cares when someone has no shelter,no food,no clothing!People fight to claim the credit of possessing a lot more than they could,and do not even bother to think of those dying of hunger and poverty.And if at all they do care, people fight to boast about their almsgiving skills and not about the happiness and satisfaction the person at the receiving end is found to experience. The nation celebrates the birth and the victory of a celebrity, the nation mourns grievously over the death of a celebrity.But very few bothered to sincerely mourn for this poor, helpless baby, who suffered a gruesome death after suffering for 58 days.

What a shame!

from:  Biji
Posted on: Mar 20, 2012 at 20:59 IST

Thanks to the author for mentioning about the Nari Nikethan Shelter homes. I was wondering if we have any such schemes to protect the women out in the street. We do can find out many women on the road side in cities. Most of them have small kids in their hands and have also found teenage girls as well along with them and really wondered how safe their life in cities. I wish the government take some initiatives spread awareness regarding the shelter homes. And also provide contact numbers to the public so that they can inform regarding those in needy by making a call. It is really pathetic that we let them lie on the roadside. May be we can’t take them but at least we can help them to find some shelter. Ultimately what matters is the welfare of the people. The figures and facts regarding growth rates is nothing when people are not safe. But the government seems to have no interest on the poor people of the nation. May be a new movement from the public should come up in favor of the poor

from:  Libty Elthreena Jomith
Posted on: Mar 20, 2012 at 20:17 IST

Baby Falak case came to light. Still there are so many babies leading a torturous life. Death is a must for every living being but this cruel death and the sufferings a two year baby experienced is inhuman. May her soul rest in peace.

from:  Aruna Sivakumar
Posted on: Mar 20, 2012 at 20:00 IST


I would like to juxtapose this case with another one unfolding in Norway.

I will enjoin readers to read the comments in the Hindu on the Bhattacharya case.
Reader reactions to the Norwegian government placing kids in foster care due to
concerns about violence and other issues in the home are so tainted with jingoism,
hurt Bengali pride, the superiority of an Indian values vs. barbaric Norwegian
attitudes and so forth.

In that case, the government was willing to spend time and taxpayer money flying
special envoys to Norway to, mobilising its resources and applying pressure on
Norway. Mercifully, Norway refused to compromise on its stance that the interests
of the kids come before parents or anything else...

I hope the GOI will invest a bit more time & effort in averting the many Baby Falaks
waiting to happen in India rather than solely devoting its energies to resolving the
issues of a well connected, well to do couple in a far away land. Stones, glass
houses come to mind...

from:  V. Suresh
Posted on: Mar 20, 2012 at 19:09 IST

The basic problem is the problem of human trafficking.human trafficking laws should be
made more stringent and minimum punishment should be fifteen year jail term.baby flask in
her two year stay on earth in this "holy" country saw
criminals,police,pimps,prostitutes,human traffickers.

from:  Vikas kundal
Posted on: Mar 20, 2012 at 16:50 IST

Hats off to you as well as to Keshav!

We do need teams like yours to shake-up the conscience of the nation.

-Prabhat

from:  Prabhat Sinha
Posted on: Mar 20, 2012 at 15:10 IST

It is for a good reason that India has been ranked 3rd in the world for
being the MOST DANGEROUS place for women! After warn torn Sudan and
Afghanistan. Can you believe it? Yes, after reading this article, one
can believe it.

from:  lrao
Posted on: Mar 20, 2012 at 14:42 IST

Dear moderator, why has been my non-abusive comment been moderated? Do I have to subscribe to socialistic view to get my comments passed through your moderation criteria? Why should the Hindu not accept the role of "self-responsibility" of parents and blame everyone else ? For everything, system is to be blamed (police and others), but no blame goes to the individuals who produce children at a very wrong stage of their life when they have no job security or emotional stability? It is pathetic to see so-called Champion of freedom of expression moderating my comments just because they disagree with it - hypocrisy cannot go any further than this.

