Dr. Ganesh Rakh at one time dreamed of being a wrestler, however his life has now led him to medicine, as he delivers baby girls for free to fight back against India’s growing preference for male babies.
“As a medical professional I have seen the torture that a mother undergoes when she comes to know that she has delivered a girl,” Dr. Bakh stated, “because regressive social norms are not only anti-women but are even anti-girl child.”
The country of India has long favored men, however the preference for only having sons has grown rapidly, leading to an estimated 12.7 million sex-selective abortions between 2000 and 2014. This preference is especially found throughout the country’s middle class, which allow 800 girls to be born for every 1,000 males.
The connection between higher gendercide rates among the wealthier citizens is because these individuals can afford sonograms during the pregnancy to determine the sex of the baby. Parents prefer men because women require a dowry to be married, and culturally, men are responsible for taking care of parents in their elder years.
Dr. Rakh believes that the pressure to have a boy does not escape pregnant woman, saying, “It’s not just me who has witnessed how relatives thronging the hospital on D[elivery]-Day hug each other when a boy is born and disappear when a girl is born. Even other doctors see it every day in maternity wards of hospitals. The tension on the pregnant woman for nine months is so severe and acute that you can actually see it in the fluctuations of her hemoglobin and blood pressure.”
In 2012, Dr. Rakh took action and decided to begin delivering baby girls for free. The doctor, who has one daughter, is now responsible for bringing 432 girls into the world through the hospital that he created.
Thanks to Dr. Rakh, over 3,000 of his classmates and colleagues have also begun to deliver girls for free, and some have even refused to do gender testing on pregnant women in the hopes to turn this prejudice around.