As the winter sets in on the fading sunlight against the Ganges Ghats. West Bengal worships the pre puberty girl child as an reincarnation of the divine Goddess. It’s celebrated as Kumari Pujo. Little girls are given a bath and dressed like a bride. Resplendent in her attire of flowers, the traditional red sari and jewellery she is worshipped in homes and temples. The spiritual leader Ramkrishna Paramhans in his Belur Math has the Kumari Pujo that’s celebrated with divinity that only a goddess deserves.

The Howrah Bridge stands stoic, the river flowing gently below. It teaches us resilience. With the advent of technology. Clinics have sex determination tests. And unfortunately female foetus after its gestation period is aborted in our country. The girl child is a burden. She is viewed as a taker and not a provider. Innumerable stories that wrench your gut. You hear how the baby girl when born is left out in the cold without a shred of clothing on her. So that she dies. Cold and blue. The mothers cry is choked because her voice is silenced by the patriarchy of her household. We face this level of discrimination in India. Where the blooming bud is torn away from the branches. Because she may bloom unhindered and happy. Let’s take a leaf out of this garland of tradition from West Bengal. Where your little girls are treated like beautiful divine flowers. Her essence is her freedom. Worship her like the reincarnation of the goddess in you and me. As the Ganga flows with the debris of stale worshipped flowers and the ashes of the dead. Let India be reborn into a secure country, where the girl child is taught to feel the wet earth under her feet, the rain on her skin and the sunlight on her face.

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