“I am the only one in my lane who wears shorts, the other girls have stopped wearing them but why should I stop wearing what I like because of other people’s taunts? I will do whatever I feel is right.” Confident, chirpy and extremely smart. Even these words are less to describe 14-year-old Mansi.
Mansi lives in JJ Colony in Ghevra, NewDelhi. This area is very far from the city and thus, it difficult to commute. Mansi lives with her mother, father, and 2 younger sisters. She studies in Sarvodya Secondary School. Her favourite subjects are Math and English. She says, “I love my parents. They support me and say that a girl is not less than a boy. They want me to study well and I want to make them proud.”
She loves dancing and has formed a group with her school friends where they all learn and dance together. “ I love dancing because it’s a lot of fun and if I dance then I feel relaxed. It helps me vent out. I dance when I’m feeling low and I instantly feel better.”
When asked about how safe she feels, she said, “I usually feel safe but some boys stand outside our school and say cheap and inappropriate things to me and my friends so I went and complained to my teacher about it. The situation is better now”
She attended the 4 days Child Champion Training organized by Save The Children. She understands things better now. According to Mansi, the biggest problem in her area is that people judge girls for what they wear and taunt them a lot. If a girl talks to a boy they characterize the girl. “There is this lady in our lane who used to taunt me a lot about wearing shorts but my mother went and fought with her. She still says stuff but at least not on my face!”
When asked about her future aspirations, Mansi says “I have always been inclined towards helping children who can’t walk or see. I feel that if they could see or walk their lives would have been so different. I want to help such specially-abled children. I want to become a teacher for them and be there for them.”