Across The Wall
This is a story about a team of basketball players. All of them are girls.
These girls come from very poor families. They also face gender bias. They have crossed all the obstacles to become good players of basketball. The team has already played district level and state level matches. The girls dream of playing for the country.
There are some tasks meant for girls only. There are some other tasks meant for boys only. Girls generally play certain games which boys do not play. Similarly, boys play certain games which the girls do not play. For example: girls usually play with dolls and kitchen sets. Boys usually play with toy cars and toy guns. In many families, girls are not allowed to study.
Girls are supposed to do household chores, like cleaning and cooking. Boys are supposed to run errands, like going to markets. Boys generally have more freedom than girls.
But things are changing. Many families allow their daughters to study and even to play a game of their choice.
Question 1: Is there any place to play near your house?
Answer: Yes, there is a small playground.
Question 2: What do people play there? Who plays there?
Answer: People play many games in the park. Some children play cricket, some others football. Older children play cricket. Children of my age play kabaddi or kho kho.
Question 3: Do the children of your age also get a chance to play there?
Answer: Yes, there are different corners for different groups of children. There is no written rule, but most of the children stick to their part of the playground.
Question 4: What other things happen at this place?
Answer: Many other activities happen at this place. Sometimes, there can be a bhandara (free meal) on a festival. Sometimes, there can be puja. Mushairas and Kavi Sammelans (Poetry Recitals) are also organized from time to time.
Question 1: Has anyone ever stopped you from playing some games? Which games?
Answer: Sometimes, my parents stop me from playing. It happens when I have to appear for examination or term tests. Outdoor games are strictly forbidden in that case.
Question 2: Who stopped you and why? What did you do then?
Answer: My mother stops me, because she wants me to do good in exams. Sometimes, I feel bad. Then I also think that study is more important for me.
Question 3: Did anyone help you and encourage you to play?
Answer: One of my maternal uncles (Mama) always encourages me to play cricket.