“Is there equality among boys and girls in our society? Why are girls and boys treated differently? What can you as students do to curb the menace of missing girls? – these were some of questions film actor and social activist Rahul Bose bombarded at the packed crowd of more than 500 NSS students of Mumbai University at Chetna College, on the occasion of National Youth day dedicated to celebrate girl child by Forum against Sex selection, a network of 20 NGOs and CBOS working on gender issues in Maharashtra.
Provoking the girl students Bose, asked the girls if they will marry without taking dowry and if they do not get any boy would they consider staying unmarried.
“The need of the hour is students to sit with their parents together and make them understand that they are not burden and they would rather be alone than in a violent and unhappy relationship with a man who was just greedy,” Bose said.
The Forum Against Sex Selection (FASS) was formed in May 2011 in Mumbai to renew the campaign against sex selective abortion which is responsible for the country’s appallingly skewed sex ratio and in particular, Maharashtra state. Jyoti Mhapsekar of Stri Mukti Sanghathana, who has been working more than two decades on gender issues , with her team performed a scene from her new Marathi play ‘Baap re Baap’ and sang protest songs highlighting discrimination against the girl child. She also informed that not many knew the fact that Savitiribai Phule, who was the first female teacher of the first women’s school in India. Noted theatre artiste of ‘Experimental Theatre Foundation’, Manjul Bhardwaj, had a fiery interactive session students on the issue, highlighting the social, economic and political factors of sex selection.
The students resolved to take up the issue of gender discrimination and the join the campaign against sex selection.