Growing up in India, I was aware of the issue of female foeticide and infanticide. However, it was only when my husband and I
started looking into adopting a baby girl from India, that we realized the scope of the problem. We were surprised to learn that there
were very few female infants available for adoption. When we dug deeper, we found statistics that seemed to explain these missing baby
girls - one out of every six girls does not live to see her 15th birthday, one-third of these deaths take placeat birth every sixth girl child's
death is due to gender discrimination. Patriarchal norms, low status of women and preference for male children are the some of the
reasons that threaten the survival of female children in India. In the last census in 2001, the ratio of males to females was 1000 to 927.
About 10 million girls have been eliminated by sex-selective abortions and infanticide in the last 20 years.
The Director of one of the orphanages in South India shared with us how the lake in that area was used to drown baby girls and the
orphanage was established with the hope of providing an alternative to parents who didn't want their girl children. But not every family
that wants to get rid of their girl child lives in the vicinity of an orphanage and very often parents would rather kill their child than give
them up for adoption.”
- Nyna Pais Caputi, Producer/Director
Petals in the Dust: India’s Missing Girls is aimed at creating awareness and
spurring action in the Indian and the International communities by telling the
story of the ongoing bias and violence against women through female foeticide
The film will explore the reasons behind the origins of this gender bias, why
it is still so prevelant and its consequences. The film will also document the
experiences of women up and down the economic scale who have been
direct and indirect victims of this bias. Finally, Petals In The Dust will profile
some of the activists and non-profit organizations that are working to create
awareness, end this cycle of gender-based violence, and empower women.
With cinematography capturing both the turmoil and beauty of India with
regards to its women, coupled with personal and heart-wrenching interviews,
Petals In the Dust will engage the audience while emphasizing the message
that this unsettling issue cannot be ignored.