Ladki Love is a non-profit organization focused on selling meaningful chokers and stickers, and donating all proceeds to support underprivileged girls in India, in their pursuits for a prosperous, enriching education. The word ladki translates to “girl” in English, so the club name is essentially “Girl Love”.
A common question raised by students not affiliated with the club is: Why is your organization only helping Indian girls, and not Indian boys? Shouldn’t all underprivileged children living in developing countries such as India receive an education?
Well, of course all children deserve an education. In India, the fundamental concept of education is considered sacred and mandatory for all boys, who are thought to be the primary breadwinners for the family. Parents from even the lowest castes slog day in and day out as servants in the slums of India, sharing a small 10x10 sq. ft room with five other families, in hopes of saving every bit of money that is necessary for their children’s education. However, these servant families may have numerous children to support.
If impoverished Indian parents give birth to two children, one being a son, and one being a daughter, they will only be able to support the education of one of these children. Since the patriarchal society signifies that the daughter is naturally inferior to the son, the parents will choose to educate the son.
What becomes of the daughter? If she is lucky, she will be permitted to stay at home to help her mother. Otherwise, she shall be sent to an orphanage, accompanied by other beautiful, insightful, curious young girls who have been stripped of the opportunity to procure a basic necessity we take for granted in the United States: education.
Another reason that girls are not permitted to attend school in India is the parents’ fear that their daughter will be subject to potentially harmful eve-teasing (violent catcalling, sexual slurs, molestation, rape) either while walking/riding the bus to school, or when coming back home. If there are episodes of sexual harassment or violence performed to a young Indian girl, she must remain silent, and not tell her family. If she tells her family, she will be banned from attending school, and blamed for somehow promoting or encouraging men to act in such a manner to her. She will be shamed for her choice in clothing, mannerisms, or weight.
It is our mission to sell chokers with empowering symbols (Venus charm, Lotus Flower charm) and stickers showcasing the Venus symbol merged with the globe, in order to empower Indian women to not only have the financial means to acquire an education, but to also empower them to embrace their own beauty and grace.
It is to bring awareness to the problems unique to girls in impoverished parts of India that our club is specifically named “Ladki Love” instead of “Children Love.” It's a cultural issue, but it is also a gender issue- we must never undermine the latter.
Post written by guest writer Mridini Vijay