This is a narration of my own story of being raised up as a girl child in Nepal on the occasion of the International Day of the Girl Child. I sincerely believe millions of girls in Nepal share similar stories.
When I took my first breath and saw the world outside, my family was disappointed as I was a baby girl. As I grew up, it was not only me, my mom also suffered equally. At that very moment, I realised the world is not as beautiful as I had thought. My mother’s womb was much safer.
I was four years old when my mom gave birth to my brother. Happiness was beyond the limit; I as a child could not recognise why my parents waited so much for a male child. With the happiness on him, a bundle of responsibilities were kept over me. In the age where I equally needed parental love, I was completely ignored by them. Rather my brother was pampered.
In the process of growing up, I was passionate to go to school and learn things. I was sent to school but the pressure of household chores was not less than it was in the past.
When I had my first mensuration, I was isolated. I was termed impure. At that young age, I even did not know if isolating myself, escaping from the direct sunlight, not seeing faces of my brother or father and restrictions in doing the household chores were right or wrong. That was the moment when I got myself into a rebellion. I realised there were so many things that we have been doing or following blindly even though they would badly affect the lives of a group of people.
After a few years, I was asked to get married. What I want was not considered; I was imposed with the decisions, and my plans for my life vanished at that very moment. My will in doing well for my parents was withdrawn by my parents themselves. Even if life was mine, it was not in my control. I was treated as if I had no plans, no desires or any wishes.
My life turned out to be a playground, where a group of random people came and hit a score to change my life. Maybe my silence at that age gave them the courage to play with my life. I was silent because I never knew the consequences. At that very young age, my individuality was masked.
I am a girl child. I might be silent, but that does not mean anyone can taint me, anyone can tag me and anyone can objectify me. It equally hurts me and my sentiments. My consent equally matters; my silence does not give anyone consent to paint me with the colours that I was not supposed to get painted with. No one can make my life-changing decisions without my choice.
Before being a girl, I am a human and my individuality matters. I do not want to come along with the bouquet; I want to bloom as a single flower. We only have one life to live and I do not want people ruling over mine. I want my life to be completely mine, with no compulsion, no fear or any manipulation. I want to live with peace; I am so much drained living in between fight or flight. I want to grow up to be a strong independent woman.
May we all get to know, be and raise a strong woman. I have that courage and willpower to overcome my fear or overcome what was meant to destroy me. There is a wonder woman inside me. My dreams as a young child will turn me out as a visionary woman.
This summarises the sentiments of almost every girl child here in Nepal. The life of a girl child entangled with the immoral deeds of demons in the world ruled by the ideology of feminism sounds so irrelevant. We all cry for help but get no guts to help. Our voice remains unheard, over and over again. Firstly, the inefficient awareness and the complete ignorance from concerned authorities even after the constantly repeated action have made the situation worst.
Today, on the International Day of the Girl Child, the theme for 2021, “Digital generation. Our generation” also seeks digital inclusion. There is no digital revolution without girls.
There already are so many rights, conventions or provisions brought in favour of girl children. Even the constitution of Nepal, 2015, is so much in favour of girl children, but as always, we failed in the implementation part. I hereby wish that all girl children will be ensured with their basic rights.
Let every girl child enjoy her rights, live with freedom and fly with colours.