Female Foeticide is a burning issue in today's India. Ultrasonography technique is used for Antenatal sex determination, and if female, the foetus is aborted; 50 million girls have gone 'missing' from Indian population, leading to gender imbalance...


Where have all the missing girls gone?
Gone! 'Gone, to the grave yard'!
Where have all the missing girls gone?
Gone! 'Gone, to the grave yard'!

She missed the bus
While being born:
They pulled her back,
Wrung her neck,
Threw her into the

Where have all the missing girls gone?
Gone! Gone, to the trashcan!

As an infant, she missed the bus:
Her brother got all the milk,
Her brother got all the rice,
She, only the watery starchy broth!

She missed the bus to the school,
Her brother got on...
She had no shoes,
She had no clothes,
She had no books,
How could she then get on?

But she had flour,
Vegetables, rice and spice,
She cooked the food.
She missed the bus,
When she sat down to eat:
Her father and brother ate up all!
The crumbs were all she got...

But she had a broom,
A mop, a wiper:
She swept and wiped the floor,
Cleaned off, her own blood,
Whatever was left
Her tears washed-up.

She missed the bus to college too
She was married,
Already with a child or two.

But she got on the bus
To the graveyard!
She went up in flames in Shamshan Ghat...

Where have all the missing girls gone?
Gone! Gone, to the graveyard!
Gone! Gone, to Shamshan Ghat!

She got the bus to market too:
She was sold for a thousand or two!
Again and again...
She got on the bus to Hell too!
Again and again...
Oh, yes! Here she got on
For sure!!!

Where have all the missing girls gone?
Gone! Gone, gone to 'Hell Gate'!

For ages they wondered:
What to do?
How to get rid of
This unwanted baggage
Of doom!
They used the pillow on her face,
To stifle the scream,
Lest it was heard!
The very first scream of the birth-
She could not even get to cry,
Suppressed was the very first out cry!
Women whispered in corridors,
Midwife could not sleep after daily chores:
Their souls were black
As the night,
Which kept them awake-
Conscience pricking
Eyelids and eyes-
All night!

Then one day technology came:
What a boon!
Shot to fame!
Now we can 'do the job'
Without a clue;
Who can say,
'She' ever was?
She never was!

Oh! So easy:
Just a scan,
And then, the forceps and
'Zond', and whirring of
Suction pumps...
'Dilatation' & 'Curettage'-
Hear a bit of crunch!
The 'job' is done!!
In a minute or two...
No evidence left behind
Oh! What a find!
(This USG is just divine!!)
All is thrown into the dustbin,
Who can say?
There ever was
A Girl Missing!

Where have all the missing girls gone?
Gone! Gone, to the dustbins!
Where have all the missing girls gone?
Gone! Gone, gone...

'Missing girl', who never was!
No funeral-pyre,
No Shamshan Ghat!
No evidence, no clue:
The crime is missing!
And so is the girl!
The girl is missing
And so is the evil!
The black-soul can go on...

Where have all the missing girls gone?
Gone! Gone, to the grave yard!
Where have all the missing girls gone?
Gone! Gone, gone...

Now, the men are hard pressed too:
How to get a wife or two?
No problem!
Go to the market place,
Get a wifey, get a slave!
She will wash and clean up too
Cannot blame you, whatever you do.
A machine for bearing children too...
A baby every year or two:
(If it is boy, well and good!
If a girl-you know, what to do?)
You keep your land and inheritance too
Just like a slave in olden times...
Just like the slaves, right on now...

Where have all the missing girls gone?
Gone! Gone, gone, gone...

Where have all the missing girls gone?
Gone! Gone, gone, without a trace...
Wiped off from the face of Human race...
Is her value really at stake?
History is witness to her plight!
And so are you!
And so am I!

Author: Zoya Zaidi
Aligarh (UP), India
Copyright : Zoya Zaidi

Photo: 'Innocence' by and : Zoya Zaidi

Missing Girls- the concept of "Missing Girls" was coined in India to depict the 'gap' between the number of girls 'expected to be born' per one thousand boys, and the number 'actually born'!
According to a recent report from the UNICEF up to are 50 million girls and women are missing from India's population as a result of systemic gender discrimination.
In most countries in the world there are around 105 female births for 100 males. In India according to a study of 2001, the number is at a shocking 972 to 1000 boys born. In the state of Punjab, it is the lowest: 793 to 1000 boys.
Every year there are 50,000 girls aborted (1 in 25) according to the first ever systematic study carried out by Indo-Canadian team; There is a progressive decline in deficit in women's sex ratio from 4 million in 1901 to 30 million in 1991.
USG- Ultrasonography: Sex determination is done by Ultrasonography in the fourth month of pregnancy, and if the sex of the foetus is determined to be that of a female, an abortion is quietly carried out.
Prenatal diagnostic techniques (Regulation and prevention of misuse) Act, 28 Sept 1994, bans sex determination tests by Ultra sound technique all over the country.
Women are being 'sold' by their own poor parents to land owners in Rajisthan and UP from poorer States of Bihar, West Bengal and Bangladesh; to Arab Sheiks, from Hydarabad (AP).
Shamshan Ghat: Cremation grounds.

