Saturday, January 10, 2009

Educate them

In a charitable institution in Bangalore, 23-year-old Veena is taking care of her husband who is battling with advanced stage of penile cancer. Her husband is 45 years old. The couple has a 3-year-old kid who is being taken care of by Veena's parents. Veena used to work as ahousemaid to support her husband, a labourer. For her, the road ahead is a dark tunnel where no light is seen as of now, with doctors giving just days of survival chance for her husband.

Girija, whose family I knew in Kerala, had a different story. Her alcoholic husband once banged her head against the wall and she developed an internal injury which was unnoticed for many days. It later developed into a tumour, which was diagnosed at an advanced stage, paralysing her. She died months later, leaving behind a cute little daughter and husband who married another lady when Girija was still bed-ridden.

Recently, the news of a `modern Draupadi going to hiding' in a northern state hit headlines. Her husband had lost her in gambling! The poor woman, the mother of two kids, ran away from home to safeguard her dignity.

These did not happen in the 17th century. These are for the21st-century parents of girl children to read. Marrying your child off should not be your ultimate responsibility. Educate them and enable them to stand on their own feet first. They deserve much better than the dark lives mentioned above.

* Names have been changed

12 comments:

[ boby ] said...

Education... Root cause of why these incidents happen is parents are not educated... So I believe, no matter the child is a boy or a girl, "Educate them" is the best thing we can do for them...

You have come up with a point... try to elaborate your writings...nice work.

yamini nair said...

Boby, I totally agree that both boys and girls need to be educated. But if there is disparity, it affects girls more. Anyway, thanks for reading it and commenting.

Pascale said...

Yes. Education is the key to everything. And women who have been brainswashed for centuries into thinking they are passive objects of economic, social, sexual developments need it more. Happy New Year to you too. I enjoy your blog:)

u.chandran said...

equality to women is still considered a taboo in India.Even in our Parliament they are not given their due share.

Compulsory education & a little bit of military training is required to improve our knowledge & discipline.

My school Principal used to say about 45 years back"behave well,study well & play well".

K. Sundaram said...

I accept education is the best option to empower women. But the so called educated women become the first prey to these kind of atrocities. Education coupled with qualities of self-respect, dignity and courage to fight against injustice,should be inculcated among girls even from their childhood.

Jennifer said...

I have come here through Pradeep Nair's blog. It is a thought provoking post you have presented.

I am sure this is also part and parcel of education- but there needs to be a culture shift in that when 'girls are married' off it should not mean they are not 'responsibility' of their birth family. Parents of girls should want to be connected to their daughters life long and her inlaws family should also appreciate this. I studied social work in the slums of Chennai, there were widows of 17 and younger there who could not go home to their birth families as marriage meant they were not able to come 'home' again. It also meant as a widow, no remarriage and their ties with their inlaws also severed because of the superstition that widows bring bad luck to the family. It's very very sad. But women have to be strong and stand on their own feet, but when there is no one there to support them, this makes it very very difficult. What are your thoughts?

PS As an American woman, and as a social worker in America, these problems do also happen in different ways in our country...women all over the world need to learn to be strong...

greyMatter said...

is education the ultimate answer? they said education can eradicate superstitions, caste barriers and gender discrimination. bt in reality, it hasnt been entirely so. the US where hundreds of thousands of it engineers have migrated to, is also the most sought after place for hindu priests knwin sanskrit. check d net, u can see many advertisements proclaiming the wonderful pujuas these people can do- if u r in one of the states in the US, tht is.

look at all newspapers and dailies. the letters tht drip with caste/communal bias come from the US and UK, written by educated people who migrated frm here or even frm the second generation migrants.

similar with women emancipation.

like in the case of revolution, anythin that requires a paradigm shift needs to come frm the grassroot. they could be led by people in the middle class/ educated intellectuals, but without the feel and urge to be independent inside each and every women, it wil never be effective.

the greatest weapon thtz used against women is their sex. perhaps sheddin the aura surrounding sex might make her feel tht she doesnt have to keep her hymen cryogenically frozen anymore.. den again, its just an opinion of a male.

education can give them life outside the fetters but if u want to be free in all meaning of the term, u should feel tht irresistible need to be free and believe completely in it. thtz d same stuff tht gives rise to rebellions and even revolutions..

VeeKay said...

I would agree education no matter what the gender is.

But the reality of the fact is that if you go into the interior parts of India no matter how much you educate certain norms will never change. Like you can never straighten a dogs tail.

Smitha said...

A very thought provoking post. While I totally agree, that education is totally important, these things happen even in highly educated households. I remember, that there were a lot of cases where educated women, married to NRI's were abused and ill-treated. I think, true liberation, comes not just from education, but from the sense of independance that has been fostered in the woman by her environment. As long as parents drill it into their daughters that once 'married - they have nothing to do with them' - nothing will change. Even today,we hear of parents who send their child back into abusive marital homes.. Once they have married them off- it is almost as if their responsibility ends there.. It is beyond just education - also to do with societal changes..

aadarsh said...

Yes. education indeed is the key word to uplift the 'so called' weaker sex. But i think the present education system should be revamped to bring the change we desperatly need.

Happy Kitten said...

Hi!

I came here from Pradeep Nair's blog...

Even I feel education is not enough though it is a must. I have seen many educated girls meekly surrendering/sacrificing her happiness and comforts so that her new family can be happy and lazy too. It is also in our culture that a daughter-in-law is good only if she is thus and even the parents who have sent her are happy only when this adjustment has happened. I agree that adjustment needs to be done after marriage but this adjustment should not lean heavily upon the girl’s side only.

I think a girl needs to be strong to stand up to her rights. They need to be taught at home that they are precious and should not be taken for granted. In the same way even a boy should be taught that girls are not to be treated as door mats. But I think even our school text books in some states glorify a “bahu” who transforms into a door mat and there are many girls who transform themselves into the perfect “bahu” thinking that this is what they are ordained to be.

Pradeep said...

More than being educated, the willingness to behave sincerely as an educated person is what makes the difference. A number of atrocities are committed by none other than educated parents. Eduactions is only a means to becoming a good person, and no guarantee -- neverthless, an important step.