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When 20-year-old Richa Joon decided to pursue a short term course to become a radio jockey, there was a quite a furor in the family. And, there was a strong reason for it. Hailing from Sonepat in Haryana, almost all girls in her family and the immediate neighbourhood had pursued B.Ed. after graduation and taken up the coveted teaching jobs in the nearby schools. But Richa intended to do something that was not even heard of by many of her relatives and family members. In this scenario it was just the support of her parents that allowed her to pursue her area of interest.
The instance highlights that options are quite limited for girls when it comes to making the right choice for a career. Teaching and nursing by and large remains the most popular career options for girls in the country. Nevertheless with the availability of new courses, widespread impact of media and changing social norms more and more girls are opting for new age careers and that too with their parent’s constant support and appreciation. Be it becoming a tattoo artist, disk jockey, Radio Jockey, wildlife filmmaker, wedding planner or an athlete, girls are not only exploring these areas but also excelling in them. Parents feel that there have been double standards for girls and boys, when it comes to choosing a career and now is the time to allow daughters also to pursue their own dream. “Girls are excelling boys in education. Look at the Board results and you will find that most of the seats at prestigious colleges like Hindu College and Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC) are being picked up by girls. When they can prove their mettle why to stop them from pursuing a career of their interest,” says Jawahar Goel, a businessman, whose daughter is pursuing a course in event management.
The new age careers demand same commitment and hard work as any other traditional job and girls are finding them more challenging. “A disc jockey should be able to make the crowd sway and dance with the choice of songs. That requires good communication skills and knowledge about music. Similarly for becoming a RJ it is not just a sweet voice that is required but it depends a lot on your aptitude, confidence level and overall personality. One should not think these careers are non-serious and are just for fun,” shares Shruti Vasan, a voice modulation trainer.
Career counsellors are of the view that in the last one decade or so after globalization and opening of new avenues parents have also become more accommodating and give due concern to the interest of their daughters. “BPOs started a whole new work culture for youngsters in India, particularly girls. In a country where girls usually prefer daytime jobs having night shifts was something not heard of before. But now it is a part of job for girls in various fields like event management and disk jockey or party planner and parents understand that,” shares Girish Tuteja, a Delhi based career counsellor.
Sports is one interesting arena where more and more girls are making their mark. Particularly from states like Haryana and Punjab which are notorious for their skewed sex ratios, a large number of female athletes have made their mark in the Commonwealth Games 2010. Two village girls from Haryana and one from Punjab — Krishna Poonia, Harwant Kaur and Seema Atil — created history by sweeping the gold, silver and bronze medals, respectively, in the discus event. Suresh Kumar Lamba, a coach from Hisaar feels, “These inspiring success stories of women athletes are also encouraging parents, even from small towns, to let their daughters choose sports as a career and they are sending them to coaching centers for regular training. In fact, sports has the capacity to become the vehicle of social change for daughters of these states to get the rights they have been denied for so long. Time will soon come when parents may not be averse to having daughters and may cherish them as much as they cherish their sons.”
With many exciting career prospects available, that were hitherto considered unconventional, along with the parent's support, the daughters are all set to chalk their own path.
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