A Kite, Flying High
I am working toward girl child empowerment. I decided to do this to encourage and motivate girls to raise their voice and never be fearful and inferior to anyone. They should also have self belief and the opportunity to fulfil their dreams. I want to bring change on this issue because most of the girls, even me are facing this kind of problem in my community, village, etc. This affects their emotional health and studies. In my community, people wish to marry off their daughters young as they are think girls are nothing but a burden to their family. They don’t send them to school because of the fear that their daughters shall go down a wrong path and will be disrespectful in front of everyone. Girls are also supposed to handle all the household work. I tell people stories of Kalpana Chawla, Mother Teresa, Roza Park, Malala Yousufzai, and more to help change their mind-set. On one Independence Day, I was flying a kite when my sister told me to stop as girls are not supposed to fly kites. I felt that I was being treated unfairly, and wished to have freedom like the kite, so I could touch the sky and fly high.
Writing poems is my passion, and I decided to try and attain my goal through it. Now, I create and recite poems to express the feelings of me and my friends, so that people get inspired by it. First, I talked to girls living in my community, school and got to know about their hardships and perspectives. Next, I expressed their feelings and emotions in the written form of poems. I also teach tuition in my community to spread awareness on this topic. I wrote an inspiring and emotional poem with title ‘I want to be a flying bird which is always free’. Through this painful poem, I told them that if anyone has a mother, daughter, sister or wife, it should be noticed that they are also treated unfairly and with injustice. People pray to Goddesses’ Durga and Laxmi, are they not female? Girls also have the right to be educated and dream. I raised such questions in my poem to have an impact on the minds of the people and encourage a growth mindset. I aim to change people’s beliefs in superstitions. I am creating awareness by conducting sessions in my class, school assembly, community and the KER Regional Summit. Whenever I recite my poems, people encourage me and get a little emotional and inspired by it. I have participated in inter school poem competitions and got first rank at zonal level. After this, my family started supporting me more, which gave me confidence.
After watching me, many of my friends have started writing poems and spreading more awareness. I really enjoy their poems and feel proud to be their friend. Through my journey, I have learnt that education matters a lot in our environment. Education is the key to every problem. We should not lose hope, never give up. Education increases will power, compassion, courage, independence and positive attitude towards life. I also learnt that if someone does not want to learn, then helping them can be very difficult. If we are determined to learn, no one can stop us. I faced a few challenges along the way, the biggest being that my parents wanted me to study and did not support my writing completely. However, I did not stop doing wither, and created a good balance between poetry and studies, ensuring everyone is happy.
At the KER Regional Summit, people asked me, “What is education?” Some said it is the ability to choose, others said that it does not have a definition. I think it is a power that no one can steal from us kids. My favourite part is after the recital, when people ask me questions and I can see that they are thinking in a different manner. Now, people understand the importance of girls and their rights.
Muskan Ali, Seventh Grade