The heartbreaking images of a Syrian toddler, Aylan Kurdi, washed ashore, lifeless on a Turkish beach has sparked outrage across the globe. The images are disturbing. As a mother of a toddler, I did not want to see them. But I did. And yes, I was anguished. I cried. Many of you might be distressed that such a photo has gone viral. I am not. This is REAL. This is a crisis. Infact, it is a crisis of epic proportions that warrants outrage, anger and action.This is the world’s most powerful nations and politicians failing to control a situation that is horribly out of control. But most of all, this is a tragedy of isolation! We cannot wish to ignore conflict and strife in other nations particularly our neighbours. After all, we live in a connected world and no nation in this world can hope to progress alone. Aylan Kurdi’s lifeless body is a reminder of a five year crisis in Syria that has displayed millions of families and cost so many lives. Continue reading
PM Narendra Modi’s call to all parents to click a selfie with their daughters and post on social media with the #SelfiewithDaughter seems like just another Modi social media campaign that takes a softer approach to deal with a very hard issue. But it is not. Infact, it is a step in the right direction. It’s just the RIGHT feel good, easy to do and easy to promote task that has the ability to transform attitudes, spark debates and carry the message of beti bachao far and wide. You might question what can a #SelfiewithDaughter really change? But then recall the #ALSIceBucketChallenge and how it helped to raise millions of dollars worldwide for not only finding a cure for ALS but also creating widespread awareness for the disease. Wouldn’t it be great if #SelfiewithDaughter could help bring some kind of sea change in attitudes related to gender in our society?
To me it seems unreal that there are parents in our country who wouldn’t think twice before ending the life of their new born just because she is a girl. With a sex ratio that is terribly skewed and has deteriorated from 945 in 1991 to 918 in 2011 we need campaigns like #SelfiewithDaughter. Every step, every word, every effort, every rupee spent trying to correct this imbalance is worth it. Continue reading