“I decided that my store’s name would be a symbol of gender equality and women’s empowerment,” says Manoj Kumar Gupta. #BreakingStereotypes #GenderEquality
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For long, Indian businesses have suffixed their names with ‘Fathers,’ ‘Sons,’ and ‘Brothers.’ While this is added to convey that the business has passed through generations, it is also a silent affirmation of patriarchal norms related to property ownership.
Which is why, Ludhiana-based Manoj Kumar Gupta deserves to be appreciated as he has shattered these very norms in his own unique way by naming his pharmacy ‘Gupta and Daughters’ after his daughter, Akansha.
The 54-year-old started his career as a building contractor and also owns a construction company named, ‘Gupta and Sons.’ In 2017, he started his second venture, a pharmacy, but was struggling to choose an interesting name.
“While brainstorming for names, was deeply inspired by the Prime Minister’s ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ slogan and decided to go with this. While some family members felt the name was a little too offbeat, my wife and children loved the idea and I went ahead with it. I want my store’s name to be a symbol of gender equality and women empowerment,” he affirms.
Soon, Aman Kashyap, a medical professional in Ludhiana, shared an image of the medical store’s signboard on Twitter. Within no time, the tweet had more than 6000 likes and a thousand retweets. Many also shared images of other businesses which were named after ‘daughters’ instead of sons. Here are some examples.
Breaking the stereotypes…
Felt good to see that common people have started having faith and confidence in there daughters that too in a place like haryana! 🙂
Kudos to goyal & daughters!!! #BetiBachaoBetiPadhao pic.twitter.com/0O1Upf9MVb
— Harshita ? (@ami_Harshita) June 2, 2019
One more pic.twitter.com/x3otQUQwih
— Rohit Jain (@rohit_tezpur) May 22, 2020
Setting The Right Example
Gupta’s children, Akansha and Roshan, are proud of their parents for taking a decision to break the stereotype and set an example to society. While Roshan is an MBA graduate, Akansha is a law student.
“Though I am older than Akansha, since childhood, my father has told us that we are equal. He would always insist that we treat each other with respect,” says Roshan.
Gupta credits his parents for instilling the right values, and his wife for being the head of the family and keeping their name flying high.
A few days ago, ‘Gupta and Daughters’ partnered with the Sikh Welfare Council, a non-profit organisation in Ludhiana. Together, they are providing medicines to the poor at a cheaper price.
“This is done on a zero-profit basis where the medicines are bought from retailers and sold to customers, at the cost price. Considering the COVID-19 situation, everyone is at a loss of income and they have less money to spend. So we decided to provide medicines at the lowest rate possible,” says Roshan who helps his father manage the store.
While Gupta’s initiative is certainly smashing patriarchal norms, it is not the only one to do so. In 2019, The Better India wrote about how a wedding ceremony in Kolkata was headed by four women priests and the bride’s father also refused ‘Kanyadaan’ – an act of giving away a daughter as a gift to her husband and in-laws. Instead, he read a speech for her and added that she was not property to give away.
Clearly, we must strive to be the change we want to see in this world.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)