Letters to My Father
June 19, 2016
In honor of Father’s Day, four young women Shadhika supports wrote essays and letters to their fathers. All four young women are Shadhika Scholars and community leaders at Vacha, Shadhika’s partner site in Mumbai.
“About My Father”
In honor of Father’s Day, the following essay was written by Radha, a Shadhika Scholar and community leader at Vacha, Shadhika’s partner in Mumbai.
My father’s name is Tipyaa and I have three brothers. I could write so much of my dad and brothers because they are very important people in my life. These men in my life have always supported and encouraged me to bring about change in our community. They have supported me and other girls to complete our studies. When I graduated high school they were very proud and encouraged my relatives to support girls’ education and girls’ rights. My father never dreamed that I would get a scholarship to pursue higher education and finish college. Now that this is a reality, my father and relatives are in agreement and wish to thank Vacha and Shadhika.
In honor of Father’s day, the following is a letter written to her father by Durga, a Shadhika Scholar and community leader at Vacha, Shadhika’s partner in Mumbai.
The first and most important person in my family is my father. He works hard and because of his efforts, my family members are able to survive. My papa is special to me because he helps my mom take care of my brothers and sisters and me. When my mom is sick, my papa is always there to comfort her. He comforts me during hard times and helps me cook and do housework. I am indeed blessed to have someone like him as my papa. He has been so hardworking and is my greatest inspiration, always encouraging me to chase my dreams.
When I was in 12th grade, our economic situation was not good. I had dreams of studying science and achieving good grades. But to go to school, I needed some financial assistance. Some orthodox people in our community opinioned that providing higher education to young women is a complete waste of money because at the end of the day, a woman’s job is to start a family and settle down. This community opinion is improving and I’m happy for that. Our relatives were against my decision to study science but my papa always believed in making me and my sisters capable of standing on our own feet and being independent. He works overtime, even when he’s ill, just to make sure he can give the best resources in his capacity.
I ardently wait for the day when I will be capable of fulfilling his dream of seeing me become an independent, self-sufficient woman, taking good care of my family as my papa did. I won’t be on par with my papa but I will try my best and set a positive example for society.
So, Papa, thank you for teaching me how to be strong, to believe in my dreams, helping me achieve my goals, and for all your trust. I wouldn’t be who I am today without your support.
“My Father and My Teacher”
In honor of Father’s Day, the following essay was written by Sabah, a Shadhika Scholar and community leader at Vacha, Shadhika’s partner in Mumbai.
I am very happy to share a small part of my life. My name is Sabah and my father’s name is Wajid. My father’s father was able to complete his studies and became a professor. But my father only completed school till 8th grade because he was not interested in his studies and there was some financial problems that kept him out of school. Even though my father was unable to complete his studies, he is the real teacher in my life.
Whenever I take any steps or make a decision, big or small, my father is always there to support me and always appreciate my work. He is always giving me advice and teaching me about life. His experiences have taught me to give respect to everyone and also how to overcome difficult situations. My father’s dream is directly related to my own. He wants me to become a strong woman and pursue my dreams.
When he gave me permission to go to college and to pursue different activities, he wasn’t thinking about what society would say. My father makes decisions based on what is right and what is wrong, not what society looks like. I will always respect my father and follow in his footsteps of doing the right thing and, in the future, my father will proudly say “she is my daughter.”
“My Father, My Encouragement”
In honor of Father’s Day, the following essay was written by Shehnaz, a Shadhika Scholar and community leader at Vacha, Shadhika’s partner in Mumbai.
I never get the opportunity to talk about my father and now I finally have a platform to define my father’s importance in my life. Nowadays, every little girl says she is “daddy’s little angel” and how much they love their father. But let me tell you, my dad means the world to me.
When I am down, everyone thinks I can’t do anything at that time and the only person who believes in me is my dad. No matter the situation I’m in, from being stressed out from exams or a personal issue, my dad is always there to hold my hand to get me through it. I still remember the day in 9th grade when I was sitting alone, looking lost in my classroom. My class had just gotten back our math scores and a lot of us, myself included, received low marks. Everyone’s parents were scolding them for not doing a good enough job. My father just walked up to me and said to take a walk with him. He said “Shehnaz, this is just a phase in your life. Don’t let your temporary failure destroy your permanent success in the future.”
Even today, many parents are against their girl’s pursuing an education. But my father and mother are the complete opposite. I am so thankful that I have so much support from my family, especially my father!