I was recently a part of a celebratory event held by Ariel India in Mumbai where they showcased their thought-provoking #ShareTheLoad movement that has got everyone talking.
I first remember seeing the Ariel film a few weeks back, as my mum had shared it on Facebook and the comments were all so supportive and relatable that made me re-share it too. I mean, you know something is really working when even those relatives who differentiated between a boy and a girl all their life get down to thinking!! It makes me super happy and I feel blessed to be raised by my parents who were all for equality and my brother had to partake in household chores equally as me and my sister. But sadly there are still so many girls in India who have to fight every step of the way for equal rights or are looked at as kitchen slaves by so many Indian families.
I remember an incident when I was in school, when a girl from our class walked up to my group and said she cannot move out of the country for further studies because she is a girl and cannot protect herself but her brother could just because he is a boy. This is what majority of the girls/women still have to go through on a daily basis in our country and it all trickles down to generations and generations passing down the same thinking to their sons and daughters.
I still remember when Salman and I started dating, what immediately drew me towards him was his sheer ability to not discriminate between – “Ye ladke ka kaam hai OR Ye ladki ka kaam hai.” He has always been super eager and ready to share responsibilities, be it professionally in our work together or at home, dividing household chores. The way I look at this is that whether it’s your partner, hubby, brother, son or dad, the only way to be treated as equals is to do what each one is good at. For example, the way Salman shares the load, is by taking care of the washer and the dryer since I take care of the room cleaning! That way, the load of household chores doesn’t fall on just the women of the house. I always tell people, that I never ever want privileges as a woman, all I want is to be treated as an equal. Don’t hold the door for me or think that I’ll be cooking for you just because I am a girl.
So the next time you treat your daughter, sister or wife as a second class citizen or look down on them simply because they are women, think again because this thinking is going to wreck the pillars of your families that should be strongly resting on equality. I am supremely excited that team Ariel India is bringing that change in the way people think through their #ShareTheLoad movement and there already has been a recorded statistical data that shows men in India who did not partake in household activities earlier are now at least open to conversations around it.
I would strongly urge the parents to be the flag bearers of equality by raising strong and independent humans, regardless of their gender. Great things come out of empowered people and it all begins at home!!! I look at my life and all that I have achieved so far and I can say it in a heartbeat that I wouldn’t be half the person I am today had it not been for my supportive family who presented me and my brother with equal opportunities and taught us the importance of sharing the load of household chores. After all, it is not the responsibility of the women alone to take care of household work!
We also got to hear the thought behind this movement from Team Ariel India and Actor Rajkumar Rao who rightfully said – “The reason behind my success are all strong-willed women and my mother always considered both me and my sister as equals as we both shared the household chores equally”.
The right step towards this would be to strip your minds of any pre-conceived notions or thinking that tells us “Ye ladki ka kaam hai” and take equal responsibility and be the change we want to see in the world. Salman and I were really proud to lend our support to such an applaud-worthy movement by Ariel India!!
I’m including #ShareTheLoad film link for those of you who missed out on it –