Little girl - Deepti Asthana

Neither she dreams of pink frock nor barbies. She is not called daddy’s princess. Her birth is not celebrated even by her own mother. She is just the little girl who lives a life of an unwanted child, a liability and lesser half of the population in India.

The campaign ‘Beti Padao, Beti bachao’ (save daughter, teach daughters) run by government is being advertised in the same newspaper which consist of everyday stories of rape and violence against women. India is the most dangerous place in world to be born a girl as per the latest UN reports.Being a girl in India is strength in itself. Many don’t know, or choose to overlook, the battles girls go through everyday to achieve what they deserve, whether it be education, work or simply respect.

Raised by a single mother in a small town of a Northern states in India, I struggled everyday for my safety. I was told not to laugh loud, be at home before 6 pm and I should stop comparing myself with my brothers.But it wasn’t just me. My best friend’s brother had more food to eat and better education than her. The girls were asked to cook food for family when they were just 10 and by the time they were sixteen, some of those friends got married.

Fifteen years later, nothing much has changed in rural and small towns of India. My last five years of exploration in the numerous villages of India often gave me a strong sense of deja vu. The faces have changed, but the stories have not.

Little girl’ is a gateway to express those long suppressed emotions. It explores the different facets of being a girl in India; it showcases the stories of girls who talk meekly but show enormous courage in their daily lives. It touches upon fleeting moments of a little girl’s life who are already expected to behave as a woman.


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