In India, unwanted girls are literally named “unwanted”; known by this ‘name’ throughout childhood, school and into adulthood. I had no idea that there are girls alive today who go through life literally being called “unwanted”, day in, day out – year in, year out.
At a renaming ceremony, they are given the opportunity to choose a new name, and I was struck by some of those chosen – “rock hard”, “prosperous, beautiful and good” or the names of their Bollywood heroines. These are the names of empowered women.
How empowering to be given the opportunity to start again. With a new name. A new identity. A new hope. The failure to name is transformed into the opportunity to chose your own name.
This is a story of hope amidst the rubble. But let’s spare a thought for the many more girls who cannot chose a new name. And who are hounded and haunted by the constant reminder of being unwanted and unloved.
This is why we need organisations like Restored, highlighting the plight of girls such as these and other women affected by violence and oppression around the world today. To remind us. To nudge us. To stir us. To help turn failures into lasting triumphs.