Happy Children’s Day & Happy Diwali: Boys clean, Girls shoot; goodbye to gender bias in 2020

Indore: This Diwali is special and unique, one that we will not only remember for lights, decorations and presents. The year 2020 has been a lesson of learnings and transformations and so is Diwali.

Learning the basic and most important lessons of life, children have explored their talents and skills as they study from home and celebrate Diwali.

During Diwali, a positive trend that was seen was seen in families working to raise every child as one without gender bias.

Celebrating Children’s Day and a hope that the lesson for equality stays with us even in 2021, we bring a bird’s view of the inspiring changes in Children this year.

Sharing their tales, little ones talk about their experiences and lessons, where they grew beyond biases.

Anshika Gupta, International shooting champion
Anshika Gupta, International shooting champion

Gender-bias ends dreams, support your child

“I joined a boarding school in class 7th in Indore and tried swimming, skating and finally found shooting,” Anshika Gupta, international shooting champion, said. Rifles make her feel powerful.

“My family has been very supportive. I asked my parents (Urmilla and Vishwanath Gupta) to buy me a kit for Rs 60,000 and he did even if I was just trying,” Anshika said. She learned shooting from coach V Ganesh.

She feels lucky to have such parents. “My friend who was also into shooting and really good, had to quit. Her family did not support her ambitions,” Anshika shared.

She urged all the parents to support their child irrespective of gender or any other bias deserves this support. This is all that children ask for really.

Anshika Gupta, International shooting champion
Anshika Gupta, International shooting champion
One year old Ashwat is helping his mother in drying clothes
One year old Ashwat is helping his mother in drying clothes

Raising Responsible Boys

Raising a boy right is more essential task for a parent and this begins with creating a balanced and positive environment. Taking a step towards making their children’s future a happy one, some families utilised the down time from schools challenging stereotypes.

The much-talked about Diwali preparations and decorations were not left for women as always. This time, not just men but boys chipped in and prepared Diwali snacks.

“The best way to celebrate Children’s day is to do something good for our children, and while giving presents is the usual traditions, passing on life lessons is more important,” Rayswin Rashmi Modi, mother of two young boys, said.

Her sons Advait and Ashwat are the learning the lessons of equality and their responsibilities at home. “My elder son Advait is 6 years, and he takes charge and helps me in cleaning, cooking, decorating house for celebrations especially Diwali. The younger one Ashwat, who is one year old, is learning household chores and understanding that it is his role as well,” Modi said.

Paridhi Joshi, international equestrian
Paridhi Joshi, international equestrian

Give up control, let children ride!

Where most people believe that riding, shooting and other sports are generally for men only, girls coming from supportive and determined families are ready to break these stereotypes.

One such determined young girl is Paridhi Joshi. The international equestrian is an inspiration to many. “Being a child means having the freedom to dream and further, follow them, but many girls even around me are controlled even for dreaming basing decisions on stereotypes,” she said.

To her fortune, her parents understood and supported her decision to become an equestrian. “There is no gender bias in equestrian, but even now, we have more men competing for medals than women,” Paridhi said.

She is the only girl (under 21 years) in India participating in Eventing Ambition to participate in Asian Games and Olympic.

She appealed parents to re-consider their attitude and break stereotypes supporting their daughters and sons alike.

Some of her achievements:

· National Level - 52 Medals

· International Level - 3 Medals

· India Representation - HONKONG; 2018

· Qualified for India for U-21 Asian Jumping Championship (2019)

· EKlavya Award - 2016

· Best Rider - 2015

· GOLD MEDAL in Senior II Dressage event of FEI WORLD DRESSAGE CHAMPIONSHIP (WDC) - 2020; held at Army Polo & Riding Club (APRC) - Delhi; Conducted during 02 - 08 Nov 2020

Samraddh Jain with his Rangoli
Samraddh Jain with his Rangoli

Need courage to follow dreams

Most boys lose their passion and potential in creative fields including drawing, painting, cooking and other such applied arts, which are stereotyped as girlie. Changing this stereotype, 10-year-old Samraddh Jain was among the only few courageous boys who prepared grand Rangolis for Diwali.

“I was reluctant to prepare a rangoli, though I enjoy it, because my friends and classmates might tease me,” Samraddh said. He continued to draw on paper and keep it to himself until his parents found his drawings.

“My mother convinced me to prepare a rangoli and even share it across, stating that I can begin the change and break this stereotype,” Samraddh said. Though he was scared and even teased a little, his rangoli was admired and appreciated by most people.

“I prepared the map of India using different pulses, i.e. sago, tainted rice, green gram lentil and red kidney beans,” Samraddh said.

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