Parbat-Kaushalya Pariyar has seven small daughters and four of them are physically disabled. In a bid to preserve her marriage, she has been promising her husband to finally deliver a son. But each year since she got married when she was just 16, Pariyar has only borne daughters. Looking weak and malnourished, Pariyar is so determined to bear a son that she no longer cares for her own health. Her husband, Bal Bahadur, has threatened to bring a second wife if she doesn't live up to her promise. "I have to give him a son anyhow," says Pariyar. "My daughters will be homeless once he remarries."
With no sympathy for his wife's health condition, Bal Bahadur is firm. He lacks any love or sympathy for his own daughters, so much so that he even refused to take them to a local clinic for polio drops. Consequently, four of them are already disabled and his wife has to spend 24 hours looking after them as well as work as a wage labourer. Unfortunately, there are no health workers to educate them about nutrition and other health matters. There is also a lack of social workers to counsel them about gender equality.