violence against women

Female genital cutting in India: Three women share their chilling stories of khatna

"You're not supposed to have 'haraam ki boti' in you."

Should a woman be circumcised to moderate her sexual urges? Some members of the Dawoodi Bohra sect, part of the Shia community – spread primarily across Gujarat and Maharashtra – believe so, even today.

And so they encourage khatna – the practice of snipping off the tip of the clitoral hood – also known as Female Genital Cutting (FGC). The process, both painful and humiliating, is unfortunately supported by some midwives and even by some older women.

The video above shows the chilling similarities in the stories of three women who were made to through khatna at the age of seven, traumatic memories of which remain fresh in their minds.

Although similar to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), FCG carries different connotations, according to Sahiyo, a non-profit group combating the ritual. The term “mutilation” indicates harm, which is not the aim of khatna.

FGM could range from cutting the tip of the clitoris to removing the inner and outer labia, and, in some communities, stitching the labia closed.

According to the World Health Organisation, between 100 million and 140 million women and girls across the world are thought to be living with the consequences of FGM. The United Nations has termed FGM a human right violation. However, India’s name doesn’t feature on the list of countries where it is practised.

A report by Sahiyo shows that 74% of women subjected to FCG in India had been operated on by people with no medical qualifications. And 65% of the participants did not know which part of their genital anatomy had been cut.

While the objective of the pernicious practice is to curb sexual enjoyment, 56 per cent of the women surveyed said it was done for religious purposes (without knowing why).

We welcome your comments at
Sponsored Content BY 

Watch Ruchir's journey: A story that captures the impact of accessible technology

Accessible technology has the potential to change lives.

“Technology can be a great leveller”, affirms Ruchir Falodia, Social Media Manager, TATA CLiQ. Out of the many qualities that define Ruchir as a person, one that stands out is that he is an autodidact – a self-taught coder and lover of technology.

Ruchir’s story is one that humanises technology - it has always played the role of a supportive friend who would look beyond his visual impairment. A top ranker through school and college, Ruchir would scan course books and convert them to a format which could be read out to him (in the absence of e-books for school). He also developed a lot of his work ethos on the philosophy of Open Source software, having contributed to various open source projects. The access provided by Open Source, where users could take a source code, modify it and distribute their own versions of the program, attracted him because of the even footing it gave everyone.

That is why I like being in programming. Nobody cares if you are in a wheelchair. Whatever be your physical disability, you are equal with every other developer. If your code works, good. If it doesn’t, you’ll be told so.

— Ruchir.

Motivated by the objectivity that technology provided, Ruchir made it his career. Despite having earned degree in computer engineering and an MBA, friends and family feared his visual impairment would prove difficult to overcome in a work setting. But Ruchir, who doesn’t like quotas or the ‘special’ tag he is often labelled with, used technology to prove that differently abled persons can work on an equal footing.

As he delved deeper into the tech space, Ruchir realised that he sought to explore the human side of technology. A fan of Agatha Christie and other crime novels, he wanted to express himself through storytelling and steered his career towards branding and marketing – which he sees as another way to tell stories.

Ruchir, then, migrated to Mumbai for the next phase in his career. It was in the Maximum City that his belief in technology being the great leveller was reinforced. “The city’s infrastructure is a challenging one, Uber helped me navigate the city” says Ruchir. By using the VoiceOver features, Ruchir could call an Uber wherever he was and move around easily. He reached out to Uber to see if together they could spread the message of accessible technology. This partnership resulted in a video that captures the essence of Ruchir’s story: The World in Voices.


It was important for Ruchir to get rid of the sympathetic lens through which others saw him. His story serves as a message of reassurance to other differently abled persons and abolishes some of the fears, doubts and prejudices present in families, friends, employers or colleagues.

To know more about Ruchir’s journey, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Uber and not by the Scroll editorial team.