Despite the traditionally low social status of the women in India, and the bad treatment given to them, times have changed for the better. Indian women in the 21st century are career orientated, happy and are remaining single - all by choice. Gone are the days when women spoke only with their eyes and their bowed heads. They have decided to re-write the rules of the fairly conservative Indian society.
Indian women have now taken a step further, and are enjoying the satisfaction of becoming mothers (something that makes any woman ï¿½completeï¿½), even though many of them remain single. Skipping the ï¿½attachmentï¿½ of marriage and men, they are opting to become single parents ï¿½ by adopting a child.
Single women celebrities like Raveena Tandon and Sushmita Sen have publicly adopted children. Questions, however, in the minds of many are:
- Why have single women opted for adoption?
- What motivates them into accepting the responsibility of a child ï¿½ especially a female child?
When Sushmita Sen, ex-Ms Universe (1994), was asked about her adopted daughter, Renee, she said that she had wanted to adopt a child ever since she was 18. ï¿½As Femina Miss India, I saw so many poor children and from so close, that I wanted to adopt a girl child. It took me years to get one,ï¿½ she has said. She received a call from an institution in Mumbai that had a pattern of allowing people who are single, to adopt children. The sixth baby that they introduced to Sushmita was sick and not a healthy child. This, coincidently, was the child Sushmita chose to adopt. Sushmita says that single motherhood has been ï¿½very beautifulï¿½. She has changed her habits, so that they would not influence the child as she grows up. She has learnt that Renee is her responsibility and she would have to take good care of her.
Raveena Tandon, another celebrity, had adopted two children some ten years ago. When asked how it felt like to be a mother, she replied saying, ï¿½It's just wonderful. It's the greatest feeling in the world. And I strongly believe and advocate adoption. I think instead of spending money, injecting someone else's embryo, etc., why not take care of a life that is already alive? As it is the country is so over-populated. If there's a soul already breathing on this planet and crying out for help, why do we need artificial insemination?ï¿½
Reema Gupta, 38 and a financial consultant says that she did not get married out of choice. Earlier in her life, she was very focused on just her career and did not want any kind of distractions. She did not even give marriage a thought. Now, being financially settled, she would like to make the most of her earnings for a good cause, and have a sense of satisfaction for having done something for the society. Well, what better way than to adopt a child?
Saini Singh, a lecturer, has decided to adopt an orphan girl-child. Initially, her family was against the idea, but later, they agreed to it. She says that she would definitely adopt a female child because she still believes that women in the Indian society do not enjoy, and are not yet given the true status and respect that they deserve. ï¿½This decision of mine would give me the satisfaction of having done something for women in a small way during my lifetimeï¿½.
Men, such as Prateek Rastogi, a 24-year-old graduate in Computer Science Engineering and a ï¿½Bombayiteï¿½ in nature, support the concept of a single parent, as long as the child is adopted. ï¿½Infact,ï¿½ he says, ï¿½I would place the lady at a higher levelï¿½.
Despite the popularity of such a bold concept, there are people who say that the adopted child would never be brought up the same way other children around them would have, just because a single parent does not make a complete family. This, in my opinion, would only be true to some extent. However, a single parent would be able to devote more of his or her time towards the child. His or her priorities would be completely different. The most common argument of a non-believer is that a single woman would never do justice to the child because of the social dishonor attached to unwed mothers. They are thought of as the ï¿½bottom of the barrelï¿½.
What I think is the reason that discourages un-wed women to adopt children in this present day and age, is the fear of who would take care of the child in the incident of her death.
The whole concept of a family is undergoing a massive change, but whether it is the beginning of a revolution or not, is still a question that has yet to be answered. This, however, shows that the social status of women in India has improved, and that the Indian society has begun to accept women as individuals, and not just mere pieces of decoration. Nevertheless, the good news is that the Indian law is in the favor of single parent adoption.
We, as educated human beings ï¿½ educated Indians, rather ï¿½ should take a stand, allow and encourage these kind of gradual changes in our society. That is the only way that we will be able to truly enhance the image of the women in our country. That is when they will really be worshiped for being the ï¿½second halfï¿½, or the Ardhangani of a man.
I would like to acknowledge the sources that provided me with information that was essential for me to write the article: