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The need of the hour is to look beyond the traditional ‘purpose’ of a woman, and recognise their participation and contribution to family business. Gupta and Daughters has done that.
What starts as a practice, in due course becomes a custom and then with roots widespread is named tradition prevalent in the society.
In a society well known for discrimination against women, beginning with female foeticide, a chemist from Ludhiana, Punjab, has named his shop ‘Gupta & Daughters’, underlining the importance of the girl child, as this news item says, instead of the traditional ‘& Sons’, breaking stereotypes and becoming a role model.
This was shared by a doctor on twitter, who saw the shop in the market and clicked a picture, getting a lot of replies and kudos for the businessman.
Some twitter users even shared other similar instances of shops named after daughters in their replies.
Some spoke up about their regret that their family had not followed this, but welcomed it as a good, positive change.
Being born and raised up in a typical baniya family with strong patriarchal structure, I have been an active witness to all practices upheld in an attempt to protect our ‘cultural identity’.
While primarily it deals with the superiority of the male members of the family, it also silently lays the rules to be followed by the female members.
Being a typical patriarchal family set up, the females are expected to look after household which necessarily meant stay at home and no financial independence or recognition beyond the four walls of the household.
Education of girls is just to ensure better prospects in the marriage market. To study and look for financial prospects/jobs is not something they should aspire for because ultimately after marriage they had to look after the family and children.
The women have no say in the family business. This can be viewed with respect to the fact that when a son is born in the family, the father/ grandfather immediately adds “& Sons” to the family business.
A true fact but a bitter truth that is still prevalent at large in the society though we have come a long way since then, considering that we boast ourselves to be living in 21st century.
So when this tweet circulated when the name board of a medical shop bearing the name ‘Gupta and Daughters’, I rejoiced.
I smile today that the change albeit a little late, has begun to come about in the society. To further know that the person belongs to your home city (which is primarily an industrial hub) and the community you belong to (basically synonymous with business mindset and patriarchal approach) becomes another reason of celebration.
If asked why the family business cannot be in the name of the daughter, the justification given ‘ oh, but then she has to get married and move to another house’ ‘the sons stay in the family and carry forward the family name’ ‘there will arise disputes with the in laws family’ and etc all reasons citied to circumvent the issue.
So this father notwithstanding the said uncertainties attached, acknowledges the role and importance of his girls in the family. A small step but in the right direction in the upliftment of daughters of the family.
A society that still wishes for the birth of male child, shamelessly indulges in female foeticide. This step by a father would go a long way in improving the situation of the girls in the family.
A big salute to the father who showed the courage to break all the stereotypes and is proud to be a father of girls. Who knows, his courage in a very patriarchal society might encourage others to come aboard and celebrate the birth of a girl child in the family.
The move by this father and all others might bring forth the view that the daughters are not a liability, but just like sons they are a part of the family, and quite capable to succeed and prove their mark.
The society today needs more fathers who encourage their daughters to exist beyond the threshold of four walls of the home, who value their education not just as a means to attaining better marriage prospect, but the education of the girl child is to be valued as much as that of the male counterpart.
The world and the society today needs to break the barriers of gender discrimination and recognise their daughters as individuals with independent thought process and identity.
The financial independence of the girls being recognised as important as the career building of the boys of the family.
In a society where a girl is allowed to grow both mentally and financially goes on to develop in the long run.
So the next time a distant relative asks the age of an adult daughter and her reason of being unmarried till date, this ‘Gupta ji and daughters’ tag needs to be thrown right into their face.
The need of the hour is to look beyond the ‘sole purpose’ of a woman to get married and bear children, recognise their contribution in the family business, and encourage and welcome their participation.
Hopefully this move might help get the other parents out of the cocoon of their traditional mindset and promote equal opportunities for the girls of the family.
Gupta ji, you might not have realised the impact of your move, which you might not have considered an aberration, but the future generation of daughters would thank you till eternity.
So now the daughter of every family can rightfully question her parents, that when Gupta ji can do it, why can’t they?
Hoping for this scenario to become a common sight.
Image source: Twitter & Canva
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