from:  Gopal Krishna
Posted on: Mar 20, 2012 at 14:41 IST

Falak, unfortunately did not experience that the family is the cradle of the society. She utterly missed the favourable environment for her growth and development. If such environment is not available or possible, to whom do we turn to? WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DEATH OF BABY FALAK? After all this, are we, as humanity, ready to take responsibility for the future of Falak (other children), who are still crying for help? Will the cry of Falak (other children) STOP henceforth? May Falak rest in peace! May Falak’s cry for help STOP the cry of many others like her.

from:  Joe Prabu
Posted on: Mar 20, 2012 at 13:24 IST

She made the headlines for all the wrong reasons. My heart broke when I first read her story. It broke again when she recovered and had nowhere to go. And it broke again today when I read that she passed away. I cannot image how and why someone would want to inflict so much pain and suffering on a small child. And yet, there seem to be no real villains in this story…all seem to be trapped in a viscous circle of poverty, betrayal and abuse. Are we all to be blamed for her death, and for the many more that stay unreported as well as for the thousands that are just waiting to happen? Would punishing the person’s arrested with this case redeem our callousness? I don’t know.
I never did see her face or read the happy news of her full recovery. I do hope, from the bottom of my heart, that death has brought an end to her suffering and that you are now in a happier place sweet baby Falak.

from:  priya bora
Posted on: Mar 20, 2012 at 13:00 IST

This the barbarism of the so called civilised society in which we live.Their has been repeated instances of rapes,child abuses and human trafficking but the government has failed to repress it.our society needs to collectively address this evil along with the government to eliminate this evils completely.rape victims are not given speedy justice.this is high time to set up fasttrack courts and convict the rape accused with stringent punishments.let their be no lax laws and no easy get away for the accused.there has to be support schemes ,rehabilation programmes for the rape victims to restore normalcy in their lives after such heinous crimes which is indeed difficult.

from:  katib
Posted on: Mar 20, 2012 at 12:24 IST

I have no words to put in. May her soul rest in peace. A 2 year old baby goes through this level of torture. What human we are?? And we boast of having an over 5000 year of civilization. Pathetic. Ashamed of myself.

from:  raj
Posted on: Mar 20, 2012 at 11:11 IST

These kind of happenings shows there are more brutal animals exsisting in our society. Very inhuman and pathetic to even hear. Empowerment in needed not for female but for those brutal males with brutal mind to spoil a two year old baby and make her to die hard. This kind of inhuman acts are there every where in society and only some comes out to our sights. What sort of empowerment do we think can be given to a child like this. It is only those ill minded brutal males should be treated severly with maximum punishment.

from:  Ananthi
Posted on: Mar 20, 2012 at 09:30 IST

How does one translate this feeling of helplessness and empathy with
the victims in this episode into an affirmative action? How many more
Munnis and Falaks are going to be sacrificed at the altar of lust and
greed in our country? Can't something be done to change the situation?
We have been reading and hearing about systemic failure; but where
does one start to address this failure? And who is to do that? Even if
it should be all of us, can we do it without the support of the state
system. Who represents the state system? If an activist and a member
of the powerful NAC talks about systemic failure and the resulting
helplessness, what do the rest of us do? Unless the opinion expressed
by Ms. Naqvi in her individual capacity, also becomes the opinion of
the powerful organization that she is a member of, I think we will
only keep lamenting and wait for the next Falak to give us a chance to
go through another catharsis.

from:  Akshaya Kumar
Posted on: Mar 20, 2012 at 09:09 IST

How can India ever be a superpower if She ignores the plight of the "abused".How can we bring a change into this system?

from:  Devika.P
Posted on: Mar 20, 2012 at 08:49 IST

very pathetic and heart rendering. I appreciate the author's ability to bring this sordid state of affairs to light.

