The unwanted girl child….Nakoshi (नकोशी)

I was working as a medical officer at a remote village, Pasali in taluka Velhe, at a primary health centre in the late eighties or from 1987 to be precise. It was a remote village in Pune district, Maharashtra, India, nestled at the back of the famous Torna fort. We lacked in staff, hence many a time I myself would have to issue case papers as there was no clerk. It was then that I came across names of people which I had never heard before. Fasabai, Nakoshi….They were names that sounded unusual, especially the name Nakoshi. It sounded like an east european name. I was surprised such a name was there in this remote place little knowing what it actually meant.

Indian mentality was and still is to a certain extent biased against the girl child. The birth of a girl child is unwelcome especially if it is a second or third girl child. The girl child is looked upon as a disadvantage, a future financial crisis in terms of marriage and dowry . Hence they are usually discriminated lot. Right from child hood they are discriminated oppressed denied good education, at times forced into child labour,begging etc. Once married the thinking is they shall be of no help to the parents in terms of money or work, hence parents think the girl is not an asset but a liability.

Fasabai…..Was the name usually given if it was the third girl child in a row. In marathi it meant being fooled. The expectation was a boy child but this girl came out into this world , that means expectations belied, she fooled us , we were expecting a boy, hence she is named Fasabai…..(फासाबाई) the one who fooled us. What is this but not discrimination. How can we name a beautiful girl child so.? Who gave us the right to name someone so. The girl will grow up with this name, discriminated, shamed perpetually. What was her fault, it was gods will that she be born. The Indian mentality has definitely changed for the better today but not yet completely.

Nakoshi….The name which in fact at first look I liked, it sounded so european to me. I never tried to find out what it meant. As a couple of years of my service here passed by and at a general get together with the villagers and politicians I happened to state that it is great that the villagers had such a nice name for children. The sarpanch’s answer and explanation shocked me. How could I have not deciphered the meaning of this name in my two years of service?? The good sounding name to me was in fact an insult to mankind, a shame to society. Nakoshi (नकोशी) …….means unwanted…in marathi. This is the name that parents gave to the fourth female child born in a row to them. A fourth girl child is unwanted to them, they wanted a son, a boy. So they directly reject the girl child by naming her Nakoshi. This is an injustice to gods creation, the girl child. Unwanted……How can parents even take such a decision, how can we name her as the unwanted one.

This is a reflection of our bias towards the girl child which later resulted into sex determination tests followed by medical termination of pregnancy if it is a girl fetus. This slowly led to a skewed sex ratio all over India. This forced the government to ban sex determination. The sad thing is the government had to intervene. We the citizens have to change our mind sets, we have to accept and celebrate the birth of a child , girl or boy with equal amount of joy and happiness without discrimination, only then will the Fasabais and Nakoshis get justice.

The silver lining was the movement in Satara district where over 200 girls with the Nakoshi were renamed at a function. Kudos to those social groups and organisation that have managed this change in the names of these girl. May common sense prevail over us and let no other new born girl child ever be named as NAKOSHI.

Published by Dr. K Anil Roy

Medical doctor, partly atheist but believes there is a god, anti establishment, renegade, proud to be an Indian, an awakened one,!! Tolerant to criticism

26 thoughts on “The unwanted girl child….Nakoshi (नकोशी)

    1. Really Sad, when Girls prove they are much stronger and better in everything. This made me remember our ekders used to say, educate a girl child she will educate the complete family.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. It’s quite unfortunate that the birth of a child is celebrated upon seeing the gender… which tradition needs to be done away with.

    Reforms in education and reaching out till the most underprivileged is the only way to counter such ill practices.

    A nice write-up. Kudos Dr. 👍

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Imbalances in the civil society will reduce if we speak up at each noticeable instance of such a discrimination… What one notices depends on level of awareness.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. These are but the mere tips of the expression of a iceberg of a consciousness of a male chauvinistic society. We need a humane culture rather than only advanced one.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s a reality and sad part of Indian mentality to consider girl child as curse.
    Earlier in olden days; at least they were put to birth, but now with advance medical tests many get aborted & die in the womb.
    Sad but true…

    Liked by 1 person

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