My project was meant to eradicate a social problem –of neglecting the girl child. Through the platform of sowing seeds, I presented a slide show and site-specific work of famous women personalities to the villagers and propagated the social message of educating and encouraging the girl child, promoting her wellbeing and all rounded development. My project was inspiring to the villagers as I promoted my belief that educating a woman will build a healthy society and a healthy nation free of social problem. The project encouraged women to seek their own fortunes. Only then the women of Andore village would find a place for themselves among world personalities.
My project was related to the common Indian mindset and psychology of villagers that deprived a dignified social status to womenfolk even in today’s age. I mingled freely with the villagers at Andore and through interactions, noticed that the progress of women was overshadowed by the traditional social evils that still prevail in remote Indian villages.
I observed that the social wellbeing of women was grossly neglected, as they were conditioned to the dominating mindset that a girl is a liability, meant to be married off. A girl requires a huge dowry to give her in-laws. Child marriages though banned in India were occasional occurrences. A girl’s birth was rarely celebrated and often ignored. Female infanticide often went unreported. Even though there were good government run primary schools in the neighborhood, the girl child was deprived of education and the illiterate womenfolk were confined to their household activities and the fields. Participation of women in the village decisions and democratic procedures was unheard of. It was an urgent need to change the outlook and gift the deprived girls her fundamental rights enshrined in our constitution, especially – RIGHT TO EDUCATION.
My project sowed the seeds of a mass movement that would begin the eradication of these social problems. The cultural program event of the Sowing Seed’s itinerary was the best day to begin his project as families from the entire village showed up.
The project- a slide show projected images of world famous women with their names who were educated, empowered, and proficient in their fields. Amongst them were the nameless images of village girls. I am explained that he wanted Andore village girls to be renowned and famous in future. So i requested them to study further and develop themselves.
I questioned the notion why boys and girls are not treated as one. Why only boys should be educated and not girls? Why the birth of a boy should be celebrated but not a girl, when our Mother India is also a woman? So why can’t we encourage girls to educate themselves more, seek their fortunes and carve their identities? Why is our social system so rigid as not to give the opportunities to deserving girls? These thought provoking questions promoted the message to parents and families that educating a girl is a sign of progress for the society and the country. It will promote a society free of social vices and crimes.
The remaining artists too voiced their concerns on the girl child’s welfare by giving their unified opinion supporting My project.
The results of this movement were not to be achieved in one day. I am also created a site specific installation on the walls of a house facing the road. Portraits of women and girls from the village were posted on the wall to give a strong message to the families, parents and guardians of girls. This aroused the curiosity of every passerby who was new to the village. The posters advertised this new movement and the awareness generated in the village. I am hopes that this message will spread everyday to mitigate this social evil and result in bringing a change in the outlook of the villagers, so that the future brings more favorable opportunities to our women.