from:  sankar
Posted on: Mar 20, 2012 at 08:37 IST

The blame has to be on all of us. The careless attitudes we carry
towards women. It is our responsibility to not let this attitude pass
on to generations. I as a woman I try my best among my friends that
women are not taken for granted in any manner. The abuses involving
women and about women are used as naturally as they can b, as a part
of a 'common lingo', why do we let that happen? The attitude, the
words, the gestures, about women are so much insulting, how is one
supposed to feel as an equal? Our silence is taken as an agreement by
such doers, they don't find anything wrong. We let it happen by not
correcting them by not telling them,'listen, if you can't respect us
as humans you have no right to disregard us.'
We let this pass on as 'normal'. And so, we let women like Munni, the
15yr old teenager suffer and go through such hardships and a child
like Falak die, for no fault of theirs, we caused it. If you are
concerned, try and change the space around you. High time we speak!

from:  Priyanka Kumari
Posted on: Mar 20, 2012 at 03:22 IST

The stories of three, clearly shows current laws don't do much. Just convicting someone after the fact doesn't change anything. We will just wait another day to find it happen again. What we do proactively to bring down this trafficking network? How do we protect victims reporting abuse during and after? Hope we find answers to it.

from:  Senthil Natarajan
Posted on: Mar 20, 2012 at 01:55 IST

Someone once asked me why is it that the people of this country sometimes become defensive when it comes to being proud of their native country. After reading this article I think aptly reply.
Today, India might be the largest democracy of the world, second-fastest growing economy in the Asia, a superpower in making, but what
superpower is India trying to become when it doesn't even have a basic elementary infrastructure which can at least act as a "safety net" for people that don't have anywhere to go? So then, like what, they are left at the mercy of society and "God"?
I mean forget about proper education and healthcare, at the root level we don't even have a "safety net" where hopeless can find a sanctuary to survive.

from:  Anant
Posted on: Mar 20, 2012 at 01:16 IST

The article throws light on the pathetic state of the Indian women and girl children in rural India. With so much ill-treatment and injustic meted out to the Indian rural women, it's sad to see the majority of the mainstream media turning the public's attention on the urban lifestyle and unwanted details on Bollywoood actors and celebrities and also cricket. It's time for the society- which include the public, the police, the justice system and the MEDIA to turn their attention and work for the betterment and upliftment of the uneducated and abused women in rural India.

from:  Sujata Kalyani
Posted on: Mar 20, 2012 at 01:13 IST

This is an eye opener article for those people who actually think in this developing
country that girl is a burden to them.This is not only about human trafficking,but
also our customs like dowry in our Indian society because of which parents dont
want girls.As a result,this kind of cases took place.I really cant understand that
actually our country is developing or getting worse day by day especially for girls.

from:  Vaishnavi
Posted on: Mar 19, 2012 at 23:47 IST

The country that gave birth to oldest religions,ahimsa,dharma is now
in turmoil.It is so sad to read the article.It is very informative
and what should be done to avoid this kind of things happen again.This
is only one little angel's story how many more there? We already reached moon;have fancy cars,mobile phones but our society does not
know how to respect girls,women and elderly.The federal govt.must
take over certain crimes like child molestation,raping,beating women children and punish the culprits severly rather than leave to the
state that is run by gundas.

from:  TPaul
Posted on: Mar 19, 2012 at 23:40 IST

Those who commented above, can join hands with me and rather just writing commenting, can we try to do something for those who are helpless.

from:  swetha
Posted on: Mar 19, 2012 at 23:13 IST

Even the ministers of the state are watching pornography, how come the citizens behave towards the females. We have very shallow and a weak law, the law should be amended and we must impose capital punishment and also expedite the judging process or else these ruthless criminals and pimps will rule the country.

