“Mom I don’t want to be a soldier when I grow up; I want to be a girl”. My daughter said this the first thing in the morning today. “But dear, you are a girl”, I tried to explain her to which she said, “But look mom; no girl becomes a soldier”. And I was struggling to find the correct words.
My daughter has always been very curious and respectful towards the soldiers of our country. This was not something we taught her but was actually something she developed on her own. Looking at her passion towards the community, I somewhere in my mind thought of talking her in the direction of being into the Indian Air force. And to bring her a step closer towards the community, I took her to an exhibition yesterday where the weaponry of the Indian Army was at display by them. Soldiers from different parts of the country came down to showcase their unusual and never-seen-before weapons and tools. I had never seen my daughter this excited and crazy at an exhibition the way she was there. But little did I know that she was absorbing more than my expectation. She noticed that there was not a single female present from the community. The little mind understood that being into the Defense community of a country is only meant for boys. Her words this morning forced me to rethink about our patriotism. We as Indian often are seen singing our national anthem respectfully or getting goose bumps on watching a periotic film but how often are we ready to return the favor to our country?
We as parents dream about our kids being a charted accountant, or a pilot or a lawyer or maybe an artist. But have we ever thought of our kid being an army or a navy officer? I do not mean that the kids shouldn’t follow their dream but all I mean here is to change the thinking of people who feels that the defense community is only meant for either the kids of the ones where already are in or for the kids who belong to the rural areas. It is a sad reality of our community but cannot be denied. Also, how many of us, parents of a girl child, think of choosing this as a career for them? I’m sure there aren’t many out there. I often see holdings and banners urging the youngsters to enroll in the defense services but never have I ever come across a banner of a MNC doing the same. The reason simply is that there aren’t many who are willing to enter the defense services. (Disclaimer: – I again would like to clear that I really do not mean that you can only show your love towards the country by being in the defense services.) All I mean is that this is an area which needs our attention, respect and (most importantly) our participation. Because this field not just teaches to fight but also teaches to be strong and more respectful & thankful towards our nation. Choosing this as a career for our children and most importantly our girls’ means giving them a platform to showcase their power and use it for their country. One of my distant relative is in the Indian army so we totally understand the fear of the family. But most importantly we know the charm in his eyes when he returns from his duty. The duty of protecting his country and his countrymen. The duty of paying back for all you got from your country. At the end, all I would like to say is…
Our country is strong and will always be. All we need now, as citizens, is to be more committed.