Dreaming in India

Rashmi Tiwari – Washington Post – Wednesday, 30 April 2014 (originally published 28 Apr)

Woman leaving the voting poll
Image: Manish Swarup/AP

Growing up in India, I tried to defy the gender bias that plagues the vast majority of girls in the country. I spent the early years of my childhood in the modern society of Mumbai before relocating with my mother to the smaller, ancient city of Varanasi. There I realized just how different my mother and I were compared to the traditional Indian family.

In Varanasi, boys were encouraged to pursue education and career opportunities, while girls prepared for their future by learning about household chores, knitting, cooking and anything else that would help make them better wives and daughters-in-law. Yet despite the societal pressure, my progressive mother gave me complete freedom to pursue my education.

With no one listening and no support in their fight for survival, these girls become the victims of our society’s collective failure — its failure of administration, moral values and humanity. The majority of girls and women here don’t live to dream, they dream to live . . .

. . . read complete article . . .