Traditional role of the girl in Indian society is subservient. Despite that girls have done the country proud. The country had an able Prime Minister in Indira Gandhi. The government has taken conscious steps to nurture and protect the girl child. But the success entirely depends on the citizens. Will they make the womb a tomb for their daughters? The hope for the country lies in giving equals opportunities to boys and girls.
Even after Independence, most families have craved for boys to continue the lineage, bring home the fodder and sustain livelihood for the family. Caste systems never allowed women to bend gender roles. The trouble lies with the interpretation of the ancient texts.
In 200 BC, Manu wrote, ‘In childhood a female must be subject to her father, in youth to her husband, when her lord is dead to her sons; a woman must never be independent’. Since then women have struggled to maintain their lives leave alone have an identity for themselves. In rural areas where poverty is abject, women can barely nourish themselves, even though they comprise of 84% of the working population.
Educating a girl child in India : With government initiatives and NGOs the word is spreading- the need to educate both girls and boys. In rural areas, nearly 65 % of women favour literacy to remove the gender bias. But avoid sending their girls to schools as they are vulnerable to male teachers! In urban areas, girls are deliberately not given proper education. They study just enough to get a decent dowry and become part of the workforce.
In many south Indian states, the girls are studying and getting an opportunity to live. In the north, boys are still coveted. Unless a male foetus is abnormal it is not aborted. A normal female foetus is suffocated and life snuffed out.
With the current economic status in the country undergoing changes, there needs to be a sustained awareness of bringing up the girl child with more care and love. In states of Rajasthan and Gujarat child marriages are common. Barely ten year old girls are wedded and they become pregnant by the age of 16 years. Having become a mother in the age of innocence, it self is against natural live process for a young girl.
Doctors and the Government need to give importance to the girl child. Time and again girls have proved to be supportive of old parents and have nurtured their children into better adults. This has happened in places where girls and boys are raised together without any gender bias.
Various programs stressing the importance of a healthy child are of paramount importance. Only this way will the country not be bracketed with China, Bangladesh and Pakistan where the incidences of empowering the girl child are non existent. India needs to protect the girls like goddess because when they grow up they do bring Lakshmi (wealth), Saraswati (knowledge), Parvati (power). Being biologically stronger then men they are the future of the country.
copyright data 2007. Indianchild.com
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