(As told to Pooja Priyamvada)
My upbringing was traditional and I never interacted with men
I grew up in a traditional family in the hills of Uttarakhand where girls are raised in utmost discipline and there never is any room to question the age-old beliefs about customs or traditions.
After primary school, I was shifted into a girls-only school and in the village too we weren’t supposed to interact with other boys except for brothers, cousins, uncles and family males, and in that too there were a number of rules ever since I turned 11-12. Never be without a dupatta other than when you are sleeping. Don’t make eye contact with any men and speak as minimally as possible in their presence.