Man fines wife for giving birth to baby girl
India, like our Middle Easter region, can still be unwelcoming of baby girls. The problem in the Middle East pales in comparison to the Sub-Continent.
A man in Bihar Tuesday imposed a fine of Rs25,000 (Dh1,864) on his wife for giving birth to a female child, forcing the local administration to intervene.
Ironically, Nargis, a girl born on Monday in a village in the neighbouring state of Uttar Pradesh, was welcomed as the world's seven billionth baby.
Authorities said they had to personally intervene into the matter after Mohammad Manzoor, a resident from Muslim-dominated Purnea district in Bihar, drove out his 30-year-old wife Shahnaz from his house saying she would be allowed back in the house only when she pays the penalty amount.
According to officials in the area, Manzoor even declared the fine would be doubled if she gave birth to another baby girl while categorically stating, "Girls don't matter and this addition is a load."
Left with no option, the woman lodged a complaint with the local district administration seeking immediate help.
"I commanded much respect from my in-laws earlier but soon after the birth of my daughter, their attitude [towards me] changed radically," she said in her petition.
"If giving birth to a baby girl is a punishable offence, then by the same standard, I should have been rewarded for producing two sons earlier," she said.
Finding the case quite sensitive in nature, the administration hurriedly transferred the case to the Family Disputes Redressal Cell which served notice on the husband and was finally able to sort out the family dispute after much effort.
"We really had a very tough time convincing the man but the good thing was that we were able to save the family from getting disintegrated," said Dilip Kumar Deepak and Swati Vaishnatri, members of the cell who counselled the man.
Convinced by their counselling, both agreed to live together while Shahnaz decided to withdraw the case against her husband.