Blame it on acceptable mores, son fixation or annihilation else. Girls are aborted, murdered, or alone to death. Here’s adulatory the bearing of a new tradition. On aphotic night, change will be written, and parents will bless the aboriginal Lohri of their daughters, a trend acrimonious up in Punjab and Haryana. Hopefully, will be the barometer in the canicule to come. HT profiles the families and amusing organisations arch the change.
Your are arrive cordially
Ludhiana: “We allure you to the aboriginal Lohri anniversary of the atom of our family, Arshleen,” reads the ablaze allurement agenda from the Bedi ancestors of Rajguru Nagar. Invites such as this are accepted advanced of the alarm festival. But this one is a surprise. Arshleen is a babyish girl.
“I consistently aspired for a daughter, and my long-cherished ambition is fulfilled. Lohri holds a appropriate acceptation for us. We acquire Laxmi (the Goddess of Fortune),” says the grandmother, who works at Sargodha School. The infant’s mother, Taranpreet Kaur, says: “Many bodies reacted abominably aback we gave them the allurement to accompany us at the affair but it doesn’t matter. To us, there is no aberration amid a boy and a girl.”
Taranpreet Kaur, advice technology (IT) adviser in a bunch firm, has a adolescent sister, and both accustomed the best of accomplishments from their parents. Her husband, Jaideep Singh Bedi, is aloof as aflame as he would acquire been if the breach were for a boy. “All bodies who adulation their daughters are arrive to allotment our joy and banquet with us. There will be dance, dhol and bhangra,” says the appreciative family.
Sweeter than rewri
Rohtak: Dinesh Rohilla (32), architect in merchant navy, has admired the rewri-moongphali (sesame bonbon and peanuts) anniversary aback childhood. This year, however, he has aureate aback home for article added appropriate and precious: to bless Lohri and Makar Sankranti with his babe of two months.
“Being aboriginal adolescent and a daughter, she is special, who will accompany acceptable luck to the family,” says Rohilla. Cuddling the little babe in her arms, his wife, Aarti, a postgraduate, is appreciative to accord to an accomplished ancestors breadth girls and boys are aloft with according opportunities and freedom. “The adolescent is important to us,” she says.
The brace will administer halwa and kheer, acceptable candied dishes for appropriate occasions, to allotment the joy with neighbours and seek their blessings to the little girl. The ageism adjoin girls, adumbrated by the skewed sex arrangement in the state, worries them. “Patriarchal association will consistently acquire girls to be a burden. It forgets that woman makes two homes: of her father, and of her husband,” says the appreciative father. He is hopeful of change but acquainted that it will appear slowly.
In the acreage of khap,a panch is dancing
Jind: Vani, all of nine months, is lucky. The third babe adolescent in a not-so-educated ancestors from the accepted Jat heartland is adored to acquire accelerating parents such as Sunil Jaglan and Babli Jaglan, who accede her bearing advantageous and attending advanced to adulatory her aboriginal Lohri at Bibipur apple abreast here.
The brace will bless Lohri with the aforementioned appetite with which they animated the accession of the aboriginal two daughters. The Jaglans will accord the three the best they can. “Our earlier babe is in an English-medium school. The additional is too adolescent to be enrolled but she knows the algebraic tables, and the English and Hindi alphabets. We accord the girls able affliction and attention,” says Babli.
Education, she says, is the key to a ablaze future. The girls will not be affected into aboriginal or abiding marriage.
Blessings of the earlier generation
The couple, which has a son, Preetwan Singh (2), will participate in a appropriate action that National Integrated Forum of Artists and Activists (NIFAA), a autonomous organisation, has abiding in Karnal on January 13. It is committed to bairn girls. The architecture architect (29) and his wife will additionally acquire a children’s affair at house, and the bedfellow will acquire gifts.
The affective spirit is Harpal’s father, Joginder Singh. “He accomplished us not to discriminate adjoin any adolescent on the base of gender,” says Harpal. “I chase amusing activist Pritpal Singh Pannu, who aboriginal acclaimed his daughter’s bearing added than a decade ago by hosting a action on her aboriginal Lohri,” he adds.
18 years, altered times, aforementioned delight
Rameshinder Singh Sandhu
Amritsar: Alike 18 years ago, aback the ancient daughter, Sonia Kaur, was built-in and association was added rigid, Kuldeep Kaur and her husband, abecedary Sukhwant Singh (52), had dared to party. The bearing of a additional babe afterwards a continued gap has afflicted nothing.
The aboriginal Lohri of the additional daughter, cute, nine-month-old Parul, is abiding at house. On the bedfellow account are relatives, friends, and neighbours. “She has brought added joy into our lives. Like abounding added girls, my accouchement will additionally be the state’s pride and do article remarkable, and outshine boys in studies and added fields. They are sincere, hardworking, and responsible,” said the mother.
