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Word Count: 491
40-50 million girls have gone missing in India in 1990 They are termed as missing as they were either murdered at the time of their birth or within few hours of birth In fact the very women who assist in the birth of a child are the ones who are paid to finish off unwanted female babies On payment of a fee that can range between Rs 60-150 these dais kill the female babies the moment they are bornThe methods adopted to kill newborns are many In south Indian states like Tamil Nadu children are either fed the milk of poisonous plants or covered with a wet towel so that they die later of complications from coldIn Bihar holding the baby from the waist and shaking it back and forth snaps the spinal chord Sometimes a child is stuffed in a clay pot Babies are also fed with salt to increase their blood pressure death follows in a few minutes Grains of paddy husk are also fed to slit the tender gullet 35 dais accepted having killed three to four babies a month making the total number of female babies who are killed approximately 560 per month Ten dais in the Sitamarhi districts claim to have killed 1-2 babies a month In this state alone there are approximately five lakhs dais and the number of female babies killed can just be imagined Female infanticide is leading to a serious imbalance in the sex ration in the country According to the 1991 statistics for out of every 1000 males there are only 929 girls and by 2001 there will be only 920 women for 1000 males In stark contrast countries like Western Europe and US the sex ratio is 1064 and 1054 respectively where the sex ratio is for every 1000 boys there are only 800 girls Even the neighboring state of Haryana is not far behind where are 4 districts that have highly disproportionate sex
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