Jacksonville Photography Blog
September 4, 2013
Far from the buzz of traffic and constant vibration of the city, we sat in what felt like one of the most remote places on Earth. Under the shade of a small oasis of banana trees we hid from the sun’s glare and the scorching heat. It was there that we first heard the heartbreaking stories; stories of newborn babies (the “girl child”) who were killed.
It was there, in the remote villages of Southern India, where female infanticide (the murder of a baby girl, just because she is a girl) happens regularly. The baby girls are killed within the first week of their lives, before they are named.
In India, a son is valued much greater than a daughter. The son will inherit the family fortune and property and will take care of his parents until they pass, while the daughter will marry off with no rights to property. She will go and take care of her husband’s family. Although dowries are illegal in India oftentimes, the daughter’s parents will be expected to pay a dowry to marry their daughter off. The dowries are quite expensive, sometimes comparable to a retirement fund. If the parents cannot afford the dowry, they will take out a loan that will be paid on for the rest of their lives.
As we sat there sweating and breathing in thick, hot air, we looked into the eyes of a baby girl who had recently been rescued from the threat of female infanticide. She sucked her thumb and stared back at us with dark, chocolate eyes the size of quarters. It was hard to imagine that gorgeous baby girl, like so many others in India is not valued. That she will most likely be fed last at every meal, if there is food left. She will go to a different school than her brother, and will have to pay for her continued education, while her brother’s will be paid for. Her entire life will be a struggle.
For 10 days, we worked alongside Invisible Girl Project and their partners who are working to combat the female infanticide problem in Southern India. We didn’t build any buildings. We didn’t perform any lifechanging surgeries. Perhaps, the world looks no different after our work there. But, we spent days with little girls who would consider our love priceless.
“The Mullikin Studio traveled with us on a trip to India in 2013 and were able to capture our work there with excellence. Not only were they professional on the trip, but also, through their captivating photos and video, people here in the US now have a better concept of what we do. The Mullikin Studio’s beautiful, high-resolution photos of our work have proven to be invaluable in assisting us in campaigns to raise awareness about our cause, as well as our fundraising efforts. We are grateful for all their help in the pursuit of our mission for the girls of India!”
– Jill McElya, Vice President of Invisible Girl Project, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization
The Mullikin Studio’s photos from India were used in a campaign with Sevenly www.sevenly.org