Harpreet’s father, Laxman, loves her a lot, buys her toys and makes her happy. Wouldn’t it be a better world if all fathers cared for and loved their girl children?
Unfortunately, we still live in a society where girls are considered a burden – a burden on the family and a burden on the society.
But men like Laxman have a refreshing and different perspective to life.
“A girl is the pride and joy of the house. It’s good to have a girl child because she gives life to the family. And she has the power to influence the next generation. Girls are very maternal by instinct and always take care and are concerned about their parents. My heart’s desire was to have a girl child and that desire was fulfilled when Harpreet came into our lives. Her biological parents didn’t want to take care of this girl child,” says Laxman, Harpreet’s father.
“If I had not adopted Harpreet, we would have missed the joy she brings into our lives,” he adds.
Harpreet is equally elated to receive the love of her new-found parents.
Laxman’s son Pardeep is a sponsored child of World Vision India. “Apart from providing material benefits, World Vision India has taught us to value girl children in our community, through various awareness programmes and parenting skill training,” says Veerpal, Harpreet’s mother.
“When we witness actions like this in our community, we are encouraged to see the winds of change breaking the traditional mindset that considers girls a burden. Harpreet’s story focuses on the shift in the mindset of people. Her biological parents didn’t want to bring up their girl child but there are people in the community like Laxman and Veerpal who celebrate girls. Harpreet is now happy with her parents. Such people bring hope into our community. And the community should salute and encourage such change agents and ideologies,” says Pooja Kaur, Child Journalist from Faridkot.
In countries like India, where girls are valued less than boys, through its work at grassroots, World Vision India helps prevent outcomes like early marriage, female infanticide, abuse, malnourishment and domestic violence.
Sponsorship not only provides life-giving basics like nutritious food, health care, education and clean water to a girl child, but also strives to bring about a change in the mindset of the community, so they learn to accept and respect girl children. At the same time, sponsorship helps girls and women develop skills that allow them to make thoughtful decisions and influence key changes in their communities.
Harpreet’s life has changed forever. She not only has the chance to survive but she has a family wherein she is valued, cared for and loved.