What the girls did

The International Women’s Day website says, “A challenged world is an alert world. Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions — all day, every day.” Befittingly, the theme this year is #choosetochallenge.

A peek into the world of books gives us a fresh perspective on how we can make this world an equal place.

Dear Mrs Naidu by Mathangi Subramanian

What the girls did

Twelve-year-old Sarojini has an assignment — to write a letter to someone she wants to get to know better. She chooses to write to poet, feminist and freedom fighter Sarojini Naidu.

As a student of a government school, she does not have the privileges and benefits that students in private schools enjoy. Young Sarojini is often stuck for words and fumbles through letters, but continues with her letters, drawing inspiration from Naidu herself.

Half the Field is Mine by Swati Sengupta

What the girls did

Oli and Champa are friends. Champa’s mother is the domestic help at Oli’s house. They are confidantes, study mates and star footballers of a team founded by Champa. Except for Champa and Oli, all the other players are boys.

One day, the boys in the team decide to sign up for a professional tournament and insist that girls cannot play. Champa takes on the system.

Queen of Ice by Devika Rangachari

What the girls did

Princesses are beautiful, live in palaces and marry handsome princes. Right? Well, not this one. Didda, who ruled the land of Kashmira from 958 to 1003 A.D., is rejected by her father for her physical handicap. Seeing no future for his daughter, he marries Didda off to Kshemagupta, a king of mediocre ability.

Kshemagupta dies an untimely death and Didda becomes regent to her son Abhimanyu. But with the death of her son and three grandsons, she crowns herself the ruler of Kashmira. She was one of the greatest rulers of medieval Kashmir.

Razia and the Pesky Presents by Natasha Sharma

What the girls did

Razia Sultan was the first female Muslim ruler of the subcontinent and the only female ruler of Delhi. She ruled from 1236 to 1240. She was bold and revolutionary. She came out of purdah to hold court, dressed in male clothes and led the charge when the army went on military expeditions.

Imagine her irritation when she receives ‘girlie’ gifts and messages questioning her ability to rule. Razia sets her Fabulous Forty to investigate. Though there is no historical record of the gifts, the book is peppered with interesting aspects from history.

Loki Takes Guard by Menaka Raman

What the girls did

Eleven-year-old Loki, or Lokanayaki Shanmugam, has her heart set on being a part of The Temple Street Tankers, a local cricket team. But the boys on the team have a silly ‘boys-only’ rule that prevents her from joining the team.

Loki begins a petition on her right to play with The Temple Street Tankers. But, sadly, nobody wants to sign. Then with one tweet from an anonymous tweeter, @_poetic_paati, Loki becomes a social media sensation. She has the whole nation rooting for her. What’s next?

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Printable version | Apr 17, 2021 3:09:33 AM |

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