The name “Nakusa” belonged to over 200 Indian girls. This name translates as “Unwanted” in the Marathi language of western Maharashtra state. However, a program in the district of Satara set out to change at least 150 of these girls’ names in order to unweave the gender bias.

Females are often considered less important or valuable in families, particularly in poorer areas, due to the dowry that must be paid when they marry. Favoritism toward boys has led to an increase in abortions of female fetuses in India. Even further, there is a missing population of women, as baby girls are sometimes killed or neglected. Boys, on the other hand, are viewed as heirs.

Sudha Kankaria, an activist who runs the local Save Girl Child charity and who has been involved in the renaming project, explained how the name “Nakusa” is just one example of a living prejudice. The name alone helps to instill a feeling of insecurity and low self-esteem in the girls. By allowing the girls a chance to have a new name, there is hope for breaking a vicious cycle.

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