Unwanted babies, major headache for Mizoram

Aizawl: Mizoram may hold its head high as having the best male-female ratio according to Census 2011, but the increasing cases of "unwanted" babies in the state worry child rights activists.

An abandoned eight-month-old baby girl was found on a road in Ramhlun locality here on the night of October 9, while a foetus suspected to be an aborted baby was found the next day near a place of worship in Kulikawn locality. Another body of a newly-born was found near a road in Mizoram-Manipur border Pawlrang hamlet on October 22.

A social worker says that the recent spurt in `infanticide` and `foeticide` in the state may be due to increase in the population of ethnic Mizos from Myanmar and Manipur. Ruatfela Nu, a child right activist and member of the state Child Welfare Committee (CWC) says that abortion among the unmarried women is prevalent. She also says that many commercial sex workers who were drug addicts or alcoholics were not serious about raising children.

Dr C Lalhrekima, a prominent psychiatrist, also says that infanticide and foeticide are a social problem in Mizoram. "There are some women, carrying unwanted babies, who came for counselling and later they agree to raise babies," Lalhrekima says.

The CWC has taken up 1,100 cases of children in need of protection and care since 2005 and a majority of the cases were for admission in orphanages and children homes. With the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and Indian laws on protection of child rights advocating raising of children in normal families, social workers and law enforcement officials want to avoid admission of orphans and abandoned children in orphanages and homes.

"We want abandoned children and orphans to live normal family lives," Ruatfela Nu says. "The men who impregnate the girls refuse to marry them and do not want to raise babies," Ruatfela Nu says which leads to abortion.