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Who is to Blame?

by Lakshmi Menon
(Bangalore, Karnataka, India)

I see the girls of my age
Going to school merrily;
Some with little ponytails,
Some others with neatly cut short hairs.
But, all of them are in
Smart uniforms and shoes.

Some of them walk in groups
Some others go in cars and bikes
Some others go in the school bus
Waving hands to their mothers in glee.
But, all with a hefty bag on their back
And a smile of eagerness to learn.

I know they are preparing
for a bright future
And not like me here, working for the
Livelihood of a whole family!

All my dreams are shattered,
All my wishes remain unfulfilled,
I’m closed in this jail of duties
Denying my childhood happiness

Why am I different from the other girls?
Why am I denied the freedom to study?

I know if I don’t study
I’ll follow my mother’s footsteps
Like many other girls like me do
And get a husband like my father
Who is always with a bottle in hand!
And bring more children like me to this world
who are helpless and vulnerable.

Who is to blame for this state?


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