“It’s a girl.”
Probably the most dreaded sentence Indian parents do not wish to hear from the doctor or the midwife.
23 years ago on a comparatively cooler day of March ,I was born to parents who were educationally and financially poor.But not to that extent in which they couldn’t afford to raise another child having a boy as their first born.
But I was a girl child, the least desired creature in the traditional patriarchal society.
The day after I the daywas born , a woman was already standing at our door to claim something. To claim me.
In my mother’s words-” She had come to take you away from me.Your father had promised the barren lady that if the second child was a girl she could have her.And there she was.But I didn’t let her. I fought your father.The woman had to return empty handed.You are my child. Laxmi came to my house in the form of you.”
Whatever her reasons might be ,every time I listen to this story from both of my parents (my father gives me an apologetic smile every time the matter is raised) I feel proud of my mother. How she decided to keep me without caring about what her in – laws would say,how one mom’s decision changed the course of an entire family’s life.
This is just a small real life story that I myself lived, of course in the words of others.But what is so important about it is that I got to be the daughter of my parents of whom they are now so proud.
Killing girl children or giving them away to orphanages seem much more lucrative to the parents who believe that girls are appendages or liabilities. Especially in our country where the female sex ratio is a disappointing 940,it is not unimaginable that My father wanted to give me up.Though the situation is quite different now with me being the apple of their eyes (I have three brothers too !) There is no gender discrimination in my family and I feel myself lucky to be born in such a family.
However, the stark reality is totally dissimilar to my world of happiness. Not every mother in this country is as strong as my mother. Thousands of mons give up their newborn daughters in the name of ‘burden’ against their wishes everyday. Illegal ultrasound clinics and greedy doctors have made it easier by showing the disappointed parents the path of ‘abortion’.
Instead of being regarded as “Laxmi” ,the goddess of prosperity ,girls in India are compared to ‘trash’ or some unwanted creature even though that creature is the same who sustains this world.
All those laws, acts etc are fruitless if the bearers of the life are not aware .Their voices are silenced through domestic violence and other torturous methods. This needs to change.The modern moms need to speak up and stand for their right – to have their children by their sides,irrespective of the gender.
Like my mom did.
Change starts at home.