A home is built with a man, woman, children, relatives, friends, mental and physical health and satisfaction and not with bricks and cement. Quality of life is basically enhanced and sustained with good education and health supported by a society adhering to just norms and an unbiased legal and social framework for everyone to exist with honor and dignity.
This was the core six-point concept behind Stree Shakti’s “Ghar ek Sapna”.
Today the basic foundation of this dream is under serious distress. On one side there are people like Shikha Sharma heading Axis, Geetu Verma, head of foods in HUL, Anupama Ahluwalia, Head Marketing, Coca-Cola, Nandini Sethuraman, Head Marketing, Bharti-Walmart, Saina Nehwal in badminton, the four female chief ministers in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, a female President, female speaker of the Lok Sabha and the leader of the Congress and on the other end of the spectrum we have rampant female infanticide, selective sex-determination and abortion, unequal treatment in society based on gender.
Let us see current statistical data to actually understand the gravity of the situation!
Countries with more females are North America, South America, Europe, Australia and South Eastern African countries. India ranks with China, Middle Eastern countries and North Africa with more males than females.
Consider the economic development, level of education, health-care, equality and standard of living of the various countries mentioned above. It will speak of how nations actually develop.
The dismal sex ratio in the recent census study strengthens the thought that there is a gigantic necessity of serious dedicated efforts in the way our society is functioning. We need Transformation of the mindset of people of all age groups especially 15 years and above. There is an acute need for change in our thought process, attitude, focus, priorities, culture, ethics, morals and values.
Owing to these statistical data and reality in our society, Stree Shakti has launched its new initiative titled: Bitiya Bina Ghar Suna. We as a society today require multi-pronged approach to tackle this gender menace. This is not a feminist issue rather a concern for the growth and sustenance of our society in the future. We need action from the Government, NGOs, society on the whole and active participation of families to address the issue. It is the women who propagate; they beget children and not men. Let this fact not ever escape our mind. If we do not have a society of healthy, educated women, our progeny will slowly become extinct.
The patriarchal society flourishes because women bear children after carrying them within themselves for nine long months. The role of a mother is equal to the role of a father. The laws of our government are not sufficient as they might just act as a deterrent but will not stop people from discriminating based on gender the way they are today. From the legal perspective, India as enough laws and acts.
Women and especially the girl child in our families today need equal opportunities for getting education, nutrition and healthcare. A recent study sadly showed how females are neglected when need for specialized medical care arises. Children today need equal property rights so that there is no preference for a specific gender. Women manage the house, raise children and care for the overall family. It is time to protect women and children especially the girl child.
The gist of the problem can be understood from the lines of the following folk song from UP:
Prabhuji main tori binti karoon, Paiyan Paroon Bar Bar,
Agle janam mohe bitiya na dije, Narak Dije Chahe Dar
Stree Shakti, under the aegis of Bitiya Bina Ghar Suna, will spearhead this transformational approach with a five-point plan of meeting, counseling and convincing the various stakeholders.
According to our Vedic culture, this initiative will commence with a Sudarshan Maha Yagya with 100,000 Ahuti for the blessings of our Almighty. 50 couples/ individuals will be taking part in the main Yagya. It will start at 6:00 am in the morning and conclude approximately by 3:00 pm. All others can give a single Ahuti in the end. Apart from the Panchsutriya Karyakram, Stree Shakti would also launch an incentive scheme in the shape of a fixed deposit of Rs.5000/- for a second girl child born after 9th Oct 2011 to parents who register with Stree Shakti and redeemable when the girl child is of 20 yrs of age. (Conditions apply) Let us all step up, join hands and try to change our society for a better equitable future not only for ourselves but for our children. Today, we still have time to create a balance; tomorrow we will be late.
There is a saying – A son is a son till he gets a wife, a daughter is a daughter all her life.
For more details, contact Stree Shakti - firstname.lastname@example.org
Donate through cheques - Stree Shakti Welfare Association
I had the honor of attending a "Save the Girl Child" function in Thane, Mah. It was a moving experience. I had written the above piece for them but actually attending the event made me understand each word.