A country as great as India has always had a treasure trove of strong and powerful women throughout its history, starting from the bravery and success of Razia Sultana to the remarkable bravery and freedom struggle of Rani Laxmi Bai, whom one can never forget.
It is a matter of pride for India to have had a woman prime minister, Indira Gandhi; a woman president, Pratibha Patil; a woman Lok Sabha speaker, Meera Kumar; and many women chief ministers like Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal, Mayawati in UP, and Jayalalitha in Tamil Nadu.
Not only this, but we also have a renowned woman poet and freedom fighter, Sarojini Naidu; a woman astronaut, Kalpana Chawla; and a brave IPS officer like Kiran Bedi.
In spite of such great achievements made by Indian women, one can never imagine the true miserable condition of women in India. India has witnessed a number of women who have outshone themselves in every field of life and of which very few countries can be proud of. Strange but the truth is bitter.
Even though women have set as an example in every field, it is distressing to know that there are people who don’t want to have a girl child.
For these people a girl is a dark spot and a burden on the family. However, a boy is considered to be the pride of the family. They try to get rid off girls and hence we have the practice of child marriage in this country.
A country made proud by so many women, has a society where it is a matter of shame for a woman to give birth to a girl, female infanticide is a common practice; women are physically and mentally abused, a newlywed bride is burnt for dowry, and there are numerous other kinds of atrocities done to them.
A country can be successful only when there is a respectful status of woman in society. India needs to overcome sex discrimination. Women should have equal rights and status in our society. Every girl should be educated. It is said that if a boy is educated only one person is educated, but if a girl is educated then a whole family is educated, and undoubtedly families educate the society.
Although there are laws made to stop abuse against women, they are of no avail as these laws are not properly enforced. Strict actions should be taken on every incident involving crimes against women.
The goal of forming a respectable position of women in society will not be achieved until women themselves take the initiative to struggle for their rightful place in society. It is the girl who needs to realize her rights and importance. Changes cannot be brought overnight but their struggle from now onwards can surely bring about a change in the near future. Their awareness and struggle is possible only when they have adequate education. They need to have their own social standing to reduce such abuses and inequalities. It should be explained to their parents by them and let every man know their potential and significance.
Let the girl fly like a free bird! Instead of keeping it caged, see it reach the height of success. Every girl can walk shoulder to shoulder with a boy and can give equally tough competition. We forget that it is the girl who always gives to the family, society and country, but never takes anything in return except the respect that is due to her.
Every girl should be encouraged and respected — after all : The hand that rocks the cradle, rocks the world.
[Hera Khan is a graduate student in the Department of English. She can be reached via email at: email@example.com]