Celebrated all over India as the triumph of good over evil, Dussehra this year shares its auspicious date with the International Girl Child Day. Happy coincidence? Dussehra is the culmination of nine days and nights where the different female deities and Goddesses are worshipped. In a country like India where female infanticide is still an issue, this seems to be quite a contradiction. So this festive season, let us promise to honour the Goddess not just by fasting or by praying, but by keeping the girl child safe. Let us pledge to give her an environment where she will be on an equal footing with boys. And more than anything else, let us pledge to let this issue die a natural death with our deeds and a sea change in our society so that it becomes a matter of folklore in our country – that indeed, will be a true triumph.
Meanwhile, here are a few things we can do for our girls:
– Quit asking a young lady when she will get married. And then quit asking a married lady when she will have children.
– Live and let live. If she puts her career first, that is entirely her choice. If she chooses to be a home maker, that is her entirely her choice. And if she stays out late with her friends once in a while, that is her option too.
– Stop with the contradictions. Leaving office on time? Yup, she is a woman, so she can do it. Slogging late at work? Oh my God, what about her husband and kids back home? Give her a break.
– Cut the guilt out. Simple. No more to be said. Stop making her feel guilty about being, about not being, about not being good enough, about being too much…
– Respect and relax. Know your boundaries and respect hers. She is not your property. She is a human first – her gender comes later.