Just saw the trailer of the upcoming movie “Chhapaak”, which is the true story of an acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal. And can’t keep the tears inside any longer.

It’s been happening for some time & I keep my positive hat on and find people around me who have a happier story to tell. Like that of the new Miss Universe,a passionate activist and engaged in the fight against gender based violence who went on to say,” We should be teaching young girls leadership.It’s something that has been lacking in young girls and women for a very long time – not because we don’t want to, but because of what society has labelled women to be”. Or the story of new and youngest PM – Sanna Marin who will lead a coalition government of Finland with five women in top spots, four of whom are under 35.

But here in our country the gloom is all over and whenever we open the newspaper, scroll through our Facebook timelines or look around us ….. it’s everywhere- girls and women being beaten , burnt , raped, suppressed or discriminated against.Don’t know if the incidents seem to be growing more or it is the growing human sensitivity….to the pain of victims especially when something as violent as Unnao, Nirbhaya-Jyoti or Priyanka Reddy’s cases comes to light.

Where does it all start ?

Why, when & how did we give this kind of power to our boys and make our girls so vulnerable?
What is it that we are doing so wrong as a society?
How are we bringing up our boys and girls? – giving the former the power to kill or protect and the later meekness to be either in need of the protection or be suppressed or killed.
Are we faulting in our Parenting and building walls of stereotypes ?

I believe a lot of these problems and many others go back to the kind of home environment we give our children and gender-unequal parenting.

Shaken everyday I wake up and start again to do my bit.Counseling parents, trying to reach the not-so-privileged, calling out stereotypes where ever I can, try hard to inspire parents to parent differently , talk to youngsters to not keep quiet and call out gender inequality. But the “Chhapaak” trailer hit me really hard today. I need a lot of courage to wake up to start finding positive stories again tomorrow. Feeling extremely defeated but trying to sleep with a stronger determination to do a little bit extra to make our girls safer, inspired to do more with their lives & our boys more sensitive and caring.

Let’s change the narrative wherever we can !

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