Desire for a male child leads a woman to give birth to 14 daughters in western India

A woman gives birth to 14 girls in order to fulfill the family’s desire for a male child in a remote village in western India.

DAHOD, GUJARAT, INDIA (JULY 03, 2015) (ANI) – A woman has given birth to 14 girls so far in order to fulfill the family’s desire for a male child in a remote village in Dahod in India’s western Gujarat state.

It was after giving birth to 14 daughters that Kanuben Sangod and her husband Ram Singh Sangod were finally ‘blessed’ with a son.

Both Kanuben and Ram are small time farmers and the family lives hand to mouth. Their daughters help them in the fields.

Of the 14 daughters born to the couple, two died while another two were married off at a young age.

Giving birth to a son doesn’t seem to have satiated the couple’s desire for a male child. Kanuben is pregnant once again and the couple hopes it is a boy also this time.

“I got married at a very young age and in the desire for a male child 14 girls were born and eventually I gave birth to a boy. Now I am expecting again and we will feel good if a boy is born,” said Kanuben on Friday (June 03), who could not tell her age.

The couple has plans for another son as it fears if something happens to their only son, who is one-and-a-half-year-old, their efforts will go in vain.

With such a big family, Ram admits that it is hard to remember the names of all his children.

“I have 14 children,” he said adding : “I keep forgetting their names. It is hard to remember so many names.”

People in remote villages still see girls as liability, because of the prevalence of dowry, which has been declared illegal.

Sons, on the other hand, can inherit property, continue the family line, and play a vital role in important Hindu rituals.

President of Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Parishad (All India Tribal Council), Somjibhai Damor, explains that though girls are not shunned in tribal societies but having a son is considered essential to carry forward the family lineage.

“In our tribal society it is believed that there should be at least one son as he takes the name of the family forward. In our society birth of girls is not an issue, we welcome them as goddesses into our families,” said Damor.

India’s child sex ratio dropped from 964 in 1971 to a low of 918 in 2011, according to U.N. data. Between 2001 and 2011, the decline was seen in more than two-thirds of the districts in the nation.

A 2011 study published in the British medical journal the Lancet found that as many as 12 million Indian girls may have been selectively aborted between 1980 and 2010.