Written By Sahithi Divi as told by Gabriela Lazzer Poit ( Gabi )
Gabi – Social Entrepreneur, Doula, House Management Volunteer, Social Worker
#impacthourbysahithi ( When asked about her moments of change, abstracts from the life stories of people she met during volunteering, courage and love and a lot more )
Gabi who is a Brazilian and Italian by nationality has grown up spending most of her life in Sao Paulo also currently resides there. She speaks Portuguese, English and Italian languages out of which she misses to speak english the most now. Gabi studied bachelors in business and choose to do her masters in social entrepreneurship from San Fransisco and later graduated from London. Inspired towards self discovery her journey continued in Italy and now finally back to Sao Paulo where she is enriching herself by emotionally empowering mothers before , during and after the pregnancy as a Doula.
In my conversation about self discovery she said, ” You will never find yourself completely until you die, as life transpires each day and so do we. Everything will happen as it was suppose to be. But even if not nice, self enlightenment is a great learning “. She discovers change in every moment that impacts her. Being open to change after-all diversifies our attitude.
Gabi experienced her sister’s pregnancy very closely during which she potentially saw and enraged on capacity draining times faced by a woman while creating an other human life. She explains how drastically it provocated her to use her voice and skill to emotionally vitalise a person during the most life absorbing ride of every woman’s story. She was affected by the vulnerability with which women come to hospitals and sometimes even have no clue about how to face the violence and child birth together. As a doula also promotes natural birth and creates awareness about mental wellness during pregnancy.
I know that she finds it hard to let go the missing feeling of people but always finds a way to do something better from that feeling. Her volunteering story is heartening to learn, especially her time in South Africa when she herself found it challenging to soak into an extremely different social structure. Humbled in the teachings she got from the life story of a 75 year old woman she met who was physically abused by four young boys the night before. She also narrates her memories from the twenty days of volunteering on boat to the remote Amazon villages deprived of basic healthcare or even emergency services.
Her research clearly defines that, as a volunteer one must use design thinking to understand the long term affects of short term social solutions.
She amplifies her life experience into words and says, ” Every woman must take the courage to give time to things that can help us grow as an individual, as it is very easy to loose ourself in the allocated time to us as a woman. Courage to speak up for the things that can define us as a person can make all the difference in the world, it did to me. ” she said.
Gabi’s association with India captivated with our friendship four years ago in San Fransisco at Hult International Business School. We have been through the simulation of social crisis together and learnt about impact innovation with resonating views from different geographies. After an immaculate year of learning we moved to our respective countries. During her visit to India she left her soul wandering here. Gabi is now building to scale her services as Doula , even use this skill to benefit India on a large capacity and bring natural birth back to India at one point.
In the dire need of circumstances, when comes the time to act for yourself , what stops you ? What are the thoughts that hold you back from fighting back with the inner voice which knows how the spark will admit to fire ?
We often think about what is not there. It is time to revise the strengths and use them for good. This process obviously comes inclusive of the withered flashes of flying time.
Read the below lines to find out reasons behind the difficulty of being oneself ….
Answerability is certain , avoid it.
Individuality is a human right that can be enjoyed through a learning process.
Recognition cannot be voluntary.
Chances if not given can be taken.
Protection is a habit born out of being protected.
Expectation can create doubts.
Surprises are the way of life independent of their nature.
The difficulty of being oneself is not a condition, infact it is just the beginning of an other chapter.
Kanyadaan is giving away the bride as a symbolic marriage ritual . Father of the Bride take’s his daughters hand and places it in the Groom’s hand, requesting for him to accept his daughter to be an equal partner.When I google the word ‘Kanya ‘ , it confuses me what a modest, fresh and virgin daugther means. This is performed in order to transfer the responsibility of daughter into the hands of the groom and his family. In my opinion giving away your daughter in donation to wash your sins after bringing her up with such compassion does not fit well with my beliefs. Along with the changing times we forgot to update the rituals to what applies today and why ? The big change is hard to imagine but what about you who is reading this ?
While we are talking about serious social issues leading to gender inequality and the changes we cannot bring on the larger scale, what about advocating for your own equality to stand as a strong example for others to begin their life not as a donated object but a person who underwent a celebration of their union called marriage.
By practising Kanyadaan, the positioning of woman in the family is naturally a draft of bound customs. A lot speaks about the things that we do not question about. There must be some beginning , a collective voice and a powerful repulsion about how we demonstrate rights,in public in form of customs. Due to the potrayal of idiolic rituals gender bias get priorly infused on public platforms and hence, such unopposed beliefs become common norms.
“Unopposed beliefs become common norms”.
Kanyadaanam is a personal expirience which one goes through and it is your own descision to question it or to convert that to a meaningful context that hooks to your view of life. While this ritual occurs at the start of wedding journey , it lays foundation to behavioral hierarchy and common expectation for millions of uniquely different girls. Inferiority need not be economic status , it can also be highly comparable to how she is treated or how her decision making naturally becomes someone else’s right or responsibility overnight.
Everything begins with you. Let us know your thoughts about this custom and why we must bring an end to it as it gives a very inequal picture to the whole world from where the life of a girl begins after marriage.
I raise my voice against donating daughters publicly in a wedding celebration.
United Nation Population Fund , 140 million girls will become child brides by 2020 in india
Giving birth is a choice, being born is not. Once if a baby comes onto this planet, then it our individual responsibility to strengthen the social complexity for a girl surrounding her. A girl even without a right to vote can she be ready for forced sex and child bearing ? Every girl has been restricted from unlocking her place in the world saying ” The Society” will not accpet. Each of you reading this compiles of the society but you again draw boundaries for a girl saying some other set of families might not agree to your perception of living life.
Marriage is a very transformative phase of a person’s life. Although after the marriage takes place the complexity can occur from both the sides. Yet the age, person, child birth , continuation of education, pursuance of a career, personal choices are navigated by the family just for a ‘women’ mostly.
Isn’t it ?
When must a women get married and to whom ?
The answer is –
IT IS A WOMEN’S RIGHT TO CHOOSE WHEN SHE WANTS TO GET MARRIED AND TO WHOM ! ALSO ILLEGAL TO PERFORM A CHILD MARRIAGE FOR A GIRL BELOW THE AGE OF 18 AND BOY BELOW 21 .
But as per the UNICEF report even today in India 27 % of the girls are married before the age of 18 , that is 1 out of 3 girls. India also has the highest number of child brides in the world which accounts to 15,509,000 girls.
Socio economic conditions being the major reason for the early marriage . Whom to marry is still decided by the the parent / guardian / family, for which we do not have verified data. Whom a girl marries is the most important factor because personal accomplishment in such a socially complex environment is hard. There is a constant fight for self empowerment leading to the world never expiriencing her full potential.This is a serious loss to the country.
This concern arises because only 25 % of the graduate women are in the work force today.
The government is working up to provide various incentives / schemes to improvise the overall conditions for the vulnerable women. But I strongly commend that most of the human rights issues have to be addressed more from a personal level to attain the maximum impact. Cross polinating the education about women rights and creating awareness can be done by you.
In cities for example, your house help, watchman, driver, gardner etc. are the people facing the vulnerability. Some parents are adement due to lack of education, some are afraid about the security of their girl child, some are unable to afford the cost and most of them are deeply affected by the conclusions given by the so called community or society around them.
Give your voice and counsel as many people around you about the mental and health benefits for not only the girl but also which will reflect on the overall social health of the family. Educate and encourage girls to be able to speak about their preference of choice or make a choice about who they must marry.
AGE – You can click on the below link to read the Indian Laws –