#HerChoice: ‘I am not married and therefore your father is not’

_100064852_9_prajakta_illustration1My seven-year-old daughter is happy, carefree and curious like any other child. He is curious about the world around him and his life. But often he asks a question that ‘mother (mother), why are not my papa?’

I decided to stay single and kept telling me the truth that ‘I am not married and therefore you have no papa’.

But I do not think he was completely satisfied with this answer.

I have adopted the daughter and in this family, the mother of this child was distraught, where mother is but Papa is not.

When he was five years old, he said, “Come, you told me that when the boys and girls grow up, they marry and they have children, surely my mother too must have been married to someone else.” I do not know the mother giving birth, so the father who gave birth in the same way is not even aware. But do not say that I do not have a father. ”

I cried On that day I came to know how it felt with my response to his question.

This was an easy argument for him. A five year old girl had found the answer to her question.

He made my explanation unusable. As a mother and a human, she forced me to think about how I am giving her a feeling.
#HerChoice 12 is a special series of BBC based on real life stories of Indian women. These stories present the ideas of ‘Modern Indian Woman’ and the options available in front of him, his aspirations, his priorities and his desires.
She would keep saying, “Come, marry me …”

I explained, “It is not that I do not want to get married, I can marry tomorrow, but only when I find a person who can understand me and you.”

Even when he will grow up and repeat this same question to me, my answer will be the same.


Being single is not difficult in any way. I am happily living single mother’s life with my daughter.

I do not hate men, I respect them very much and my daughter is also learning from me.

The answer is not easy why I did not marry and even after being single, why did I decide to adopt a child?

About 20 years ago when I was married, most of the so-called ‘educated’ young men used to pay attention to the fact that you are seeing from outside.

Most people in my community do business, and so the boys were not much educated.

I wanted someone who is good-educated, strong moral values, and like I am from inside.

This quest gave me a chance to know myself. I grew up in a conservative rural family in Maharashtra.

Like many other girls in India, I was non-existent in my home. The family did not make any difference to me from this viewpoint.

My father taught me higher education, which was then extraordinary in that community. I also got a good job. I was a confident girl.

As life progressed, I became so laughable that I wanted to live an independent life in my own way, not by anyone’s wishes.

Marriage, which is a big decision in any person’s life, should be decided only by me and myself alone. Why should anyone else decide my life?


I thought that I really do not want a man or husband in my life as a spouse. And that’s why I’m single.

My parents accepted it.

Nothing changes in my life, if I do not start working for orphaned children under the corporate social responsibility of my company.

I was very happy to teach, play, and spend time with my children. I had more desire to do all this. But what I can do, there was also a limit and it was unbearable for me to stay away from it.

That was when I thought of adopting a child. But this remedy has created many questions in front of me.

How does this child relationship with the family? Can I be a good single mother? Will I take care of my child and keep him alone?

I myself have been asking this question for two years. And even when I decided to adopt a girl, even then it was uncertain.

I talked to my friends, took long breaths and wrote those issues which troubled me.

Did all this feel the responsibility of becoming a single mother? I realized how important it would be to support my friends and family.


When my six-month-old daughter came home, it was a festival-like day for me. About 50 people were present on that day to welcome him.

When she came home, all my doubts disappeared. She became the beloved granddaughter of the house and I am a confident mother.

At the same time, I decided to stay alone from my parents’ house. This strengthened the relationship between us.

I never felt that I was not his ‘real’ mother.

In spite of her curiosity to know about her father in her mind, my daughter loves me a lot and she often speaks that I am the world

When he sees me working, he says, ‘Now you are my father!’ This is valuable to me.

For a lap, the child’s life is not easy, and we both are learning to answer those many and sometimes insensitive questions which the society wants us to answer.

Many people want to know my daughter’s past, who has really passed away. Why does anyone ask this question? And why should this question be asked?

Despite all these complications, our life is very simple, full of joy and love. My sister was inspired by all these and now she has adopted a daughter too.

My daughter has become a very important part of my life. Now I give advice to parents and children about the process of adoption.

My daughter does not like going to school, so I started her schooling at home.

I want to help him make his own decision. This was not what I had found in my childhood days, which has a lot of meaning for me.

Whenever he tells me that he wants to go to school, I will take him. This is his own identity which will make him skilled, as I am.

I am not alone, I just want to be alone. But when I am with my daughter I am most happy.

(This is the real story of Indian woman Sangeeta Banginwar, which is based on the conversation with BBC correspondent Prajakta Dhupp, Producer of this series is Divya Arya.

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