Posts Tagged ‘girl child’


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I slip my hands into the gloves, and bite into the teeth guard…

The clothes hug me tight, womanhood obliterated,

Moving quickly I enter the ring and jump up and down to get the feel..

No name, no gender, am just a number, a weight…a boxer…

 

I slip my gloved hands into the sleeves, the nurse quickly ties the face mask..

I look into her eyes, see tiredness mixed with admiration and respect?

Moving swiftly to the table I hold out my hand for the slap of the scalpel…

No face, no gender, am a healer… a surgeon…

 

Henna on my hands …kohl in my eyes…

Flowing feminine dresses with matching bangles…

Am I to be bound by narrow definitions…

I am to be tried by pre decided perceptions…

Questions lie within …answers hidden from me …

Answers lie within …questions hidden from me

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Guest post by Varsha Kalyani, student of MA English Literature who aspires to bring change in society through her words and hopes to succeed one day & witness the change:

The news chilled me to the bones

For it could have been any of the girls

You, Me, Our Sister, Our friend…

Anyone!

If such cases will continue to transpire,

In fear of ‘HER’ Life,

Folks will stop sending their gals out

Quivering & Shivering of torments!

Why dont they understand?

The mental trauma a GIRL undergoes.

Physical injuries a doctor can heal

But what about the mental agonies?

Who’s gonna heal them?

A doctor, A Minister or A police officer!?

Even after saving ‘HER’ life,

Lending her breathe,

You think ‘SHE’ would survive through

that mortification of a molestation!?

Would punishing the culprits

make her lead a normal life?

Why don’t they understand

Someday their own daughters

might be ravished?

Why such barbarous beastly brutal act?

These ministers who move

With security & guards

can never perceive their own daughter

In victims place for they are not commoner!

Such pathetic cases

Would bring the doomsday soon

& its must come,

for ‘SHE’ would be safer

with the Demons & Satans of Hell

than the Devils & Belials of this Infernal Land !

 

PS: The post came out as my reaction to the news! vexing & annoying state of affairs.


Zena CostaGuest post by Zena Costa, independent sports mgmt professor and writer.

Zahra Baker

I have been following the story of this little girl in the news since 2010 and as a result did a couple of reports & features to help. Checking with friends in the US I learnt today that it’s been two years and “investigation” is still ongoing. I decided to share because I do not want Zahra Baker to have lost her life without something positive coming out of it.

It is a senseless, horrific, heartbreaking tragedy. This child got the worst hand dealt to her by life, and I can’t make sense of it all, no matter how hard I try. All I can do now is trying to prevent it from happening to even one child in my community. And none of us should rest until we all do the same.

Do not assume that a male child is safe. In india, 33,000 female and 20,000 boys are abused every minute. Yes, every one minute. And what about the unreported millions?

We all feel helpless when we hear of these stories. And in some cases—either because of our geographic location or circumstances we are. But, if more people in every community started to take action, to get involved in organizations that prevent and aid in child abuse cases, it would make a difference, to the world your own child steps out to.

I did as a former journo report on cases in Goa via CHILDLINE 1098 and the impact it made on my life was significant. I know that my involvement was crucial in at least four cases that involved a child being removed from a dangerous home situation and I hold that memory dear to my heart. The real impact that experience had on me though was the stacks and stacks of folders of abuse in 2003. I was shocked to learn of the sheer number of cases, and over half of them as serious and horrific as the Zahra Baker case.

So many don’t make it into the media, which is why we all, understandably so think these are isolated cases. Abuse seems to happen “somewhere else” in another neighborhood.

But in fact, it happens every day, in every socio-economic situation. In the worst neighborhoods, and in the best. From people you would expect, and people you would never have dreamt could cause harm to a child.

So, here’s my call to action for everyone reading this, everyone I know, Zahra is gone, but the least you can do is protect your own child. Be vigilant, even at your own house, you’d be astounded to realize how many vultures are out there to gnaw at the life of your precious child. That’s the brutal truth. DO SOMETHING. Writing a cheque to an organization, however helpful, is not enough. We need to do much more.

SIMPLE WAYS TO AWARENESS AND ACTION:

First and foremost, pay attention to the children around you – children in your child’s school, children in your church, your co-worker’s children etc.

We should not be a paranoid society, accusing innocent people of wrong doing. But children give out signals. And most of us know, we get that gut feeling when something is wrong.

If you get these signals, get involved, find out what’s going on and if need be report it. Yes, it is drastic. Yes, it is a HUGE decision not to be taken lightly or for any other reason than the safety and well-being of a child. Remember you could be changing a life, saving a life.

Severe abuse is not always physical. There aren’t always bruises and broken bones. The worst abuse is sometimes emotional and is easy for the abuser (and the victim) to hide. Again, listen to your gut. Does the child seem sad, depressed, timid, or excessively anxious or worried? Do things just seem ‘not right’?

More often than not, your gut is telling you something is wrong because of a series of factors. You know one or both parents and are questioning their actions or lifestyle and more importantly, the children seem to be struggling.

Cases of abuse are not always an obviously evil abusive parent or family member. Unfortunately, the parents or family members are often sick themselves—either fighting addiction or mental illness and in some of these cases they truly can’t see the harm they are doing. But no matter who has what trouble, no matter how tough it all is—children need to be put first. Their safety and well-being is all that matters.

The emotional scars from all kinds of abuse take years , sometimes lifetimes to heal.

Another action we can all take is to get involved with organizations that do good work, hands-on work in the fight against child abuse and neglect.

As parents, we inspire and encourage certain kinds of behavior in our kids; they idolize us, look up to us and turn to us on a dark night for a hug. We are not here to say ”all will be okay ,” I don’t say that anymore , that’s mythic. All can not be okay till you take an action against all that is wrong in your as well as your kid’s life.