from:  AswinKumar
Posted on: Mar 19, 2012 at 22:56 IST

I think apart from a change in laws an alteration of mindset is needed.A woman who has gone through a psychological stress like rape,she eventually has to go through social trauma-boycott and being blamed for rape!Is that fair?Even if a woman tries to raise her voice everyone including her family members blame her.The complicated structure of our laws can't be solely blamed for this.The complicated mindset of the Indian Society needs to be changed.Rape isn't meant to be treated as social stigma nor does it deserve sympathy.It deserves support and mental strength to fight and make sure that the wrong doers are punished.Human trafficking is undoubtedly an equally heinous crime,something that United Nations has been fighting for and voicing its concerns over the same.An effective law implementation is needed in this case.As for baby Falak,overlooking the negative side for a moment the police force was,unexpectedly,successful in at least bringing together the intricacies of the case.

from:  Aishwarya Mudgil
Posted on: Mar 19, 2012 at 22:25 IST

Episodes such as this one are not isolated.However their regular emergence in the media brings out the ugly and hideous face of our society.It is not to say that such things are not observed elsewhere in the world, but the issue of female infanticide and foeticide remains on top of our minds.
It is quite obvious that the issue of Baby Falak will not bring about any change in our or our government's attitude. After all how can a Govt. get into our houses and bring about a change in our thinking.
The only solution that emerges is practical education for all- and compulsory too.We really do not know the fate of RTE that was passed some 2 years ago.
It is quite interesting to note that amongst the 250 odd channels being beamed upon the Indian public, not one is related to education, basic health and agriculture. Let us use this effective media to bring about a change in the way free education is imparted. After all we have been paying the education cess for a long time...

from:  Rajeeve Kaushik
Posted on: Mar 19, 2012 at 21:46 IST

"Girls in India are often born unwanted, if they are born at all."

Shame on us!

from:  Amit
Posted on: Mar 19, 2012 at 20:47 IST

Dear Sir, We are talking of growth, progress prosperity swanky malls and glittering automobiles high tech mobile phones and of course corruption of very high values. This child could not bribe the system and so she suffered and died at the end inhumanely.Let us first put our fundamentals right and act on other aspects later.The Hindu can work wonders on this and similar problems facing this country.Old as I am I still am prepared to sacrifice my life to bring back the old glorious times.

from:  doriswamy ganesh
Posted on: Mar 19, 2012 at 20:46 IST

Unless we are willing to punish those who deliberately abort the girl child and expose them in the media and ensure atleast one such parent (or parents) of the Girl child is given a seven year sentence for such a henious crime and parelelly shown their faces to the public at large and see to it that there are atleast 10 cases which get prosecuted. We will not reduce the problem.
A parellel scheme of offering 10,000 Rs to the parents every year when a girl child is born and added in her account will be a good incentive to control this horrible social problem. Central Government must regularly (every month) must show the statistics of every state in which the girl child is aborted, there by forcing the states to work on this problem. The states cannot raise the issue of federalism atleast here. India must come out of electrocracy where every policy is weighed by votebanks and rather try to become a consitutional democracy, sati was abolished eventhough we used some good dictatorship.

from:  vamsi
Posted on: Mar 19, 2012 at 20:25 IST

It is so sad these kind of incidents still happening in India.This is
the end result of our social,religious,and old customs that this baby have to die like this.The whole India is at fault.This is 21st century
this has to change.With the emergence of a superpower status,we are
going backward in every other field especially morality and human relationship.We do not respect elders. Even our religious leaders are
looking for fast money and fancy cars.Of course even in developed
countries these kind of things happens;but the difference is at least
the criminals get punished.This is high time that we should change the
laws otherwise there is big zero in the Horizon.

from:  TPaul
Posted on: Mar 19, 2012 at 19:51 IST

I have no words to comment this article. Only I would like to beg Munni and all involved beings to forgive me. I am also a part of this sanctimonious society.
Kudos to the barve Author this article.

from:  Sebastain Joseph
Posted on: Mar 19, 2012 at 19:16 IST

How can we help here?

from:  zameer
Posted on: Mar 19, 2012 at 19:09 IST

We say our constitution gives great opportunities to women. where it
stands million women like this?

from:  PRADEEP KUMAR
Posted on: Mar 19, 2012 at 18:56 IST

It is difficult to accept such a brutal treatment to a 2 year old baby. It is not only in India but
happening in western countries too.. but the only difference is the govt and the people read
remember and bring in policies and strict laws if an incident comes up. But sadly in India we
talk about this for a month .. Another example is where 100 s of school children were burnt
alive in a fire accident in year 2004 in kumbakonam..does any one remember the day or did
we take measures to tighten the policy on school premises..

