Even after .50 years of Independence girls and women in India are considered second class human beings. The birth of a daughter is often not celebrated/ she is denied adequate love, care, nutrition, health care. The saying ''Butter for boys, buttermilk for girls" is still a reality. Some families go to the extent of killing their daughters before they are bon1.
The existence of such blatanJ discrimination and injustice within the family surprises me because it harms not only girls but the entire family and the whole community. Can any farmer be happy if only half his/her crop is healthy? Then how can families and communi ties be happy if half of their members are. un healthy, unhappy, uneducated?
We believe it is necessary to challenge and change thisstate of affairs. In order to do that we have to understand why things are the way they are. Some people believe that it is Nature that has created the differences and inequalities that exist between men and women. Is thistrue? Or, are these differences and inequalities created by society? Are the qualities, behaviour patten1s, likes and dislikes, skills and paths of girls and boys determined by nature or by all of us who constitute society?
In this book we have tried to initiate discus sions on such questions in the hope that one day our daughters will not face discrimination and injustice, our boys will not be pushed into pre determined roles and behaviour patterns and
·our families will be just and peaceful and ey will provide equal opportunities for the growth of daughters and sons. We hope you will like this book and also find it useful.
My friend Ritu (Menon) was fully involved in the conception and creation of this book. Juhi (fain) and the Jagori group helped in many . ways. This book is dedicated to such friendships and co-operation for bringing justice and joy into our lives.