No child should feel discriminated
- By: Vashaya -
My father was an alcoholic and started living separately when I was just two or three-years-old. My mother worked as a domestic help and brought us all up (me and my three siblings). She always thought that my two brothers would start supporting the family after they grew up. So she provided them with everything they asked for. They would be fed non-vegetarian food, dry fruits and milk but we, two sisters would be asked to eat normal khana (normal food). If my brothers asked for money or new clothes for their birthdays, they were easily given, once I even remember my mother getting them a computer. We were never given anything, I always felt bad about it and wondered, ‘Humare mein kya problem hai?’ (What is wrong with us?) We all belong to the same family then why this discrimination? We were not even allowed to go out of our houses but my brothers would always be out. Despite all this, I’m the only child in the family who has passed Class 10th, my brothers did not.
Much later, my mother realized that both my brothers were not supporting the family. She said, ‘Dono ladke apni marzi se nikal gaye aur maine apni betiyon ka kabhi dhyan nahi diya (Both my sons followed their own ways and I never paid attention to my daughters)’. Then she asked us what we want to do and she would support us. She came to know about a driving course from Azad Foundation and she asked me to join it. That is when I started stepping out of my house. Once I started going for the driving training, people living in our neighbourhood began questioning my mother. They would say who knows where she is going and that she comes and leaves at odd hours. But my mother stood up for me and said that she believes in me and knows where I am going.
But I still feel that no one in my family believes that I can do anything in life. Everyone thinks that I’m little mad but I want to prove all of them wrong. ‘Humare ghar mein kisi ne aaj tak scooty bhi nahi chalayi par mai ladki ho kar car chala rahi hu (In our house, no one has even driven a scooty but I’m a girl and I’m driving a car)’. One day, I will be able to say that I’m doing well in life. I also want to finish my studies. I want this society to treat both boys and girls equally from their childhood. No one should ever feel discriminated.
(This write-up is in collaboration with Azad Foundation)