Beta Padhao…… Beti Bachao….
And while the nation and my city was protesting and demanding justice for #Asifa, I was at home reading all about it on my phone, facebook and television.
And NO! I wasn’t indifferent to the horrific incident! Infact I was seething inside…. I was angered….. I was mourning….. I was scared…… yes, for a moment I was scared as a mother to think about the fact that even 8 months or 8-year-old daughters are unsafe in this country. (Well neither are 80 year olds!)
But would participating in candle marches, posting rage and hate messages on my social media help the cause? I found it difficult to answer…. But I wanted to be a part of this. I was a woman ultimately and a mother as well! How can I keep quiet? I too have a social responsibility! And just like the other women, I too want the countless Asifa’s and Nirbhaya’s to get justice!
But is it in my power to stop these perverts? I asked myself countless questions and they wouldn’t allow me to sleep. And finally while reading a message on my phone from a friend, I got my answers!
We as mothers HAVE the power to change this! Perhaps the results won’t be immediate, but it’s a step towards the change….. Towards a secure future…..
We always teach our daughters to be careful, “Come home before it is dark”, “Don’t speak with strangers” Don’t go to strangers” Don’t do this and don’t do that! But as a mother of 2 boys, I decided to change this.
I wrote a one of its kind and unheard of “Mid-year Resolution” addressed to my boys.
- I will teach my boys to respect girls as equals, and not as someone below them.
- Girls are not the ‘weaker sex’ and hence it doesn’t give you guys the right to exploit them.
- ‘Ladki jaise kyu behave kar raha hai?’ one of the statements that must be stopped!
I will refrain from passing comments like ‘stop crying like a girl’ at them when they cry or are upset. It is perfectly ok for a man to vent out through tears, than to keep it pent up and turn it into vengeance later.
- I will put a foot down when other male members of the house make chauvinist comments in the presence of my son’s. They ought to know from now on, that it is wrong!
- If we restrict girls from staying out till late, then my boys too, should return home early.
- It is ok if any of my boys doesn’t like sports. If dance is his passion, so be it! It’s not a ‘girl’ thing!
- I will say ‘NO’ whenever I need to put my foot down. Doing so, will teach him, that it is perfectly Ok if a woman/girl says no – learn to accept it!
- I will wear every type of clothes at home, so that when they see girls wearing the same outside, they won’t raise their eyebrows or pass lewd comments!
- It is definitely not ‘unmanly’ to become a stay-at-home-dad, if ever the time comes! A home is a nest made and managed by both man and woman.
- At home, my boys will do all house work- be it sweeping, washing their own utensils or cleaning up. This will make them appreciate women who do all the housework uncomplainingly. An eventually when they are married, they won’t think of It as only ‘a woman’s job’ to do household chores.
And of course things will keep getting added to this list as they grow up and as I learn from life….
Haven’t we seen that many of the sexual crimes reported, have been committed due to illiteracy or ill-literacy?!
It is our responsibility to teach the right values to our daughters and son’s alike. If there are ‘finishing schools for girls to become ‘ladies’ why can there not be ‘finishing schools for boys to be trained to become ‘gentlemen’?!!!!
Until such time, we as mothers need to hold fort, after all, education begins at home!
P.S: my elder one at 8, makes his own bed, makes tea for us all (Weekends), cleans his own plate and just yesterday, fried eggs for himself and his little brother (this under my supervision!)