The shrill cry of the new born girl was a moment of celebration for the entire community.
Everyone rejoiced this moment, except the mother.
The mother lay still knowing very well what lay ahead for this little bundle sleeping next to her. Mother named her Ujwala.
She had bright eyes and a gentle face. Ujwala was born in the matriarchal, tribal community of the Bacharas in Madhya Pradesh. It is a little unknown part of India. Here when homes are constructed, they ensure a separate room so that each girl born in the community earns a living for the family, via prostitution.
In this community, the brothers and the fathers negotiate the price as soon as the girl turns 10. Between 10 to 14 years of age, she is trained to become the earning member of the family.
Ujwala right now is clueless and does not know her future. Her mother looks ahead into the light entering her room. The sun rays leave a soft shine on her child’s face. As she struggles to stop her tears, she can hear the alcohol being consumed outside in celebration for a girl child born in the family.
The television set is being adjusted by her husband. She can hear the government plan of “Beti Bachao”!
She turns her head away from the little gurgling bundle next to her. She knows that no plan can easily be implemented in villages and districts in India that remain nondescript to the larger cities and towns.