Level-playing field for Girls, please!

Monday, 2 July 2018

#Shakti4Beti - a stage show at PRCI Bengaluru event in progress. Pix: DIVYA VENKAT POGARU

As PRCI celebrates Daughters’ Day to commemorate late Indo-US astronaut Kalpana Chawla, here are some random thoughts by M B JAYARAM, Chief Mentor and Chairman Emeritus of the national communicators body

Kalpana Chawla has been inspiration for many girls as she demonstrated to us as to how one reach the sky with hard work, determination and above all focused approach.
All that girls need proper opportunities and you see how they excel.
In this context, let me mention that PRCI has aptly chosen #Shakti4Beti as our focused theme to empower the girl child.
India is a society of contrasts and even contradictions.
On the one hand the society worships deities such as Durga as the symbol of Shakti or triumph of good over evil, and Lakshmi as the Goddess of Wealth, while on the other girls and women are still being subjected to ill-treatment.
Even in the 21st century, and at a time when India is racing to emerge as an economic super power, it is really sad that women and girls are discriminated against. Gender disparity is still a major socio-economic issue.

Isn’t is a sad commentary on the society in general that we need to have women welfare departments and women rights commission as though they are some endangered species?
 I do not think that many right thinking women would crave for privileges and any special treatment – be it at home, school/college or even at work places.
Girls just want level playing field. PRCI also supports the same thought when wesays Shakti4beti.
Women always excelled if they are given freedom as men and not shackled with anti-women practices.
Apart from mythology, even history has innumerable examples of women doing wonders. Take the case of Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi, or for that matter freedom fighters such as Sarojini Naidu who were in the forefront of struggle against British tyranny. Kasturba worked silently with Mahatma Gandhi. In post -independent India too women have done as good as men and even better at times.
In education, sports, social service, politics, management, movies, corporate sector – you name it, you have women excelling.
Even at PRCI, we have many women working with their men that too without any inhibitions and issues! In fact, the Daughters Day event at Bengaluru was successfully led several women office-bearers.
But it is still sad that the ratio of women coming out into the open isn’t  very encouraging.
Majority of girls and women are still being relegated to domestic work and the kitchen.
But with increasing education and the society becoming liberal, things should improve and the girl child will get empowered.
I am of the strong opinion that the empowerment begins at home.
Mothers, more than anyone else, should unshackle themselves and treat their daughters on par with boys.
This thought has to be communicated well through various means of communication, including social and traditional media.
I know social media is a double edged sword. I am sure with proper use it will help us cut through the mindset against the girl child.
Shakti4beti will have achieved what it is meant for.
I sincerely hope that we will not have to celebrate daughters’ day specially. We shall work towards observing  a Skill Development or Talent Promotion Day, next year!
But to achieve this PRCI will have to do aggressive communication which I am sure our teams are capable of.
Finally, let me say: Shakti4Society – not mere for Beti!


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