Curious Inkpot- Beyond a Blog

Stories from an Indian Millennial

Being A Girl In The 21st Century Bharat!

It was just another day of driving class. Pandey Ji (as he likes to be called) had opened his potli of stories amidst the calls of 'half clutch', 'feet on the brake', 'look in the rear mirror' etc, etc. In his thick Allahabadi accent he said 'madam, I have to be home this Diwali. Need to find a suitable match for my daughter'. When I enquired, he told his daughter is 20 yr old and just finishing 10th grade. Hearing that, Being a 25 yr old independent girl, I argued, 'But Pandey Ji, she is too young. You should let her study and become self-sufficient'. While Pandey Ji nodded in agreement, in a helpless tone he said ' madam, woh sab toh theek hai, but wahan mahaul theek nahi hai'. By 'mahaul' he meant the persistent problem of Eve teasing leading to much graver crimes of molestation, rape and murder engulfing our country at present. He was also definitely worried about the 'unch-neech' as in Indian context the burden of family reputation inadvertently lies on the shoulder of the girl. And in such a situation the easiest solution a family sees is 'early marriage'. Let her be protected by another man from other men, huh!

While I couldn't say more after understanding his social and economical situation. The whole conversation lingered on my mind even after. Because the question is, Is that the best choice for her? Will she be really protected? What about the ghosts of dowry, domestic violence and many others?
Few years ago, our maid, Pramila also got her young daughter married, who later scumbed to early age pregnancy issues. A young life wasted! But Pramila's decision of early marriage of her daughter had the same underlying reasons that Pandey Ji has.
As a young girl myself, whose father too worries when she is out after 10 pm, I wonder what can be done to change these endless stories of nipped dreams or lives cut short. Will sensitising our boys help? but how long can we wait for that change to happen ? Will making our society safer for women help? Will a better education system which prepares the youth for tomorrow, help? Will creating more employment opportunities for the directionless youth help? The questions are many.

And I stand staring at the empty sky looking for answers to my questions!
Being a young blood of this country, I am agitated and impatient towards this snailing change that might be happening somewhere in some parts of this country. We can't let these issues hanging in there. They are like the polio which is making our society handicapped. Hence it also need to be chased and pursued in the same war like fashion which led to a polio-free India.

And with the changing times this country has been witnessing lately, I pin my hope on times to come. And I hope and hope, that every year allocated Nirbhaya fund of 1000 crores, which Mr Narendra Modi highlighted in one of his election interviews, would finally be put to use. And contribute in making this country a safer place for women, whilst our society goes through the internal churning on these issues at hand. I also hope that the current government which places it's faith in Gujarat model, will come out with more and more innovative ideas like 'Kanya Kelavani' implemented in Gujarat, to not only teach our girls to dream but to empower them to live their dreams!
Hoping for a brighter, better and safer tomorrow for millions of girls like me and that of Pandey ji's. Amen!

...until next read !

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I am a writer by passion, a petroleum engineer by accident and a proud Indian by origin. You can connect with me on facebooktwitter and instagram @curiousinkpot


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