N░3 : Slide Show by Ruhani Kaur
35 million* Indian females are missing today. Some were killed in the womb, some as infants, while others succumbed in their desperate bid to have a male child. As the pendulum swings alarmingly towards a lopsided sex ratio, women find themselves being tugged from both ends.
On the one hand, they find themselves pressured to aggravate the female shortage by acting as fertility machines for male heirs. However, as the number of 'bare sticks' or bachelors grows, they are also made to fill the deficit by being trafficked for marriage or even shared among brothers. As the situation gets more and more precarious, cracks in the walls of the family unit are beginning to show.
This photo-essay is a compilation of the work of photojournalist Ruhani Kaur as a National Foundation for India Fellow of 2005.
*Source: Political Economy of Missing Girls in India- Dr Vibhuti Patel, Centre for Women's Studies