Amongst serials like Balika Vadhu and Na Aana Iss Des Mere Ladoo, comes yet another offering in the form of Faltu. Star Plus’ new show aims at telling a story of a girl who is named ‘Faltu’ after her parents are fed up of trying for a boy. But ‘Faltu’ dares to break stereotypes and has a natural talent for cricket. She dreams of becoming a cricketer and make a mark in the male-dominated world of Indian sports. On International Girl’s Day, the leading lady of the show Niharika Chouksey talks about how the show was inspired by the real life of women in Rajasthan and reveals the minor but important gender prejudices she has faced in her life in this exclusive chat with Bollywood Hungama.
In an exclusive conversation with Bollywood Hungama, Niharika Chouksey revealed details of the condition of women in Rajasthan and also spoke about the reality of child marriage. “Faltu is actually inspired by the condition in Rajasthan. Women are actually named weirdly just in a bid o have a baby boy next time. When we were shooting for a promo, we came across a small girl and her mother was only 15-years old. Her name was also very weird and Sir gave that as an example for us. I asked if she wanted to study and her response was, ‘If I had got the chance, I would have’.
She went on to add, “Child marriage still exists and they are not even given an opportunity to learn. They are not allowed to pursue a career because its all about getting them married. That’s why we are making these shows. To throw some light on such topics that no one wants to talk about.”
Although Niharika hasn’t faced any major discrimination in her life, she revealed how smaller prejudices too can be bothersome. “My parents have been supportive and have never discriminated at home. But when I used to play sports in schools, our professors often wouldn’t let us compete with the boys because they would, ‘we are not physically strong as they are’. It may be true at some point. I don’t deny that but saying that often feels a little demeaning. Other things in day-to-day lives such as my father objecting from me going out at late night which is absolutely allowed for my brother because he is a man, is also something that is unfair. Although, I do feel things have improved with time but we still have to go a long way.”
On International Girl Child Day, Niharika pledged equality and expressed the kind of equality she would like to witness in the real world. “First of all, women should not have any curfew timings and they should be able to roam around at whatever time at night. Secondly, women should be given the same opportunities when it comes to sports. For example, I couldn’t take cricket because I didn’t have the option at all. There should also be equality in jobs, irrespective of gender. Whether it’s a boy or a girl, it doesn’t matter. What matters is their capability not gender,” she concluded.