Patel community in Gujarat, who are known for their entrepreneurial skills and its hold over agriculture and business, are now in the trade of buying tribal girls for their inheritance. This issue has caused a severe sociological problem in the country.
One of the main reasons for the fall in female child ratio in the community is the traditional dowry system.
Prof Gaurang Jani, senior sociologist associated with the Gujarat University, while commenting about the aversion towards female sex said: 'the aversion towards the girl has been around for centuries.' In ancient days, evil practices like 'doodh piti' were practiced in the community in which a new-born girl child was killed by drowning her in a pot of milk.' But today to the contrary to the above practices, the community is even ready for female foeticide. The skewed male-female ratio (fall in the female ratio) availing in the community is the main cause. It is believed that an amount of anything between Rs.50,000 to 1 lakh is given to the tribal family for buying girls from areas like Vadadora, Bharuch, Panchamahals.
The skewed male female ratio has given rise to new concepts like 'Sata Lagna, a system which says 'I will marry your sister if you marry mine' and inter caste marriages between the two sub caste prevailing in Patel community, Leva and Kadva. Earlier Leva Patel community does not prefer marriages from Kadva Patels. However, this rule is now becoming flexible owing to shortage of girls.
However, around 10 lakh participants from the community have gathered early this year to vow to fight against this raising issue of scarcity in the female population including a vow not to indulge in sex determination tests.