From a photographer friend in Pakistan, I learned about a girl named ‘Palwasha’ and ever since then I’ve been compelled to think: –
“How can I help?”
What can I do to make this world a better place to live in?
How can I make a difference with my small effort and attempt?
What initiative can people take to build a better future for such girls?
To begin with, it’s a real-life story that indeed got all my thoughts revolving around my mind on a fast track.
Well, Palwasha is a tiny and cheerful girl who originally lived in the valley of Swat until her entire family got displaced in the military operation against the Taliban in Swat.
The irony is her younger brothers went to school and were encouraged to study, learn and turn into independent individuals. Whereas, on the other hand, her parents never allowed her to go to school. At such a tender age, her sole responsibility was babysitting her younger brothers.
It’s indeed disheartening to see that despite universal recognition of the right to education for everyone, girls are more likely to NEVER attend school. A girl or a woman’s role is stereotyped to assume domestic chores and remain financially dependent on men.
The mediocre and traditional mindset of not educating girls because eventually they’re going to get married and won’t benefit them- needs a paradigm shift. Believe it or not, this cultural practice is still prevalent in various parts of the world. My heart cries to see a young child not only losing her childhood or youth but the entire future that’s in front of her.
No, offering them money and hoping things would fall in place is not a pragmatic way of dealing with this situation. Such people will likely use that money to buy items that please them for their own well-being or even make jewelry for their wedding. But they will never spend it on her education or invest in her overall development as a person. This is the bitter truth!
I believe money isn’t the only way to turn their life around. Motivating girls in your neighborhood or leaving a token of appreciation every time you see girls do good work is a gesture that’ll create an impact for a lifetime. It’s time we all do our bit and contribute to whatever level we can to remove the hurdles that a girl goes through just to attain her ‘right to education'. Taking responsibility for our actions and even adopting wherever possible, can indeed bring the change that we’re looking for.
Let’s all join hands, come together, and believe it or not, we can do wonders. Our determined unity towards this social cause will bring about a change we all deserve in this 21st century.
So, what are you waiting for?
Be Conscious, Be Mindful, Take Responsibility!