Thursday 10 October 2019

A Promise to our Daughters on this International Day of the Girl Child

Today is International Day of the Girl Child and I have never felt this compelled to pen my thoughts. No, I am not going to re-tell the story of the strongest girl I know, for, first I know so many of them, so picking one is impossible and second I have already narrated about so many in my four books The Fragrance of True LoveDestiny's Favorite ChildDare to Defy The Destiny and Empowered Women Empower Women all revolving around Women Empowerment.

The more vital question is how do we do so? We can, by empowering our girls from day one as much as we empower our sons, so eventually we don’t have to have any such international day for a Girl child. By empowering I mean imbibe in them the right attitude to educate themselves and achieve their goals in life, teach them physical power enhancing attributes, don't tell them they are the weaker sex because they are not.

For today I want to step into an Indian girl child's shoes (for I am one, albeit a grown up one but has faced all the music a girl child faces) and want to let the world know what do I seek from not just one such International day but from all of you each day. With due respect to United Nations deciding to celebrate 11th October as Girl child day each year to accentuate focus on her human rights and gender equality, I believe it is something we must channelise our energies in every single day 24X7 if at all we wish to make our world a safe and sane place for all to live happily and peacefully and as the sayings go charity begins at home and each one reach one, if we take the responsibility in our hands, the results will be far more effective.

I can say this, as a girl child born in a backward small town at home..I was unwanted by many because I was a girl and unfortunately there were and are millions others like me till today. As a new born all I wanted then was acceptance into the world and that’s where begins the struggle of an Indian girl which continues at every step until I believe she takes her last breath. I once wrote a poem which goes like this..

When I was born a female child 
I was gifted with the silent onus of proving to the world that giving birth to a girl was not my mom's crime

The first realisation of my childhood
Was to prove to the world I was a girl good

It was not ok for me to soil my clothes
Or scatter my toys when sometimes, to play, I chose

In just a few years, my little brother was born 
I have to now prove to them, what a good sister I was, everyone warned

At that tender age, I probably didn't understand what proving oneself meant 
But gently yet responsibly I held his little finger, everywhere I went 

I grew up a little and the adolescent me 
Was asked not to mingle with boys as what everyone will say in the society 

I did exactly and mended a little girl's ways carefree 
To prove to them that for me nothing is more important than the respect of my family

At thirteen, puberty arrived depriving me forever of my status of being a child 
I accepted it well, proving to the world I was now a person matured

I completed my education with admirable grades
Proving to the world the money spent on me was not wasted

Though finding a dream job was a cake walk 
I have to prove at every step of my professional journey, to my male colleagues, that my skill was at par with theirs

Eyebrows again raised when with my love, I tied knot 
After umpteen years of successful marriage, today I prove to them love marriages too last 

With no support system at home,  when my little baby entered the world
I have to prove my motherhood by giving up all my dreams and ambitions

I did it all and for everyone around
Without a single complaint or sound 

But the world is still not satisfied
They crush my identity each day with pride

After standing strong on the testimonies of time 
And proving myself time and again 

I am now tired of this Proving Myself game 
Ending this perennial dilemma once and for all, I refuse to prove myself to the world anymore.

Please don't Judge me ,
I am what I am!

and unfortunately it holds so true till the present day...

If this International Day of a girl child is potent enough to relieve every little princess of these expectations, levied on them and just let them me, I will truly be happy. Let them live their lives as much as their male counterparts, is it too much too ask?

Well in my perspective why should we even ask for it? We are not requesting anything special but something which is fundamentally ours. We don’t want a celebration and presentation once a year but acceptance as equals everyday, no special favours please. We are what you are, we are not different. If at all you want to give us something give us safety and freedom to act on our own wish.

It’s time to change the rules of the society. Both a girl child and a boy child should be equal to their parents. They must educate and love them equally. Never think your son will take care of you and you will marry off your daughter. Make them both capable of standing on their feet and take care of you like you did of them.

One thing for sure each one of us can do on this special day dedicated to us by UN and that’s to pledge to make our daughters be their own voice and be fiercely independent. Teach them life skills, sports and martial arts and strong will power to fight for themselves and not seek support no matter how adverse the circumstances become. 

This is what life has taught me as I yearn to become a better and better girl child each day. In a new city, new house, all alone I remind myself I still remember by karate kicks if at all I need it tonight.

This attitude is what I seek in our daughters and call out to all of you to yearn and inculcate in our little angels. Pledge to give  them both physical and mental power this International Day of the Girl Child!

Truly Yours Roma

Written for #CauseAChatter on #InternationalDayoftheGirlChild

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