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When Fathers Look Up To Daughters, It Empowers Them And Validates Their Achievements

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It is not every day that you get to see a father not only celebrate his daughter but to honour her achievements as a professional. Recently, Circle Inspector Shyam Sundar was snapped saluting his daughter and now Deputy Superintendent of Police, Jessi Prasanti. The heartwarming post shared by Andhra Pradesh Police has garnered more than 10,ooo likes so far and has been reshared by thousands, bring a smile to many faces. How many times do we see a father beaming with pride and honouring his daughter on the professional front?

Also Read: Photo Of Father On Duty Saluting DSP Daughter Goes Viral

This simple gesture by an ordinary father is so extraordinary, especially when you see in the context of patriarchal Indian society, where in many homes, the ice of hierarchy and gender stigmas prevents fathers and daughters from even speaking to each other. Indian men are brought up believing that real boys never cry, and never wear love and affection on their sleeves. Add to this the gender-based hierarchy and preference given to sons in our society, and we have numerous Indian households where fathers either don’t openly display their affection to their daughters or do not consider them as worthy of their pride.

But then you see pictures like the one featuring Sundar and Prasanti and you know that a change is brewing in nooks and corners of India that challenges regressive mindset but in a feel-good way. This picture reminds me of another viral photograph from last year featuring Rattana Ngaseppam, the Additional SP of Imphal, Manipur and her father checking out the stars on her uniform.

It also reminds me of a scene from last year’s film Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl where we see an army officer dad beaming with pride as his Air Force officer daughter salutes him.

Why do such images melt our hearts? Because it is still a rarity to see daughters being celebrated by their fathers for their professional achievements. Behind every professionally successful daughter is a father who let her dream, who believed in her abilities, and who was their to boost her confidence whenever she suffered a setback. Professional success in fields that are dominated by men doesn’t come easily to women. They have to work twice as hard, they have to prove their worth relentlessly, just so that they can fit in.

Did you know that in India, only six percent women are inducted in the police force at the officer ranks? As per a 2019 report by Tata Trust women make up for just seven percent of India’s 2.4 million-strong police force. It added that even if states commit to increasing women’s representation at a modest additional one percent per year, it will take most of them decades to reach 33 percent. That’s how far we are from attaining gender equality. These figures clearly show how hard the system and our society needs to work to ensure that women can create a space from themselves in male-dominated workplaces. Thus every working woman in India is making a breakthrough on this front, inch by inch, no matter what her field or job profile is.

Also Read: Cherish Every Feminist Dad. It’s Not Easy Being One Even Today

Indian dads today play a big role in closing this gap on a social level, by celebrating their daughters and their professional achievements. This one photograph of a father saluting his DSP daughter or a dad proudly checking out the stars on his daughters uniform stirs inspiration for other fathers in our country. And it gives us hope that we have numerous doting fathers in our country who will never let stigmas stop them from rooting for their daughters. These dads need to be celebrated as well.

Image Credit: Twitter

The views expressed are the author’s own.

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