Sunday, August 24, 2008

Raksha Bandhan with a difference

The Hindu
AHMEDABAD: It was a “Raksha Bandhan” celebration with a difference. The tradition of sisters tying “rakhis” on the hands of brothers was reversed. Instead, the boys did that for the girls.
For about 700 boys and girls, students of the local H. K. Arts College, it was a symbol of their vow to stop female foeticide. In fact, the original theme of the Raksha Bandhan in north India was of the brothers protecting the sisters. But it eventually gave way to the sisters tying rakhi, praying for happiness and long life for the brothers. In a way, the Ahmedabad college students have returned to the original theme.

A first
Professor Gaurang Jani, who conceived the idea of reverse raksha bandhan, said it was perhaps the first time anywhere in the country that the boys tied the rakhi on girls. “The event was organised to educate the men of the dangers of female foeticide and the need to protect the girl child,” he said. The Women’s Development Cell of the college organised the event with the support of a local voluntary organisation. And the students participated whole-heartedly.
Considering the alarming decrease in the sex ratio in the country, particularly in some states like Gujarat where it is less than 830 per 1,000 males, the idea is worth emulating.