April is near and so is the April Blogging challenge!
Welcome to my fifth series of the AtoZ blogging challenge!
The AtoZ Blogging Challenge is a month-long blogging challenge wherein the participating blogger writes one blog post a day on a chosen theme. The title of the blog posts will follow the alphabetical series, that is, the first blog post (on April 1st) will be titled or themed with a word beginning with the alphabet A, with alphabet B on April 2nd and continue up till alphabet Z on April 30th. Sundays are holidays, as always.
Here are the series of the previous years:
- AtoZ 2017 – The Very Many Emotions of Motherhood
- AtoZ 2018 – The Mr. & Mrs. – The Evolution of Marital Relationships
- AtoZ 2019 – The Things that really matter to Children
- AtoZ 2021 – DIY Science Experiments for Kids
AtoZ 2022 – Instilling Social Equality in Children
My boy was three years old then. He became a good friend to a girl in his preKG class. They both would always sit together, have fruits together, and be together all the time at school. One day I was curious to know why he became a friend of her while there were around 20 other children in the class. He said it was because she had the most light skin in the class.
He was six years old. One day he came back from school and asked me, “Amma, what is a Brahmin?” Until then he was not introduced to the word ‘caste’ or the names of any castes. I tried to explain the Manu dharma though at the end he said, “Amma, I don’t understand. But tell me how do we become a Brahmin?”
I asked him why would he want to.
He replied, “Because my friend said they are the most superior human beings in the world.”
He is eight now. One day he came home sad after playing with his friends in our residential community. His friend had called him ‘poor’. His ten-year old friend owns a smart phone, laptop, smart watch, and multiple Google chromes and felt ridiculous that we don’t have a sofa, dining table, TV, or even a car and so felt he was certainly living a better life than my boy.
As a parent I can brush it all off on the account of ‘yeah, it’s all a normal part of growing-up’ or I can take these incidents seriously to think if parents can play a role to make things better. So that’s the story of where I headed from to reach this page today!
If you’ve read these two short stories of mine on social equality in children, you’ll also know how this has been brewing up in me in fact for years. It’s the things that have been in my head for long that is now finding a way through this series of blogposts.
In ‘An Untold Legacy’ (2016) – published in ‘After the floods – An Anthology of Short Stories’ by Sixth Sense Publications – through a fictional experience of a slum dweller during the 2015 Chennai floods, I highlighted the fact that people who live in poverty should be able to live a dignified life.
‘Asha, My Inspiration’ (2015) – published in Writer’s Ezine Magazine – is a fiction about how a mother emotionally struggles within between letting and holding back her little boy from playing with an under-served child. The copy of the published story is attached at the end.
A couple of months ago when I began to sort out ideas in my head for this series, I realized the need to gather inputs from other like-minded people because social equality isn’t something that can be managed at home within a family alone, and needs to be shared with a community of people who have similar concerns about parenting and society.
So before sitting down to write this series, I spent a month discussing with many parents and friends on the inequality issues and parenting concerns around it. I am grateful to all the people who shared their thoughts through calls, messages, audio recordings, and to those who went an extra mile and sent audio recordings of their kids or put me on the phone with the kids. Listening and collecting multitude of perceptions and experiences was a precious homework that is going to add value to this series.
By the way, if I have not asked you but you have something to say, please share with me or here in the blog.
This series is going to share all such collective experiences, discuss little ways to make big changes, and shall try to inspire us to take progressive steps toward a non-discriminative society!
Stay tuned; let’s unbuild to rebuild a better society!
Asha, My Inspiration (2015)
A Snippet from ‘An Untold Legacy’
I’m participating in #BlogchatterA2Z