We can raise strong kids and build robust businesses and yet be gentle in our ways
The courage and determination we inherently possess helps us focus on the green and overlook the greys
So ladies, stand up and be counted, how far we have come And treasure every day, as daughter, sister, wife and a mum.
It’s not only today or on a certain day when we must try and improve the position of women in our society. We must do it every single day and consciously so. How many of us welcome the birth of a girl child in our families as much we do when a baby boy comes along? The numbers and chances are very slim. That’s where the girl child faces her first tryst with discrimination. Unfortunate but true!
Can we do something about it? Yes, and I’m hopeful but I’m not sure! I’m not sure of the timeline, I’m not sure if the mind-sets of people will change, and I’m not sure if you and I can bring about that change!
Can we still do something about it? Yes, we can but we must act NOW! What makes a girl a girl and why should she be treated any differently? Too many questions, right? There you go- another one… coz that’s exactly what happens when a baby girl is born. A trail of questions ensues. These questions are nothing but our very own insecurities, shortcomings and incompetency to foster a girl child. Unfortunate but true!
Many Indian parents continue having kids till they have desired number of sons. Although we have stringent laws in place against selective abortion, it can still hurt the girl child by reducing the resources available to them. Families where a son is born are more likely to stop having kids than families where a girl is born. As a result, India could have as many as 21 million “unwanted girls” (economic survey 2017-18). Unfortunate but true!
Reasons can be any but can we justify or explain this act of slaughter? Some studies reveal that dowry system in South Asia, is what makes daughters “an unaffordable economic burden”. The insular mind-set of having a male heir taking the family name forward is another lame reason.As much as I tried digging more for plausible reasons of what some experts call a type of “female genocide”, I couldn’t find more. Are these reasons enough to commit the heinous act that our country has been witnessing for centuries now?
As early as the age of 10, girls in our country face difficult challenges like forced marriage, child labor and female genital mutilation. And when they mature, marriage is considered as the focal point of their life. As a result, girl children are quickly made a part of household tasks, instead of studies and sports.
This is considered training for a life as a wife, mother and daughter-in-law. A girl’s earning potential is considered useless, making education seem a pointless exercise for her. As a result, women largely experience lower socio-economic status in their villages and communities. The antediluvian dominance of males in the households adds a fear in them to speakout. Unfortunate but true!
Just like there’s light at the end of the tunnel, these girls do find love and families, which not only adopt them but give them a life that every child rightfully deserves. Our city of Nagpur is equipped with such welfare and rehabilitation homes for girls.
These centres not only provide them with a loving shelter, the volunteers work round the clock to ensure that kids there are loved and protected. Vasanti Deshpande, member of Maharashtra State Commission for Protection of Child Rights and who is closely associated with Nagpur based Child Welfare;Vardan says that “a lot of families from Nagpur have come forward to adopt a lot of girls from their centre”.
She further states that, “a very positive switch they have observed is that more and more families are giving preference to adopt a girl child”. But we need more and more families to carry forward this noble mission.
In our own way, we must pledge to empower the girl child by welcoming her in our homes right from the time of her birth until forever. This is necessary to change the parochial mind-sets of people in every home.
Look no further… we all have a woman in our homes- love her, support her and cherish her!