Media should help the community in keeping these news alive

from:  Chandrasekhar
Posted on: Mar 19, 2012 at 18:14 IST

Baby Falak's story is a tight slap across the face of all of us who call ourselves human beings. On the day the story of her death appeared I also saw another story of Abhishek Bachchan buying an Audi for his little one. It only brought out in all its nakedness how unjust and disparate a system we have cultivated.

from:  Rajnish
Posted on: Mar 19, 2012 at 17:22 IST

Stories like this make me wonder where are all those men and women who blame westernisation, a lack of modesty and "dress codes" for the horrendous way women are treated in India. There are very few countries that can say women are treated equally in all spheres of life. But India just takes the cake in these issues. Only because we claim to be a democracy and have laws that are meant to protect us. Theocracies and underdeveloped countries may see more violence but at least they don't claim to view women as goddesses, claim to hold them in high esteem and claim provide them with equal opportunities. It's shameful to be part of this farce. Stop pointing fingers at the West when such atrocities take place in your own backyard. Don't tell me that Western women are too liberated because at least they have a choice. Something that Indian women have so little of.

from:  Jennifer
Posted on: Mar 19, 2012 at 17:01 IST

It is really horrible and disgusting to read this story.
Very sorry for the child and its mother and other involved.

Heartless people, as an indian i feel very ashamed.

from:  Wasiullah
Posted on: Mar 19, 2012 at 16:41 IST

Singular title.Why should one ask who killed baby falak? Is it because
she at least had the privilege of dying before lenses in India's most
talked about medical institute? What happens to those babies who are
disowned and thrown out only for the gratification of beast. Those
thrown outs are unwanted born to the mothers as the gratification human
beasts extract from them? If this world is beautiful it's because of
female, if this universe is ordered it's because of female, if there is
any synchronization still prevailing in the universe it's because of
femininity. Falak died before the eyes of our leaders. But Alass! those
eyes are suffering from myopia, hypermetropia and political parnoia.
They are busy adjusting GDP figures and managing allies and quashing
opponents! Please do talk about those mothers also who are mothers not
because of their femininity but because of pimps masculinity and whose
children don't have this shameful privilege of dying before media and
manager!

from:  Ajeet Tiwari
Posted on: Mar 19, 2012 at 16:35 IST

Such is the race of life in India.No one bothers what happens to others.The reality is for print only.There is no real helping hand in India.All the so called helping centers are for various bussiness purpose or social grand standing.

from:  paramjit
Posted on: Mar 19, 2012 at 16:13 IST

This article throws light on some of the critical issues that need to be
addressed for the empowerment of women and children in our nation...as
far as this human trafficking issue is concerned..all the culprits shall
BE HANGED TILL DEATH.

from:  Himanshu Mittal
Posted on: Mar 19, 2012 at 15:48 IST

This article is really shocking, I heard a lecture few days back WHEN WOLF BECOMES SHEPERD, I guess suits very aptly to the present situation of women in India. Where or whom should a women turn to if she is not safe in the presence of her own father, her siblings, her husband arent these are the protectors, guardians. Has the whole institution of marraige lost its purity in India. What is this a husband is selling his wife to flesh market. The statistics of India becoming economically strong is defied by these figures. Men are the main main culprits and sadly women are the victims. The plummeting girl to boy ratio, what a pity this is only in India that its different in all the other contries the rates are the opposite. India is by and large an unlawfull country, people brag about its culture but women dont find any place in their respected culture. I heard that due to dwindling numbers a family with 2 or more brothers are marrying only one girl she has to be a wife to all brothers...

