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Reshma Gude is a software professional and mother to a young child. She blogs at Reshma Musings.
Whenever my husband and I talked about having a baby, we always pictured it to be a little girl dressed in a pink frock with matching pick hair band and pink shoes. During my pregnancy, whenever anyone asked me if we wanted a baby boy or baby girl, I used to reply without hesitation that I wanted a girl. I encountered a wide spectrum of reactions to this ranging from astonishment to horror to pity to even total disbelief!
God was kind to me; he blessed me with a gorgeous baby girl. When my baby was born, my first reaction was how beautiful she is. My hubby couldn’t contain his joy, he just couldn’t let go of her and the nurses had to nearly pull them apart, my parents and in-laws were ecstatic, it was their first grandchild after all.
However, some of the reactions I encountered from some people around disgusted me to the core. When my maid learnt that it’s a baby girl, she cried feeling sorry for my parents. Another well meaning neighbour was also very solemn when she visited me in the hospital and even tried to console me. I knew it was futile trying to explain that this is what we wanted, so I didn’t even bother.
It makes me sick to think that in today’s educated society too there are people with such narrow minded mentality in spite of the fact that girls are making their mark in every field be it academics/politics/sports. Cases of female foeticide are not just incidents in remote villages of India where the vast majority are uneducated and bogged down by poverty, but is a harsh reality amongst the so called educated and urban population too.
I wonder what it is that makes people crave for a boy child. If they are living under the illusion that the son will take care of their parents in their old age, then that may not always be the case. I don’t mean to generalize and people with sons please don’t get offended, but it is the law of nature that girls are more emotional as compared to their male counterparts and so it is only natural that they will have a stronger bond with their parents as compared to boys. Therefore, the probability of a girl catering to her parents is much higher as compared to a boy.
One of my friend’s fathers also made a wonderful statement years back which I still remember and which makes me so proud. He said “If I had seven children, I would want them all to be girls”. Can there be a bigger compliment to the girl child?
So to all those girl haters out there, relax, take a pause, and think twice. You have just been blessed with a most precious gift. All she asks for is your love and attention. Give her that and she will be yours forever for life.
Today’s changemaker that we’d like to highlight is Project Why, a New Delhi based NGO that works with slum children as well as their families. While Project Why’s work began with educating children from slums, they soon realised that the mothers of these children were also often in very vulnerable situations and needed support to empower themselves and live dignified lives.
Project Why runs a temporary women’s shelter where women who need support can find shelter until they get back on their feet, and also runs vocational training programs for women. You can read more about their journey in this interview we did with their founder, Anouradha Bakshi.
You can donate to support Project Why’s work, or volunteer with them.
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