Unwanted.A term that hits at the very core of somebody’s existence. A feeling that yanks out any possibility of being able to be a complete individual.A reality that 21 million girls in the age range of 0 to 25 live out daily in India.
As Her Circle completes six months and we launch our October theme celebrating girls in tandem with the International Day of the Girl Child (October 11), the token balloon and confetti sprinkling without acknowledging the issue at hand would make it a hollow event.
An Indian Economic Survey conducted a couple of years ago threw spotlight on the fact that while an average Indian family prefers to have two children, there are multiple instances where families have more than five children if the last child is not a male. Called the ‘son-meta preference’, the survey brings to the fore an interesting analysis called the SRLC (sex ratio of last child). A detailed read-through proves that Indian families tend to stop having children after a son is born. The male offspring is desired more in India than elsewhere in the world.
I am not surprised.Rest assured, this curious case of the unwanted girl child is not a rural-only phenomenon. It is as much present in your apartment building as it is in smaller cities. So startling is the presence of this accepted social occurrence that my nine-year-old daughter has started guessing that when a kid of her age mentions many siblings, the youngest has to be a boy. It is only an observation for her right now without an understanding of the baggage.
Do girls bring less joy, fewer achievements, reduced glory? This month, Her Circle will showcase women and girls from different walks of life, privileged and underprivileged, but with the sole criterion of being achievers. We will celebrate the girl child as an equal—not less, not more. Exactly as the theme of the International Day of the Girl Child suggests.Let the party begin!