6 days old and in high fever....little girls in our country have to fight from the first breath on.
This little baby and her mother stay in their 1 room house which also stores just about 50 bags of fertilizer. The room has no fan, but thousands of flies. This is the village of Sonurli and the baby girl is made to wear no clothes and a wet cloth is wrapped around her head by the mother with the belief that this would bring the fever down. There is no doctor in this village, and the nearest sub-center, which is in another village, stays locked 24 X 7.
At 11 days, this little miracle of nature is being treated not like a blessing but a curse, as she is not the gender the family wanted her to be.
The grandmother can't stop sulking and telling everyone who comes to the house (including me) how unlucky this time has been for them.
The situation in some of these villages is such that people are not ready to let the deliveries happen at hospitals for fear that a woman who delivers in a hospital would bear a girl.
Kolams, a unique people, both in terms of their language and culture as well as their beliefs and practices, have extremely rigid systems of handling both the mother and the child.
Manisha, a 4 month old baby girl, is seen here, happy after her 3rd bath of the day, and relieved after finally being fed after some rituals were completed by her mother.