from:  Shalima Khan
Posted on: Mar 19, 2012 at 15:48 IST

I M Rajib Chakraborty, From Sarfabad, Sector-73, NOIDA Don’t Believe Teenager Did This Crime, I Will Request All Administration Irrespective State, Politics, Color, Religion To Come Forward To Punished Wild, Brutal, Wild Animals, Antisocial, Criminals Of Our Society. Not Only Falak, Some More News Published Recently, Like3/4 Years Baby Sexually Abushed & Then Cut Them Into Pices. Administration Must Imagine About The Kind & Nature & Degree Of Brutality & Brutal People. I Will Strongly Demand Extreme, Violent & Speedy Punishments For All Those Are Accused Of Such Continuous, Serial Crime; Those Are All Source, Route of All Crimes, Brutality of Our Society. Those Are Involved In Child & Women Trafficking All Over India, As Well As All Over World.

from:  Rajib Chakraborty
Posted on: Mar 19, 2012 at 15:20 IST

And they say that we are Superpower in the making. I ask everyone what good will military and economic strength do? I ask why are we so obsessed in seeing India as Superpower? Why can't we be content with being an ordinary country where the women are without fear and the children go to school with their head held high?

from:  Anurag Kundu
Posted on: Mar 19, 2012 at 15:10 IST

I am very sad.

from:  Abha Mishra
Posted on: Mar 19, 2012 at 14:50 IST

while i was reading this article i got nervousness. this is the condition of 20th century india where at one side we claim that we are heading towards global power and at one side we are facing such type of problem. here everyone wants a girl to marry with but dont want to give birth to baby girl. how it is possible?
i dont want to blame a particular organisation like uniform personnel,government's plan regarding child development,woman empowerment,malnourishment etc. it is not only the failure of shah, manoj pandey,rajkumar but also all of us indirectly we all are involved in this.to curb such type of incident we collectly must do efforts. it totally depends on thoughts so we must be very much creative in our thoughts as it is the root of each and every incident.finally i want to say that if realy we want to be a global power then we have to synchronizing our thoughts with this new generation india.

from:  praveen chaudhary
Posted on: Mar 19, 2012 at 14:42 IST

Interesting to read the comments and note the "wailing and gnashing of teeth”. What is anything is going to be done by the people as individuals? If one does not shoulder one’s responsibilities at an individual level and rely on “others” such as NGO’s, the “Law” etc.; the situations will continue unaltered.
On a separate note there has been quite an emotive response to the Norwegian authorities taking the two children of an Indian couple into care. A lot of soppy words have been bandied about regarding the lack of “cultural awareness” of the authorities etc., about how the “poor” parents have been treated; however there has been little said of the welfare of the children concerned which has been the prime focus of the Norwegian social services in the first place. Ah if only there had been such oversight in the case of “Falak” in the first place.

from:  Kamat. R
Posted on: Mar 19, 2012 at 14:09 IST

Though the government and Corporates are trying to create the awareness among the people about women development but day by day the condition of women is getting worsen. One side in the case of Falak we have seen human trafficking on other side we have honor killing of girls…… After the independence ratio of female to male is decreasing, especially in the north states of our country……..... To eradicate such incidence we need to come together and fight against it.

from:  swapnil
Posted on: Mar 19, 2012 at 12:50 IST

This is a miserable story of just one or two girl. Really feel sad for
thousands of those who are still suffering from this black side of
Indian society.

from:  Abhishek kumar
Posted on: Mar 19, 2012 at 12:03 IST

Lord Krishna once said “That society can never grow in which women are not respected.” We have forgotten this so also need to forget the millennium development goals if this situation persists. As superbly penned by the writer, the death of baby Falak, in fact, reveals the horrible condition of child and women in our nation. Already struggling for proper nourishment at high inflation this poor section of society is being increasingly vulnerable to most heinous crimes of rape, trafficking, lack of sound social assistance. It is evident that Administration and judiciary are of no immediate real help to such victims in India. Now the onus is on us. We should strengthen our local governance with strong resolution to condemn such acts & actively protect children & women. Rather than leaving to administration panchayats, gram sabha , small communities will have to take the lead at the very root level in preventive exercise of even ill behavior with this vulnerable and much valuable class of our society.

