New Delhi: Tanvi and Sahana pose for the camera even as their parents Seema and Kunal Sarvarkar proudly look on. With two daughters didn't they ever want a son? Not really, say the couple, but there were some not so nice reactions from people when their younger one, Sahana, was born.
"The doctor told us that if we tried a third time, it could be a boy," says Seema.
"One neighbour told us that had he known we were trying for another baby, he would have told me how to have a son," adds Kunal.
This is the sad truth about the world outside the Sarvarkars courtyard.
HOD Paediatrics, St Stephens Hospital, Dr Jacob Pulieyal and his colleague, Dr Neeraj Verma have analysed birth data for 110 years available at the St Stephens hospital and found that the chances of a baby girl surviving beyond five years are much higher if she has an older brother.
In fact, the sex ratio for the second child is a huge 1,140 girls to a 1,000 boys, but in case the first born is a girl, only 629 girls survive as against a 1,000 boys.
Says Dr Jacob Puleiyal, "The PNDT Act has made no difference to the way we manipulate the sex of our children."
A daughter in space, another one occupying it's highest office yet for India, but in the year 2007, daughters still come second. Here's hoping things change by the time Tanvi and Sahana grow up.