By Kavitha Emmanuel | Director, WOW

The issue of skin colour goes deeper than we would like to admit. It is actually more than just ‘skin’ deep; it is in our hearts. How does this bias against people of a darker skin colour, really affect the way we live and relate to others? 

I have a daughter who is 5 years old. I would like to describe her skin colour as ‘golden brown’. She is my honey bunch. My hope and dream for her is that she will grow up believing that she is beautiful just the way she is. In South India, she probably does not fall in the category of being dark-skinned, but neither is she really fair. 

I am, at the moment, considering adopting a child. I have asked myself this question, “What is my preference, in terms of skin colour, for the child I would like to adopt?”  My first thoughts were that he or she should be of a similar skin tone to that of our daughter. I couldn’t bear the thought of one of them being darker than the other and have people make comparisons or comments that would be hurtful to them. I would not want them, in turn, to compare themselves to each other and, perhaps, echo the unfortunate but common opinion that the lighter one is better. I do empathize with parents who are faced with this situation. As parents we want the best for our children. 

We live in a world where we suffer discrimination in various aspects of life – rich against the poor, upper caste against the lower caste, men against women. We discriminate on the basis of religion, profession, designation, status and SKIN COLOUR! Let’s wake up to a new world where we spread love and acceptance rather than prejudice or bias.

If I adopt a child and he or she is dark-skinned, I will do all I can to let my children know how beautiful they are. I will teach both my children to rise above the limitations that the world might try to place on thembecause of skin colour. We need to teach our children to soar!

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