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India minister shares own story to highlight gender crisis

Published on Jun 27, 2014 11:44 PM

NEW DELHI (AFP) - India's education minister revealed on Friday that her mother was urged to kill her at birth, highlighting the deadly preference for boys that has left the nation with a population crisis.

Like many other Indian girls, Ms Smriti Irani said she was seen as a burden when she was born.

"I am sharing it for the first time that when I was born, someone hinted to my mother that 'beti to bojh hoti hai' (a daughter is a burden)," she said in comments reported by the Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency. "And therefore, she should kill me."

Male children are traditionally seen as breadwinners in India, while girls are still regarded as a financial burden by many families as they require hefty dowries to be married off.

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