'Unwanted' Indian Girls Fight Discrimination

Almost 300 girls named Nakusa, literally meaning “unwanted” in Hindi, have picked new names for themselves in a ceremonial effort in Maharashtra state to try to overcome a gender bias that plagues the country. “Now in school, my classmates and friends will be calling me this new name, and that makes me very happy,” said a young girl who renamed herself Ashmita, or “very tough.” Others drew inspiration from Bollywood stars or Hindu goddesses. The ratio of girls to boys in India dropped sharply this year, as parents favor boys because the financial strain of providing a wedding and a dowry sends many families into debt. Hospitals are no longer allowed to disclose the sex of an unborn child, but AP reports that this is not always enforced.