I have contemplated a lot before uploading this post……I have done it now because I think there is no harm and more so, I felt the need to post it.. Every year till the age of sixteen, I used go on a holiday for about a fortnight to my native place- Srirangam – a beautiful town in the Trichy District of Tamil Nadu. Last May I went back for a couple of weeks ( after five and a half years!) , to spend the weekend out there.( will post about that trip sometime soon)
There used to be this girl (4 or 5 years younger to me). Every time I went there, she used to come and meet me and talk to me. ‘Akka’( meaning elder sister) was how she used to call me. A bright and a chirpy child is how I remember her to be. This time when I went there she was nowhere to be seen. I was curious, I tried spot her but in vain. Something from within prompted me to not ask for her, and so I didn’t.
I met the others at her place and took leave. While returning, I happened to ask my cousin brother about her and her whereabouts. He grinned and asked me which world was I in. He told me that she was sitting right in front of me in the hall! And that she was the girl who was pregnant!
I was taken aback. I felt really sorry for that little girl. Her parents had apparently gotten her married to some guy who was their relative. I, from no stretch of mind have the authority to question anything or comment on anything. But I seriously felt that somewhere down it was not quite right!
The sad part was that that girl showed a lot of zeal and enthusiasm to learn, and her enthusiasm considering the fact that she did not have much exposure to various aspects of life, was commendable. I understand/presume that it probably was the family situation which was not conducive for her to pursue her education; Whatever be the reason - getting married at 17 or 18 ( or maybe she was younger) and with a child!!.The thing that was more disheartening was that the poor girl was obviously not too happy and comfortable . I am quite certain that she probably had no clue as to what she was going through .Today when I think about the whole thing I cannot do much but hope that this scenario changes and the outlook of parents change. I could not help thinking that there could be some point in time in her life when she would grow to regret everything that happened and for all you know simply resign and do the regular household chores – leaving all her dreams and aspirations. She would regret it if she ever manages to realize – If not it would simply imply a waste of potential.
I cannot help but wonder – To how many girl children, this may be happening today in India!
The newspaper’s, Politicans, Media, Law etc. talk about exploitation of children, child marriage and so on and so forth. But what about those girl children who have absolutely no option - those children who are forced to give in to the whims and fancies of their orthodox parents? We keep talking about upliftment of the fairer sex, but are reservations the only way? There have been a number of debates on this, but I really do not see any major improvement. There certainly should be some efforts directed towards educating parents on the importance of instilling the virtue of independence in their girl children – more so in the rural areas.