JAIPUR: A mother of five daughters in Rajasthan's Barmer district committed suicide with her five children by jumping into a well allegedly upset over not having a son.
The incident, which took place on Wednesday evening at the Bawadi Kala village of Chauhtan police station, is seen as a setback for PM Modi's Beti Bachao Beti Padhao campaign in the state.
According to the police, Ranaram Jat is a third-grade teacher in a nearby government school. Twenty years ago, he married Vanu Devi (38). Both of them had five daughters - Santosh (13), Mamta (11), Mena (9), Hansa (6) and Hemlata (3). They did not have a son and because of that Vanu was often worried. When Ranaram had gone to duty on Wednesday, Vanu first pushed her five daughters into the well and then jumped herself.
The police after being informed reached the spot and pulled the bodies out.
Barmer SP Rashi Dogra Dudi shocked over the incident said:"I am also a mother. I was stunned, how would a mother who has raised her kids kill them ? Such incidents are very worrisome, we have to stop them."
The five girls were very good in studies. The eldest daughter, 13-year-old Santosh, was studying in Mother Teresa school. She was the topper of the school in Class 8 securing 98 per cent marks
11-year-old Mamta was in 8th grade, 9-year-old Mena was in 6th and 6-year-old Hansa studied in third grade.
"Ranaram's daughters were in my school. All of them were very talented. In the holidays, Ranaram came to school and deposited their fees. The session began on 24th June, but the four daughters were not coming to school for two days," said Mother Teresa School Manager Togaram Chowdhury.
Social experts say even after 7 decades of Independence, the country is still suffering from the problem of killing of girl children especially in the Hindi belt. The girls are not considered at par with boys. The married women are pressurised to produce sons and out of despair, they resort to such extreme steps.
"I would like to appeal that suicide is not a solution. Share trouble with friends, the solution will definitely come. If the people of the house do not listen then share it with the neighbours and others. In such cases, awareness campaigns are necessary ", SP Rashi Dogra said.
Meanwhile, sociologist Rajiv Gupta has called the incident a murder and not a suicide and has listed reasons for it. "I would call it murder not suicide. There are three reasons behind this, one being the narrow-minded mentality that men are supreme, second no awareness campaigns in the northern Hindi speaking belt of India and thirdly Government being unable to implement the Constitutional right to equality strictly. We should become more serious on this issue now", Gupta said.