Indore: With all its might, India is working towards eliminating discrimination towards girls in the country. Even though it still prevails in the hearts of many, those who rise above and raise their daughter’s alike a son reap benefits beyond their expectations.
From the inspiring six sisters of Haryana who took their family name ‘Phogat’ to world with their wrestling achievements to decade-long records of girls outshining boys in most examinations, there are numerous examples.
National Daughter’s Day, which is celebrated on the last Sunday of September, celebrates daughters and attempts to bring to light their importance in our lives.
On this Daughter’s Day, we bring the spotlight to some inspiring daughters who have paved their way to success and set an example for others to follow.
Training for Olympics in 2024 under Khelo India
Being a daughter is tough! Break limitations
“Being a daughter itself is a very tough task, there are certain limits already set for girls. When it comes to sport, I have always been told ‘what are you going to do by playing sports! Girls only study, they don't play!’
Life is tough for girls, being a sportswoman tougher. I was in class 5 when I started playing sports to stay calm. As I grew up, people surrounding me nit-picked my interest, but my father supported me. Since my parents understood and supported my interest, it blossomed into a skill and career.
I even won 'Khelo India scholarship' in 2018 and am training for the upcoming Olympics in 2024. I will receive 5 lakhs as scholarship per year for 8 years and Rs 1 lakh 20 thousand cash.
A daughter needs her parents to support her to achieve her dreams so that she can fly high. Being a daughter is not easy, as we have to think before taking every step. We face criticism and objections from society, but parents support can take us a long way.”
- Roli Pathak, National Volleyball Champion
3 times World Champion: Lightest Powerlifter of India
Raise daughter alike son, be there for them!
“I am the lightest powerlifter from India. I would have lived my life being just petit, if I did not have parents who repeatedly told me to try, dream and life without fearing failure.
My family faced financial struggle when I was growing up, but it never affected how my parents brought me up. I am 4 feet 7 inches tall and was born delicate. For someone like me, carrying my school bag was a task but now, I am powerlifting on world’s stage.
At the age of 28, I started gym and eventually came across Mohammad Azmat, who convinced to compete as a powerlifter. I have more than 17 gold medals in various national and world championships in the sport today.
This has been possible because of my grandfather (late Vinod Vora) who changed the family’s dynamics to raising a girl alike son. Then my father (Harshad Vora) who still supports me every day even at the age of 75 and my mother (late Bina Vora) for her support.
Among my achievements, I hold the title of World Champion three times in a row now, i.e. World record Holder under the banner of Barbell Club which is affiliated to World Powerlifting Congress in November 2017, December 2018 and December 2019.”
- Bhavna Shah, World Powerlifter Champion
Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar 2020: national equestrian
Being a girl is ‘Greater Responsibility’
“Being a girl child isn’t an easy task in the world we live in, but it is a priceless gift. I am a daughter of an educationist and a business man.
It’s different being a daughter in a family, because it comes with great responsibility. We have to have a strong character and moral values, and be well equipped for the bad times.
I am a determined equestrian being part of the Indian team life. I am a professional horse rider and one of the best things about this sport is that it does not discriminate between girls and boys.
I can even dream this because my parents support and give me the freedom to do so. My parents haven’t left any stone unturned in my path and have been my backbone.
My parents have accompanied in all around the world for my championships and cheered for me.”
- Sudipti Hajela, Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar 2020
Padma Shri Janak McGilligan Palta: Green Warrior
Educate, Support & Respect for Daughters
“At the age of 72, I can speak so clearly and loudly because my parents allowed me to speak my mind since I was a child. They gave me the freedom to choose my education, job and even my life partner.
They stood by me, even when I choose to marry Jimmy, an Irish man.
Parents often protect their daughters and want them to be safe even if it means limiting their life. Parents now need to support and build daughters into a strong human being. Strong enough to be emotional, physical, social, and spiritually independent.
It is essential for parents to raise son to respect girls and hence, build a stronger society.”
Award-winning ad film producer & cancer survivor
Let daughters be daughters throughout life
“I own an advertising film production company and it requires interacting with top officials in various companies in Indore and Mumbai. Sadly, I have not seen many women in these top positions, simply because women often compromise their dreams for family.
That’s where I feel we have a problem. A daughter can still gather support and achieve, but once she becomes a wife, mother, daughter-in-law, etc. she is convinced to live her roles and not dreams.
We need to let women be daughters and achieve their dreams. I fought cancer, society and all limitations to be where I am today. I could do it, because I remained a daughter, who wanted to fulfil my dad’s dream.”
- Mahima Sharma, Award-winning ad film producer