If jannat lies at the foot of my mother, why did khatna happen to me?

(Trigger Warning: The story here is another woman’s experience of FGC. We thank her for being brave enough to share it with us.)

By Insiya Lokhandwala

Age: 33

Country: Mumbai, India

I remember going to Pune for vacation when I was seven. Once there, my eldest masi (aunt) took me to a building where there was an old woman who asked me to lay down and open my legs. I remember being scared. Then I saw a razor in her hand and I screamed at her to let me go. My aunt and mom pinned me down on the ground and said, “It will be over in a minute”. I remember the unbearable pain and then the old woman bandaged me down there and told me that I would be OK in a day or two. On our way home my aunt bought me a balloon and ice cream. She told me not to mention what had to me to my brothers who were around my age. Honestly, I have hated balloons since then and I don’t think I can forgive what they did to me.

No religion in the world can ask mothers to put their little girls through this pain. I wonder how so many mothers can do this to their own girl children. No matter the consequences of what might happen to me for telling my story, this practice must be stopped. The practice was a way of controlling women in ancient times. I think our community has advanced enough to know what’s right and what’s wrong. Khatna is wrong. What happened to me can’t be undone, but we can stop this from happening to future girls. Let our children be children without trauma. Don’t tarnish their childhood memories by having girls undergo unforgiving situations. They say jannat lies at the foot of a mother, but if this practice continues, no child will be able to trust in this saying.

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