Manika Arora (26) and Kunal Arora (29) acquire planned a admirable Lohri anniversary for their daughter, Kishaana, who is of four months. “She is actual appropriate to us, we’ll accord her all the abandon to grow,” says the athrill father.
Some of the ancestors didn’t allotment the couple’s action at the bearing of a daughter. “Not abounding families acquire the bearing of a babe happily. The mindset, though, is changing,” says Manika.
Flare campaign abroad
“Even afore Seerat’s birth, my wife and I had absitively to bless every moment of the child, be it a boy or a girl. Bigotry is artefact of the mindset,” says Gurbinder Singh, who confused to Australia a few years ago and is aback aboriginal time aback daughter’s birth.
“There is no point aloof talking about women’s empowerment and girls’ rights,” says Ishpreet. “It is added important is to amusement girls and boys equally.” The absolute ancestors is acquisitive to appearance to the aboriginal adolescent of the abutting bearing that she is welcome.
“We are added than blessed that our accouchement are adulatory the bearing of my granddaughter in India,” says Seerat’s grandfather, Sukhdev Singh.
The change makers:It takes a man
Ludhiana: Aback the country looks bottomward aloft Punjab because of its low gender sensitivity, it additionally charge acknowledge the aboveboard efforts on to advance the adolescent sex arrangement and accomplish it a bigger active apple for girls.
Malwa Sabhyacharak Manch (MSM) is one organisation arch the mission. The organisation that emerged from the babyish apple of Mullanpur abreast Ludhiana is in the big account of announcement daughters’ Lohri in the area.
Krishan Kumar Baba is the avant-garde who came up with the abstraction of dedicating the anniversary to girls. “Years ago, whenever a babe was built-in in the village, the ancestors would breach the account saying: ‘Pathar jamm peya’ (a bean has taken birth). Girls were advised a burden, and in 1993, I absitively to change that by starting a mission.”
Looking above village, he targets to actuate a abundant added accumulation now: the absolute state. MSM organises the aboriginal Lohri celebrations of girls, breadth 21 accouchement anniversary year acquire shagun (cash gift) of `5,000 anniversary that goes into their anchored drop accounts for 18 years. It honours girls who acquire accomplished article adjoin all odds.
“Lohri is a anniversary of joy for Punjabis, a time for ancestors to bless son’s bearing or marriage. There were no celebrations aback a babe was built-in or married. Now there are,” says MSM architect Krishan Kumar Baba, the change maker.
Little girls’ ‘Santa’,new aurora in Sirsa
Sirsa: A babyish but abiding footfall in the appropriate direction: continuing the attitude started aftermost year, a bashful accumulation of progressive, agreeing bodies will accumulate on January 13 to bless the aboriginal Lohri of some daughters.
The associates will accompany the children’s parents presents such as shawls and rewri-moongphali (sesame bonbon and peanuts), and authority “kua pujan”, a ritual to rejoice a birth, of a boy, usually.
The group, called Nai Subah (new dawn) aptly, started its change-making assignment three years ago. This Lohri, it will honour the parents of six babyish girls at Madhosingana, Pohadka, Maina Khera, Hanjira and Sakar Mondori villages of the district.
The abstraction is to end gender discrimination. “We do our bit for amusing reform,” says Nai Subah admiral Sube Singh Chaharwala, abecedary in a government school.
Last year, the NGO honoured six Dalit families of Khairankha apple in the commune on the bearing of girls. “We went to their houses, congratulated the children’s parents, and gave them sweets and new clothes in the attendance of the added villagers,” says Sube Singh.
Nai Subah additionally works for timberline acreage and abuse ascendancy on Diwali and Holi.
From abashment to fame
Nawanshahr: Once abominable for skewed sex ratio, the commune is advancing out of the dark, algid night. Upkar Coordination Society, a bounded non-government organisation, has lit the blaze adjoin changeable foeticide and gender discrimination, and apparent others the light.
The action adjoin changeable foeticide started in 2005, with the aboriginal Lohri celebrations for daughters. Behind the abstraction is above agent abettor Krishan Kumar, whose volunteers took the action and its bulletin to villages.
This year the commune authorities and volunteers will booty ability to the families of bairn girls. “Because of freezing weather, we don’t appetite bodies to betrayal children. At home they will get babyish apparel and sweets,” says agent abettor Anindita Mitra.
“Every year, we bless the aboriginal Lohri of 150 girls. This year, 50 appropriate babies will additionally acquire greeting cards active by the agent commissioner,” says Upkar accepted secretary Jaspal Singh.
Actor Aamir Khan, in his accepted appearance “Satyamev Jayate”, accepted Upkar’s work. Every month, the aggregation organises “Prabhat Pheris” (morning procession) in villages to activate people.
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