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Harshita varshney

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Information about Harshita varshney

Published on February 27, 2014

Author: socialscribblers

Source: slideshare.net

Description

This article has been written for Techkriti Blog for a Cause Contest.
The topic was:
“The hand that rocks the cradle rules the World.” Write about a particular issue concerning the position of women in today’s society.

For more information visit: http://www.socialscribblers.in/techkriti-blog-cause/
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THE HAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE ALSO RULES THE NATION Sheila woke up on an early summer morning. Before tending to the field, before milking the cow, before preparing tea for her husband, there was something she really had to do. She walked over to the other room in the poorly made kuchcha house. On the floor, in the way, were utensils from last night’s dinner: the thaali from which she had eaten the remains of what her husband had left. No, before

washing these, she had to do something more important. It was getting late. She remembered her childhood. Sheila was never allowed to study. She had helped her mother with the household work for as long as she could remember. When she was six, she had been raped by her uncle. When she was fifteen, she was forcefully married to a man ten years her senior. Seventeen, abortion. Eighteen, beaten and raped by her own husband. But now, she had to do this. *** The hand that rocks the cradle used to rule the world. In ancient India, women enjoyed equal rights and privileges. They were treated and respected like Goddesses. They had the right to choose their own husbands in events called Swayamwaras. Gradually, a woman’s position in the society began deteriorating. From a privileged position, they were thrown into the world of Sati, Child Marriage, Purdah and Female Infanticide. From Goddesses, to objects. Over the years, we have seen attempts made and voices heard: pleas to stop objectification of women. But although it acquires changes in forms over time, the concept of treating women like merchandise, never truly fades. It’s saddening to see the lack of respect for women in this country. In the past few months, the newspapers have been flooded with news from all over-Rape In A Moving Bus, Rape Of A Danish Tourist,

Gang Rape Victim Died. The disgusting mind-set existing in today’s society can be observed by how men, even in important decisionmaking positions, describe the cause of rapes. Indecent dresses, the girls that talk “more than they should”, the girls that hang out with other guys, and hence “provoke” rape. Well for all those that believe that, what will you say about the rape of the 2-year old girl? Did she wear clothes that invited rape? Or did she talk in a manner that showed she wanted to be raped? The men responsible sometimes get by with it, scratch free and it is the already traumatized girl, who is victimized by the society. Old rituals like the dowry system, have still not found their way out of the modern Indian society. The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) figures state that 8,233 dowry deaths were reported from various states in the past year- that’s one bride burnt every hour. The fact that a family has to pay in cash and gold, to give away their daughter further proves how women are treated like commodities. They are considered a burden on the parents, families go bankrupt, and thousands-maybe lakhs-of young women suffer violence silently behind doors. Educating your daughters and encouraging them to pursue their dreams, is the best dowry parents can gift their daughters. Not only in India, women in Saudi Arabia, are among the most oppressed in the world. Their world behind the Saudi veil isn’t easy. All females must have a male guardian-a father, a brother or

a husband. She needs permission of her male guardian for almost everything she does- marriage and divorce; education; employment and even for stepping out of the house. They’re not allowed to drive, use public transport, wear the clothes of their choice or hold political office. They can be beaten up to death if the male guardian believes that she has done away with the honour of the family. Most rape victims are sentenced to jail, on charges of being in an “unrelated man’s territory” during the rape, or for being “indecently dressed.” How would you define such a woman other than them being pieces of furniture whose ownership is passed on from one man to another? We live in a society that has always seen females weaker than men. We live in a society that is bound by age-old traditions. We live in a society where women are told to talk less, and cover up more. We live in a society where educating the girl child isn’t paramount, teaching her to do household chores is. We live in a society that will abandon the mother if she gives birth to a daughter. Changing all this isn’t easy. Education can bring about that change. We need to teach the girls about their rights and make them fight for them. We need to give them the assurance that their voices would be heard. We need to make them self sufficient and independent. We need to make them believe in themselves and in the beauty of their dreams. We need to educate the boys and teach them to respect girls. Only when the

mindset of the society changes, can we grow and prosper. And even though at a slow pace, things ARE changing. For every rape victim that remains silent, there are women in Saudi Arabia that are fighting for their ‘right to drive.’ For every bride that is burnt, there are more parents celebrating the birth of their daughter. For every Damini that is raped, there is a Saina Nehwal making us proud. For every girl child that is killed in the womb, there are parents sending their daughters to school. We need to work for a happier tomorrow, a time when the hand that rocks the cradle, will finally rule the world. *** Sheila entered her daughter’s room with a glass of milk. She looked at the beautiful form lying in the bed and felt thankful for saving it from abortion. As her daughter woke up and hungrily gulped down the milk, she whispered to her, ‘Get ready. You don’t want to be late on the first day of school.’ -Harshita Varshney

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