Chennai: A daughter named ‘Vendam’, meaning ‘don’t want’, by her parents when she was born the third consecutive girl child in Tiruvallur, has brought smiles for the family after landing an engineer’s job in Japan on a whopping salary of Rs 22 lakh per annum.
Not just that, District Collector Mageswari Ravikumar has made it known that she has been nominated as the ‘Ambassador for the welfare of girl children’ in Tiruvallur as there could be no better inspiration for girls in the district to climb the cliff of glory overcoming heavy odds.
For Ms Vendam, the obstacles began at home right at the moment of her birth as an unwanted girl child and thereafter growing up through inadequate nourishment in a large family to pursue B.Tech course in Electronics & Communication Engineering (ECE) and simultaneously develop strong skills in the Japanese language too. Ironically, the fourth child of the farm coolie couple Asokan-Gowri too turned out to be a girl.
Thanks to her knowledge of the Japanese language, Vendam was among 11 students of the Chennai Institute of Technology at suburban Kundrathur to be hired by the Japanese firm Human Rescocia Corporation in a campus interview.
She will pack her bags for the flight to Tokyo next year after finishing the B.Tech course; but for now, she is on cloud nine after the meeting with Collector Mageswari on Saturday and receiving the ‘Bechi Bachao Beti Padhao’ (Save the daughter, Educate the daughter) certificate and the kind words telling her she would be the ‘Ambassador for the Girl Child’ in Tiruvallur.
“My parents loved all four of us, girls. They had merely followed the advice of the elders who told them their next child would be a boy if they named me as ‘Vendam’ as a wish to the deities that they had enough of girl babies. But now they realise I would take care of them much better than a male child would have, because they educated me despite poverty”, Vendam told DC, looking very happy and justifiably proud.
She said it was hard on her in the initial years at school and college as the classmates and others teased her about the name — she had wept sometimes — but in course of time, they all empathised with her and became friends. “In fact, my father tried changing my name when I was in class three but did not succeed because he was not familiar with the official procedure”, she said, adding, “I love my name and will never try changing it. It’s brought me luck”.
Asked about his daughter’s achievements, Asokan said: “Vendam en kudumbathukku venum (My family needs Vendam), as she has made us proud, to understand that girl child is not a burden but a blessing”. There was a tinge of tension in his voice as he was waiting outside the labour ward of the Tiruvallur Government Hospital and the delivery of his first daughter’s first delivery was getting delayed. “We are praying, but only for the health of the mother and child”, he insisted.
Shortly afterwards, the happy grandpa called to say it was a girl child, blessed by his Narayanapuram village deity....