What adults-mothers, fathers, relatives, friends do to these kids in abusive households makes me both furious and helpless. It often makes me cry at night.

It is too late for Zahra. But it is not too late for countless other children out there who are enduring the very same abuse and neglect in their homes. Unfortunately, I can almost guarantee you that within your county, your state, your city, even your locality there are several children just like Zahra that need you. NOW. Please do something. Save the Children. They’re the future. Don’t let their present mar the rest of their life.

(more…)


Guest post by Himanshu Gupta, city director of  Yuva Unstoppable, a volunteer based organization focussed on empowering youth for a better tomorrow.

Nanhi si pari

Paida hoke woh giri,

Woh pyare se hath,

Jisko diya na kisi ne sath.

Woh Maa ka anchal,

Jo kar deta usko chanchal.

Woh chote se per,

Jisko kara sabne gaer.

Woh uska pehla kadam

Jismein ayi mushkil hardam.

Woh nanhi se jaan

Jisko kiya sabne bahut pareshan.

Woh Bapu ka saya

Jismein har waqt andhera hi kyun usne paya?

Woh meethe se sapne

Jisme ban gaye ab khuni hi apne.

Usne us waqt ek sawal uthaya

Jispe sab ne usko kar diya paraya

Sawal jo usne kiya:

“Hey bhagwan!

Mene khole jab ye nayan

To tha sab rangeen.

Jab hui thodi badi

To kya kara mene sangeen?

Rishto ne hi mera mujhse sab kyun china?

Maa ka anchal aur baap ka saya

Kyun le aya mere jeevan me andhera?

Kyun karta hai tu peida humein e insaan?

Jaha ghol diya sharafat ki aad mein shaiton ka ye aasman

Kya guna mene kiya ye ling paake?

Badan se nhi uthi hai nazar auro ki mere is duniya mein ake.

Na rishto ka moh hai na duniya ye rangeen,

Kya astitva paya

Kya kara mene sangeen?

Tadap tadap roke maine bitaya har pal.

Ghut-ghut marke mene jiya har kal.

Yaadon ki nagri mein

Basa woh andhera

Ae Bhagwan! kyun tu us mandir mein betha?

Jaha tera khud ka na hai basera

Jaha tera khud ka na hai basera..”


This is the first story from my book ‘Steps’.There are eight  stories in all, all fiction and I will share my women and a part of myself through them here … with all of you. I hope you will find yourselves too somewhere. 

Uma- I wrote it as I waited to be called for an interview. I had nothing with me except copies of my resume and wrote in on the back of the three pages that make my resume. The director probably saw me scribbling away and asked me to show him what I was writing Outside. Hesitantly I showed him my scribbled story. He told me that though I was the most highly qualified candidate and would be offered  the job,  I should go home and write. I did.

UMA

Uma lay quietly, looking up at the soot darkened walls and the sunlight filtering through the dusty mesh. It made odd patterns. They reminded her of her daughter’s attempt at putting henna on her hands, as she had last week, on the auspicious festival of Gangaur. She raised her hands to see the discoloured henna, and rubbed them feebly together- blood on her hands.  What was wrong with her, why was she thinking of blood and death? She lay awaiting life- the birth of her child- her fifth child, child..??  After four daughters she awaited only the birth of a son, no longer of a ‘child’.

            Pain came stronger now, in waves, but Uma did not make a sound. She had screamed enough the past four times but the Gods had not listened, better to bear it. Oh! Why did she not have the optimism these other women squatting around her had? They seemed sure she would beget a son- the promised heir to the name and property. Property? The meager 2 acres left over from drink and gambling? He needed a heir for THAT? She laughed mirthlessly and her sister-in-law mistaking the sound for a sob, moved close, dabbing her forehead with her sari pallu.

            Uma looked into the face of her husband’s younger sister. She seemingly bore no resemblance to the young pretty girl she had been when Uma had entered the house as a young bride. Girls were not supposed to be happy but at least there had been hope and a vestige of a dream on her face. Five years of marriage had wiped out the wishes and dreams. Like the women around her, her face had only weariness etched in its lines now. Not grief, not desperation not even the death of her dreams – just weariness of life , of the constant compromise, the acceptance of the unaccceptable. They looked into each other’s eyes and shifted their gaze away, it seemed they both know the truth that they would have to face soon. Let’s leave it for now, their eyes said.

            Uma’s gaze went to the inner door where her eldest daughter peeped through, holding her sisters back, just nine years old and already a mother to her siblings. She remembered her soft words of yesterday as she rubbed her mother’s aching back and calmed her that it would be a son this time and how she would look after her brother and care for him.

            Suddenly Uma wanted it all to stop. She wanted to hold the little scrap of humanity safe in her womb forever and protect her daughter. To give birth would be to sentence her to the hellish life of her sisters, mother and generations of women. If… if she was allowed to live.

            She knew why the official midwife had not been called this time, knew the meaning of the cauldron of milk kept in a corner of the room. She averted her eyes, her heart silently screaming at her unborn child to remain unborn. She sobbed aloud as pain tore through her and the women in the room suddenly came to life.

Uma  lost herself in a world of pain and prayer, Later, there was an easing of pain and the cry of a baby, Uma did  not know how long or short it had been. She did not open her eyes, not wanting to look at the child who would soon be cruelly snatched away from her, and was not it better this way. She hardened her heart against the inevitable pain and horror.

Loud clanging and joyous shouts, she opened her eyes startled. She looked into the ecstatic faces of her mother and sister-in-law. ‘It’s a son’- she ran to break the news to her anxiously waiting brother.

Uma turned her face away to the inner door and beckoned her daughters to her, opening her tired arms to them. As they came in timidly, Uma’s face broke into a smile.