This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Lubna Ismailee. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Father’s Day: Three Things I Am Grateful That My Dad Never Did

More from Lubna Ismailee

I was not born alone, born with me was the parenthood of my parents. We all sing and appreciate for our mothers but we turn a blind eye to the contribution of our fathers towards our development. Unfortunately, we are not very expressive with our fathers.

This piece is all about appreciating you papa, for all that you have been doing with sweat on your forehead and a smile on your face. Thank you so much for being that invisible safety net. On Fathers Day, I want to thank my parents, especially my dad for the three things he never did for me as a father.

1. Not Reciting Fairy Tales 

Many people are of the opinion that fairy tales are positive, boast a child’s imagination and set the child’s’ moral to teach them what is good and what is bad. However, I firmly believe that it sets unrealistic expectations from life. It keeps kids ignorant about important aspects. In many subtle ways, it influences children negatively. A deep emphasis is made upon “appearance” in daily tales.

Young girls tend to think that their body is their identity and their ability does not matter. I am glad that my parent never read such stories to me. My father never told me that I will be ‘married’ to a prince. He never introduced me with the concept of ‘perfect boy’. Instead, he used to recite me stories from Indian history. My father used to cook up some story himself where I used to be the protagonist. Those lazy nights when I would ask him to tell me a story, he used to ask me basic questions of science, geography and history. I was never kept away from the real world that exists.

I am happy that the trends as regards fairy tales are evolving and now we get to see stories with independent women characters and one with social messages too. There is an effort being made to make a difference, which is necessary.

2. Not Rejecting The Idea Of Dreaming Big

Generally, girls in India are trained and bought up in a manner to match the whims and fancies of a “sanskari family“. This is because she has to be married off to a “sanskari boy“. Females are often not appreciated for their efforts and treated as supporting agents of family.

My father never told me that I will have to give up my career post-marriage or after having kids. He emphasized on learning chores and cooking with a view to being independent and not with a view to bearing dependency of a man upon myself. He always broadened my vision and encouraged me to dream big. He always imbibed within me the idea of dreaming big to achieve big. He always helped me to take the road less taken, being bold and also doing things that fewer women do. Till date he tells me “nothing is impossible, you are just a vision away.”

3. Not Gifting Me Barbie Dolls

Why is it that toys are gendered? Why is it that toy shops have dolls, kitchen sets and all the pink cosmetic toys for girls while offer doctor set, guns and trucks for boys? I strongly believe that Barbie dolls define beauty and it may make the child go through inferiority complex.

It is not wrong to play with dolls but it is surely wrong to gender the toys. My father always gave me toys related to something that would help me develop. He bought me a mouth organ, a keyboard, a crossword, a train set and encyclopedia books.

All these surely helped me become what I am today. I am glad that my father is a visionary. He invests on my education rather than saving for my marriage. He has always prepared me for me. There are times when he is not very supportive, differences do exist but the beautiful part is that I can say it all. I tell him how I feel about his approach towards my ideas or his suggestions to me.

Father’s love is indeed underrated. When my mother juggled roles to raise me, My fathers too did his best. He played with me, planned weekend outings, listened to my school tales and taught me school subjects. All this after a tiring day at his office. He missed many important moments of his my life. He missed seeing me walk for the first time, talk for the first time, my sports days, my dance at school and so many such precious moments.

For all the Dad’s who support their families, this is for you. You are doing a great job. We treasure you equally! Wishing you a very happy Father’s Day!

You must be to comment.

More from Lubna Ismailee

Similar Posts

By SAGE Publications India

By Ashish Kumar

By Priyaranjan Kumar

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below