Why Are Indian Parents So Afraid To Let Their Daughters Travel?

Travel can teach you many things about life, but Indian parents are loathe to let daughters travel, either with friends or alone! 

In 2015-16, I travelled once a month for an entire year. To begin with, it was just a carefree vow. But it took a great amount of effort, from all fronts, while executing it.

There are some things you learn only through travel. You get to see a lot of beauty, learn so much about new cultures, make friends for life and you learn to co-exist. Most importantly, when you are outside the safety net of your parents, you have a chance to be more responsible and take your own decisions. Budget travelling on your own money – is that beautiful feeling that is essential in growing up and the making of a confident personality.

In our society, travelling can be a comment on a girl’s character. It extends to our homes too. What you say no to, says a lot.

For a lot of my friends, it is unthinkable to even propose to their parents to let them travel with friends, forget solo trips. You either think that your daughter is not mature enough to handle herself or you don’t trust her enough. And it adds up to your daughter’s low self-esteem.

Wanting your daughter’s safety is not your fault. The world is becoming an ugly place, yes. But if you think your daughter is not fit/mature/strong/smart enough to make these decisions, it is not really her fault either. It is perhaps you who failed to make her strong, smart or confident enough.

Serial Entrepreneur and Founder of Freecharge, Kunal Shah wrote something about the prevalence of arranged marriages in India, which strangely holds true for travelling too:

Prevalence of arranged marriages in India can mean one of the two things for parents:

  • Not trust the judgement of kids if they choose someone and have “love marriage”. But then why not train them all of young life to take good decisions?
  • Not like kids to have the power to choose for themselves and stay obedient, or kids are incompetent to find someone?

Some of us love to have birds at our homes. They are colourful, look beautiful in the cage and keep your house lively. You feed them on time and give them love. It is said that birds once caged for a long time, can’t survive outside the cage for too long. That’s true too. And then we like to believe that we are keeping the bird safe by not setting them free.

Most of it is same for the daughters too. They should be freed before it is too late.

Published here earlier.

Image source: pixabay

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1 Comment


  1. Good thoughts, Aarti, and so pertinent. Safety is definitely an issue, but let us first concentrate on making our girls self-reliant, decisive and confident.

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