Monday, May 10, 2010

Why can't India be a happy place for mothers?

Recently, I had posted a blogpost celebrating motherhood. My joy was shortlived when I read an article titled "India not a happy place for mothers" in the newspaper. The report goes on to state that India ranks 73 in the list of 77 nations rated for the "best place to be a mother". The most shocking part it says is that India is rated much lower than a host of conflict ridden African countries. Health care system is what is supposed to be the main reason as there is shortage of trained health workers in the semi-urban and rural villages.

Now isn't that shocking? Even after sixty three years of independence we have still not been able to penetrate large pockets of rural India. As Mahatma Gandhi had said India is a country of villages and progress is possible only when it happens at grassroot level. India which is known to have given the highest sanctity to motherhood is sadly lacking in giving the rightful place of honour to the mothers.

Low income levels, poverty, malnutrition, superstitious beliefs, and lack of education all put together play havoc on a womans life. When there is utter poverty at home the first person who sacrifices for the sake of her family is the mother. This in turn affects the entire family. It is so shocking to see families struggling to get even one simple meal. Many a time children are fed watery porridge and that is their meal for the whole day. The next day is an uncertainty. Imagine the mothers emotional feelings when she cannot even afford to give one proper single meal for her child. She must be dying a million deaths every second.

The government announces different schemes and releases crores of money. Who benefits from these schemes no one knows. I guess education is the only means that could bring about a wholesome change in our country in the long run. As the saying goes "you educate a woman, you educate the whole family". The sooner we realise this and work towards this end the better. There will then be no doubt about making India one of the happiest places for mothers and the joys that motherhood brings about. That day would truly be a celebration of Motherhood.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

From one mother to another

I read this poster long time back at my paediatrician's clinic. It said "As God could not be everywhere, he created Mothers". Wow! I was just reflecting that the word "mother" in many languages that I have heard starts with ma or aa. Mother, mai, aai, maa, ammi, mere, madre etc. I wonder if that started with the basic sound of "OM"- the first sound that was when the world was evolved. It almost appears as motherhood is a divine task entrusted to women.

Now that is as far as philosophy goes. Almost all women look forward to that special moment of becoming a mother. Cuddling the tiny bundles, pacifying them when crying, feeding them when hungry, seeing them blossom, take their first steps, utter their first words, give immense satisfaction and pleasure to the Mother. As there is no set recipe when it comes to parenting, the female gender has been given that special gift called "instinct".

Instinct, practical knowledge, love, understanding, patience, discipline all these go together in parenting. Each child is unique and finding our way through, is what this balancing act of motherhood is all about. Whether a mother is working outside of her home or she is working for her family by being at home all have different kinds of challenges to handle when it comes to parenting. It is never an easy task bringing up a child in a balanced way.

Many a time one has to re-examine and change one's outlook depending on the situation and the need of the hour. Hence parenting is a process of constant evolution and a learning process both for the parents as well as for the child. Situation today does not make it any easier. Everyday brings with it new dilemmas, challenges and problems. For a mother it is all about finding ingenious ways and means to overcome all these and find new avenues. Motherhood is no less than running an efficient corporate house, but at the end of the day we are not about numbers and figures but much more important than that- shaping the future generation. This is in the hands of the mother. While there's no denying the fact that fathers also have to play a very important role in the process, my fellow mothers would agree that it is the mothers that have been given that special first place in the life of every child.

Finally, the biggest reward any mother can get is when, first and foremost, our children grow up into good human beings with the right values and do well in life, making every day a celebration of Motherhood. On this special occasion, here's wishing "Happy Mother's Day" to all you wonderful mothers across the world.