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A rose is a rose is a…?

In India unwanted girls know they are unwanted, because they are named “unwanted.” Now, an effort to change a negative self-image begins with a new name.

 A central Indian district held a renaming ceremony Saturday that it hopes will give the girls new dignity and help fight widespread gender discrimination that gives India a disproportionate gender ratio, more boys than girls.

The disproportion is due to the abortion of female fetuses or the profound neglect of girls, leading to their deaths. Boys will bring a dowry to a Hindi family, but girls are expensive - with that cost of a dowry.

Girls in the ceremony were happy with their new chosen names - such as Vaishali, which means prosperous, beautiful and good - and believe it will bring them the respect they deserve.

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Writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., addresses issues facing aging baby boomers and seniors as well as issues of serious illness, death and dying, grief and loss.

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