Poetry by Zoya Zaidi
Read 1211 times
Written on 2007-03-08 at 20:05

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I am speechless, I really am. I have heard about this before but your poem... WOW... Its so great that you are bringing this problem to peoples attention, it seems there are many rpoblems like this and people it seems are just don't want to bring up the "Taboo" issues. People have to talk about these things and educate people about it, help them understand whats going on, not all people really know much about things like this, it seems they are in their own little happy filled worlds, and have no sence of reality. Thank you so much for this eye openning poem, you did a wonderful job getting your point across!
BOOK MARKED... how could it not be!

Mark J. Wood
I live in an area which has a high Indian and Pakistani population and the hospitals had to stop giving scans to people with this ethnic background; they would get the "female" result and immediately ask for an abortion. My wife is a nurse and used to visit many Asian families. She had to give advice about malnutrition amongst their daughters; the sons were well fed but the girls would be given no breakfast, would have cornflakes for lunch and bread and jam for dinner.

Things are changing but there are still many who adhere to the old ways: even those who live in the U.K. and, supposedly, do not have the "remote village" mentality keep the practices going. The men do it because it suits them, the women because they were brought up not knowing any better, and not having the health to do much more than breathe and breed.

I won't comment on the poem itself; it says it all on its own.

im about in tears! this is so sad!!! what is happening to this world?! so abusive in so many ways! you did a wonderful job on this! with puttin the words together! hopefully everything turns out for the better!

It sounds outrageous but I know it's true!
The worst part is--its not stopping!
Ppl say it was only practiced in the old days, but female infanticide is common even today and the surveys say it happens mostly in educated urban families! what a shame!!
'systemic gender discrimination' its called--purely satanic it is!!
No one has the right to 'discriminate' this way!
'History is witness to her plight!
And so are you!
And so am I!'
But what are we to do?

Amanda K
Dear Zoya,
that even happened in the Arabian Peninsula prior to Islam,where many ignorant & illetrate Arabs burried girls alive but after Prophet Muhammad he announced it as forbidden through Koran and the father who kills his infant will come in front of God in the herafter and his girl will wonder" What guilt you found upon me to kill my soul" and he will be punished badly. Luckily, in many Arabian areas todaysuch practices are no longer exist but in some areas of the world they do . i am sorry for the beautiful girls of India, for the lips that didn find a time for smiling, for the eyes who witnessed earth cruelty before walking for a mile. it's a crime that should be taken seriously. God created women for a reason,not to be killed, she does complete the world and having her in the family is an honour.thanks a million for sharing their pain though this sensitive and marvellous work.

regards, Amanda

liz munro The PoetBay support member heart!
No words can express
how sad I feel at this....


Zoya Zaidi
Dear Kath, I have written and posted an article on "Female Foeticide in India", check the following URL if you like:


It tackles the issue in detail!
Let me know your opinion on it.
Love, Zoya

Karen Canning
this story/poem shocked me to the core, you wrote it from your soul and that counts, one day all may be right and this stopped
thank you for sharing


Esti D-G The PoetBay support member heart!
Wow Zoya!

Written straight from your brilliant mind! Enjoyed the passion and urgency in every line.
Bravo! luv esti xxx

and some just say they are....!

lastromantichero The PoetBay support member heart!
This is an horrendous story Zoya and one of thiose you were correct to bring to the fo well done rgds Mike

This poem and text should be posted in a Newspaper, it speaks so directly to the point and touches the heart in a way that is clear and yet so beautifuly spoken .. It becomes a reverence and a statement for these gilrs that have suffered such agaony and for the ones that never where ...

HUGS & LOVE to you Zoya

Great souls are missing.
The stock prices are jumping high
Dont worry my friend
India is rising.

Kathy Lockhart The PoetBay support member heart!
Oh Zoya this has truly brought tears to my eyes. What a horrific practice. Why? why does this happen? Oh God! Please use your power to stop this. How can we help? What can I do? I am sickened by this practice and realize that this goes on in more than one culture, land, country in this mixed-up world.
Thank you for writing this poignant piece that brings to the forefront our world's abomination.

this is very sad indeed, to know that life is looked at so. and we call ourselves a civilised world, we are for sure far from being civilised, the proof is in the actions that flow around the world today.

I think it's good that you lift this problem up to the surface.... it is a big issue and I think it's a tragedy that girls seems to have less value because of their gender.... would hope the world would wake up and see the fact... without females left..humanity dies. It takes a woman to give new life to the world. My heart is crying after reading your text....
I knew, of course I knew.... but didn't know the number of abortions where that large!

betsy Firefly
I agee with A.- altho' I have many favoriyes among your writings and beautiful calligraphy!

This is heartwrenching writing and MUST come out! Thanks for your courage and compassion, Zoya.

Dear Zoya, this is one of your very best texts! Thank you for posting it just today. I hope many will read it.