13-Year-Old Jain Girl Dies After Fasting For 68
Days, Her Death Is CelebratedAt least 600 people attended Aradhana's funeral hailing her as a 'bal tapasvi'.Source:
The death of a 13-year-old girl after 68 days of fasting should have been a tragedy, but instead it was cause for celebration in the Jain community in Hyderabad, with the deceased being hailed as "bal tapasvi."
According to local reports, Aradhana, a student of class VIII, was made to give up school and sit on fast, a jain ritual during the holy period of "chaumasa." She suffered a cardiac arrest two days after she broke her fast, and died last week.
NDTV reported that at least 600 people attended Aradhana's funeral hailing her as a 'bal tapasvi'. The funeral procession was called a 'shobha yatra' - a mark of celebration.
NDTV further reported that Telangana minister from Secunderabad area, Padma Rao Goud, was the chief guest at grand event for 'Paarana', which is the completion of fast, and Zaheerabad lawmaker BB Patil is also seen in the photos of the event.
Santhara, the Jain ritual of fasting onto death, is generally observed by the elderly who are seeking renunciation, or those who are seriously ill. Lata Jain, a member of the community, who objected to a minor taking on this fast, told NDTV, "This is suicide if not murder."
Activists are calling for a police to register a case against the Aradhana's family.
The Times of India reported that Aradhana's father, Laxmichand Sansadiya, had suffered a huge loss in his jewellery business, and she was made to fast in order to bring good luck to her family.
"We did not hide anything. Everyone knew Aradhana was fasting. They came and took selfies with her. Now some people are pointing fingers at us for allowing her to fast for 68 days," Aradhana's grandfather, Manekchand Samdhariya told NDTV.
"How will we spread the seriousness of female feticide to the 7 crore people of Rajasthan?" 4 groups of 15 people from varied walks of life brainstormed their ideas today at Tapri Tea Lounge in Jaipur. Gendered Arrangements partnered with Taramani Advertising Agency. A lot of great out-of-the-box ideas were generated by the four groups.
"Are we ready for Adam Teasing, when there would be no girls?"
"What would happen to our nursery classes where at least in India the teachers are inadvertently females?"
"Fewer girls would mean more child marriages."
"A museum of girls" was also proposed.
A white paper of today's findings will be submitted to the government so that future policies can benefit form these suggestions.
Retired director of Women's Commission, Mrs. Lad Kumari Jain, Prof. of English Dr. Sarojini Hoon, Senior Editor of Rajasthan Patrika newspaper, Ms. Shipra Mathur, Prof. Priyanka Sharma, students, Vaibhav, Sakshi, Shruti, Mrs Neelam, Chitra, a performance artist, Dr. Aditi Khandelwal, Shweta Chopra, and Prof. Ranjan attended the session.
P E R S P E C T I V E on female feticide
I believe that a change in perspective has the potential to save the vanishing girls of India.
So far the schemes launched by the central and state governments in India to stop female feticide have focused more or less on financial incentives and/or education. I have been reading a lot of the analysis of these schemes, why they failed, why the child sex ratio has dropped in the states where maximum resources were poured in?
I believe that a change in perspective has the potential to save the vanishing girls of India. The two stakeholders that these schemes have been targeting are primarily
Broadly two types of measures have been adopted:
For example, the government of Rajasthan increased the prize money for whistle-blowers to Rs. 2 lacs from 1 lac. in March 2015.
My proposal is that instead of punishing, why don't we reward.. Reward the medical fraternity to change the perspective, It is no surprise that the medical lobby is powerful. Reward those that are doing the right thing by not disclosing the sex of a fetus. Reward the society by keeping things transparent. Link the registered clinics with a central government server. Collect daily data, analyze it over a period of time. Reward by encouraging good practices.
There's nothing to lose. A change in perspective is worth trying when we are talking about saving girls that are killed at an enormous rate:
2 girls every 5 minutes.