from:  Saurabh Upadhyay
Posted on: Mar 19, 2012 at 11:44 IST

And they speak high of Indian moral system and cultural integrity. The land of vedas, shastras, upanishads. The most sacred value system in the whole world. This string of incidents and the millions more which, in all probability might not be covered as much as this one, are testimony to the hollow and degraded state of affairs of India today. I hang my head in shame because i, an indian along with millions more, with our apathy and self-gratifying attitude, has brought this plight to a toddler. Profound introspection is required from each one of us citizens as to what went wrong, how did we end up as such a violent race. We need to find out the answers soon and act. Lest we are also bitten, battered and raped to death by each other in this chaos and madness of today's world..

from:  Vamsi Krishna
Posted on: Mar 19, 2012 at 11:39 IST

No Words coming after reading this Editorial...The government’s own research reveals that one in every two children is sexually abused, and two out of three children have faced physical abuse. The women and child development ministry recognises the need for child protection and has called for both a preventive and protective approach to this, but these are yet to be implemented in full measure. India needs a child protection agency, whose paramount role is to ensure that children are kept safe and is ruthless when it comes to the interest and well-being of the child.
For example children born and living in red light areas, children born and reared on the streets, children of abusive parents, you cannot leave these children in situations where they are prone to attack and violence. They need to be brought out into relative security so that they can escape the cycle of violence and hope for a better tomorrow.
As the author suggests Lets Hope for a change after this incident.

from:  G Raghu Kiran
Posted on: Mar 19, 2012 at 11:34 IST

It is high time for the country to heed to this burning sector of our community. Human security is our right and no person can snatch it away either physically or psychologically.We citizens should stand united again against it and abolish this terror.

from:  Vinay Akula
Posted on: Mar 19, 2012 at 11:33 IST

Certainly the data given for the crimes committed and the distress
faced by women in our country is very pityful!
The atrocities & crimes against women have been rampant in India.The
changes in the social system in India are on a verge of huge dilemma.
We as Indians have not been able to develop an equitable humanitarian
system devoid of gender, caste, creed etc. At the same time we speak
and boast of equal opportunities to men & women. There is a huge
fallacy in terms of what we do & what me speak.
Crimes & atrocities are an outcome of psychological aspects of humans
beings like hatred, envy, superiority complex lust etc.
Even developed countries may face such incidents. But major difference
between them & countries like us is that they are in the process of
gradual cultural forwardness of their own , & we Indians are in huge
misconception of what culture we boast of & what we do.
Women should be respected, given equal opportunities & valued. This
had been our true heritage!

from:  Shobhit Namdeo
Posted on: Mar 19, 2012 at 11:27 IST

It was 10-14 days back when i read a book by foreigner writer that why
can't INDIA be a superpower or at least developed country by the time
!In that book ,the e-mail of that writer was provided,so i made a
strong comment against his odd writings.But after reading this one i
am damn sure that i was the bloody fool and wrong,he was
right.Unnecessarily he was victim of my ire.This article clearly
shows that in the country where lives of half population (female) and
50 % of children remains in such a pathetic state....how could such a
nation ever be a super power.....MY ANSWER IS NEVER NEVER AND OF
COURSE NEVER.

from:  safiullah ansari
Posted on: Mar 19, 2012 at 11:12 IST

lots of pain in this world and we pretend to be happy.............

from:  raveesh khare
Posted on: Mar 19, 2012 at 11:12 IST

Very good article ,touching the points like reduction in male to female
ratio, the laws which need to be amended for the protection of children.

