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Entry Title: "The Unwelcome"
Name:
Archana Vikram
, India
Category and Expertise: Photo Essay, Still Life, Professional


Entry Description: The Unwelcome’ is an attempt to bring to light the untold horrors of female infanticide practiced in some parts of India.

A strong preference for a male child is embedded in the cultural fabric of India. A boy is considered an asset, a girl merely a liability. Over 10 million girls are estimated to have gone missing over 20 years. An estimated 2000 female foetuses are eliminated on a daily basis.

Many girls grow up being denied basic education, healthcare & nourishment. Some just don't make it that far.

Unborn & new-born girls are often eliminated within hours/ days of birth in various parts of India. Prayers and efforts for the next born to be the much coveted & awaited boy commence without a pause.
This gender bias cuts across economic sections of Indian society. What differs is merely the manner of disposal. Self-preservation however is clearly a priority as family & caregivers adopt gruesome, prolonged methods to kill the infant girl to escape scrutiny & detection.

Each image represents the unimaginable ways the multitudes of beautiful but frail lives are cut short. The images act as a window to the savagery that exists and the cover of indifference it has thrived beneath.