Thirty five million Indian females are missing today.
Some were killed in the womb, others as infants, while still others succumbed in their desperate bid to have a male child. As the pendulum continues to swing toward a lopsided gender ratio, women find themselves being tugged from both ends.
On the one hand, they are pressured to aggravate the shortage by acting as fertility machines for male heirs. However, as the number of “bare sticks” or bachelors grows, they are also made to fill the deficit by being trafficked for marriage or even shared among brothers. As the situation gets more and more precarious, cracks in the walls of the family unit are beginning to show.
This visual narrative looks at some of those left behind.