from:  Saketh
Posted on: Mar 19, 2012 at 10:52 IST

Article raised many unresolved questions that need urgent attention. In addition to human trafficking , the Child Abuse is quite rampant at the traffic red lights, where small helpless children are used as source of income while begging. We failed to save Falak, but can strive to save every child in distress. Do the Child Helpline numbers in Capital of Nation are deaf, dump and blind to this ?

from:  Kamna Swami
Posted on: Mar 19, 2012 at 10:52 IST

India, a BROKEN democracy.

from:  Balagopal P. Menon
Posted on: Mar 19, 2012 at 10:48 IST

This article reminds us of our duties towards society,it has been long
since we have been cursing the system and blaming the politician. Its
time when the blessed (like us)one should start making contribution to
the society rather than discussing.Its time for be the change you want
to see. The story of the baby is so utterly disgraceful that merely
reading makes you feel so hideous I wonder what those unfortunate
people going through this must be feeling.I hope one day we can
contribute enough to stop such happenings and to help the unfortunate.
I really appreciate the write for writing such a wonderful eye opener.

from:  Jeh
Posted on: Mar 19, 2012 at 10:45 IST

A very informative article on the desperate plight of women of this diverse country. The question that we should ask is "Does our responsibility stop at writing this article?". The efforts, against this evil, should be taken by each true citizen of this country at the grass roots level and ensure that we try and eradicate this social evil. It's high time that individuals, NGOs come forward and take up this issue and help build a better society for women

from:  Renjit Mathew
Posted on: Mar 19, 2012 at 10:24 IST

very well observed!!..indeed WE are responsible for such kind of Uncanny act!!...I have observed that majority of brothels are located around or near to the police stations and operating quite openly.So who should these women go to for help????

from:  Aniket Munshi
Posted on: Mar 19, 2012 at 10:06 IST

This is a herioc article which has split wide opened our disgraced social and political system.
We have seperate cells for women related crimes however none seems to come in the face of adversity. There is no vigilance for these kind of beleagured women cells.
I am gonna address the same question which has been hovering around for years without an answer................" Why dont we increase the rape punishment same as life imprisonment or even death pentaltity???"

from:  Karan singh
Posted on: Mar 19, 2012 at 10:00 IST

I dont see India growing or progressing at all. Where we are today after more than 60 years of independence. Female to male ration declinging evwery year, crime against female rising every year, rap and violence against female becoming very coomon....Are we really developing? I am deeply hurt....because I am a father of baby girl...

from:  Juned
Posted on: Mar 19, 2012 at 09:37 IST

How can the people with "Goodwill" help?

from:  RK
Posted on: Mar 19, 2012 at 09:34 IST

It is sad that we claim that the position of women has improved in our country when some girls and women are going through such a beastly life. In our male dominated society where women are considered as weak, who shall protect them? Stringent regulations have to be followed and this has to trickle down to the root where this injustice is most felt.
My sympathies with all those girls who are pushed into a hell like this. I hope we do something about it soon.

from:  Pallavi
Posted on: Mar 19, 2012 at 09:33 IST

An eye opening article. Just because we are blessed with a good life, doesnt mean we
should turn away from such happenings!

from:  Gayatri
Posted on: Mar 19, 2012 at 06:30 IST

Baby Falak's harrowing saga has been so heart-rendering. We have followed her progress since January and tears do not stop after her sudden death. She is an epitome of what is wrong with our society. No social safety net for the vulnerable esp female child; we as a society expect the govt to do everything - politicians are a bunch of powerful, corrupt, self-serving, not-accountable group; this is again a reflection of society. We the citizens now have to drive the next change in our society; hold our govt accountable; citizen involvement is what will save this country from going to the dogs.

from:  Sajid
Posted on: Mar 19, 2012 at 03:23 IST

As an Indian I feel terribly ashamed.

from:  muralidharan
Posted on: Mar 19, 2012 at 00:37 IST
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