By S.N. Venkatnag Sobers
International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8 every year across the globe to celebrate womanhood. It is the day to celebrate the respect, appreciation and love towards women for their economic, political and social achievements. This year’s United Nations theme for women’s day is “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030”. Though such initiatives are taken to celebrate womanhood yet the incidents of women being sexually harassed and assaulted have not reduced over the past decades. We as a society must come together to stop atrocities against women and work for their betterment, especially in the rural areas.
This Weekend Star Supplement is dedicated to women who have risen solely based on their talent and have made themselves and their loved ones proud.
Dr. Roopa Prakash, an angel who binds mother & child
Over the past few decades the society has witnessed women growing strength-to-strength on par with their male counterparts. Be it in the field of engineering, medicine, aerospace, military, judiciary or even politics, women have been at the helm of affairs and proven their talent. Furthermore, to hold a position of welcoming a precious life into the world almost every day is in fact the greatest jobs a woman can ever pursue. One such person, who has been working day-in and day-out to protect several mothers and children is Dr. Roopa Prakash, Gynecologist and Obstetrician who works as a visiting consultant with Kamakshi Hospital and Apollo BGS in city.
Star of Mysore spoke to Dr. Roopa Prakash to learn more about her works, women and female foeticide. Excerpts…
SOM: How does it feel to see yourself as one of the many successful female doctors in the city?
Dr. Roopa: I don’t think that I should be listed among the successful doctors in city. Honestly, I have always treated my patients with utmost care and affection. And the recognition hasn’t come overnight. Instead, it has come to me because of my honesty and unbiased service for 25 long years. It was during January, 1992 that I started my career and since then I have been serving the people in my own capacity. Today, I am happy with myself for the achievements that I have been able to accomplish.
SOM: What’s your take on the growing number of atrocities against women?
Dr. Roopa: I feel that both men and women are different with different kinds of capabilities. For instance, when it comes to hard work and decision making, men always have an upper hand. And women, though work in challenging situations at both home and outside, still hold an upper hand when it comes to handling a family right or accomplish well in childcare. Nobody is superior or inferior when it comes to this aspect. The problem arises only when there is an ego clash. I think, the men who treat women badly must know the fact they are born to a mother, who is also a woman and the first one he is actually connected to. A girl friend he desires to have is also a woman; the goddesses he worships are also women. Then why not treat women with respect and dignity? Hence, I believe that it is the men who have to change and not women.
SOM: The field of medicine too is dominated by men to quite an extant as we all know. So how has been your experience a doctor?
Dr. Roopa: Like I said earlier, it’s been 25 years since I started working as a Doctor. I have worked with my male colleagues very closely but not even for a single day have I been let down or intimated by them. It’s been a wonderful journey and I feel fortunate to be working with many talented people.
SOM: Even today there are people who wish to have a baby boy instead of a girl. What’s your opinion?
Dr. Roopa: It is nice to have daughters. Fortunately, there is Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, which has been implemented stringently that prevents sex determination. Cases of female foeticide, which was on the rise at one point of time has been reduced quite much, all thanks to the implementation of the act.
But, the mindset among a few people still remains the same. Many still want a baby boy as their first child. In olden days, at the time when there was no concept such as family planning and parents had 7-8 kids in which three or four would have been males. But, now since the cost of living has shot up, parents cannot afford to have more than two kids. Even today, when we inform people that the new born is a girl child, they stare at us as if we (doctors) are at fault. This attitude has to change for our society to turn better.
SOM: Your message on the occasion of International Women’s Day?
Dr. Roopa: Every day is women’s day according to me. Every woman should be bold and confident and do something in life on her own, and also pursue a career in the field of her interest. It is also important to educate and empower daughters.