Ankit is a 35-year-old photographer from Surat who has been raising his daughter single-handedly since the time he separated from his wife. SheThePeople.TV chats with him about his parenting journey and societal struggles
I always wanted a daughter. God fulfilled my wish in 2017 when my wife gave birth to a baby girl. I was jumping with joy when the doctor broke the news to me. I couldn’t have been happier.
My wife and I separated when Mantra was just one-year-old. The separation was bitter but it was important for the well-being of my child. Since then, my father and I have been raising Mantra together.
It is not easy being a single dad in India. My relatives kept asking me to remarry. ‘She is a girl and will hit puberty in a few years. She needs a female figure in her life’, I was told. But I wasn’t convinced. I was ill-treated by my step-mom during my childhood. I didn’t want the same to happen with Mantra. I am too scared and can’t trust anyone with her well-being. ‘I will prove to be a father she can reach out to for almost anything without hesitation’, I would tell them.
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She is five years old now and I have zero regrets of not marrying again. Mantra and I are inseparable.
From waking her up in the morning to preparing her breakfast, from dropping her to school to helping her in her studies – I love each and every moment I spend with her. Even post her school hours, she stays with me in my office. I don’t resume work until she tells me everything about what she did and learnt at school on that day.
She loves going for long drives and I make sure I take her on one every week. Her teachers tell me that she is a happy child and I shouldn’t worry much about her.
Today is Fathers’ Day and we enjoyed to the hilt at the water park I took her to. I often look at her and think, ‘We don’t need anyone else. Our family is complete’. Read the full story here.
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