Swatee Kher in Indian Express. Here
Maharashtra will embark on a unique renaming exercise this week. Shocked that 222 girls in Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan’s home district of Satara were named ‘Nakushi’ — meaning unwanted in Marathi — district officials have organised a public renaming ceremony for them on October 21.
The aim is to re-inforce that the girl child is wanted in a state that has one of the worst child sex ratios in the country. Satara, a well-off district, has an even lower child sex ratio than the state’s average of 881.
The practice of naming the girls Nakushi was discovered last year when district health officer Dr Bhagwan Pawar noticed a name-board on a house. He found out that it was not unusual for parents to name their daughters Nakushi.
“So strong is the desire for a male child that these girls are called Nakushi, without any proper naming ceremony,” said Pawar.
This year, health officials launched a drive to identify the girls — and found 11 Nakushis in Satara taluka, five in Javli, 92 in Patan, 12 in Mahabaleshwar, 11 in Khandala, 53 in Maan, 11 each in Phaltan and Khatav and 16 in Chavan’s hometown Karad.