AHMEDABAD: Even strangers call this courageous lady to congratulate her on her decision to go ahead without bothering about what people will say and fulfill her long-cherished dream.
From the peon of her office to her immediate boss, they have all brought loads of gifts for her and her bundle of joy, lending their support to her decision which broke new grounds of women power in erstwhile conservative Saurashtra. Executive magistrate Rekhaba Sarvaiya, who has become the poster-girl for single motherhood in Saurashtra, is basking in her new-found motherhood.
“When I decided to become a single mother through IVF, I had prepared myself for the worst including the society ostracizing me. I belong to a conservative Rajput community and was happy to have got my family’s support. I never dreamt that people including strangers will hold my hand,” says Rekhaba who is literally soaking up every little moment of motherhood ever since she delivered a baby girl on 11.11.11.
Rekhaba works as mamlatdar in Junagadh district and was born in a remote village Chatrasa near Dhoraji, Rajkot having a population of 600. Her father Digvijaysinh was a teacher and she was the eldest amongst the four children – three daughters and a son.
She was the first girl in her village to be highly educated – a gold medalist in BSc, MSc and Masters in Journalism and Communication. Turning point in Rekhaba’s life came when her youngest brother Nitivijay died in an accident.
“Nitivijay jumped in water to save a drowning stranger and died. This incident pushed me into a personal crisis. My father faced lifelong guilt of having cremated his son during his lifetime. That was the turning point when I talked to my family and decided to spare my father from carrying the lifelong guilt. I gave fire to my dead brother and cremated him,” says Rekhaba.
“I am not a man-hater feminist. It is just that I never came across a man with whom I would like to share my life,” says Rekhaba. She says she was happy playing aunt to her nieces but it was her mother and sisters who prompted her to walk the untreaded options of parenthood. Rekhaba gives credit to her mother Urmilaba and sisters Ushaba and Meeraba.
“My mother and sisters stood by me all through the pregnancy and through my early days of motherhood. While I wanted to experience motherhood, my mother propelled me to the IVF clinic as she wanted me to have somebody my own when she was not there. I am forever indebted to my mother for her support,” says Rekhaba.
Now, with Abhigna playing in her arms, Rekhaban does not want any partner. Currently, Rekhaba is on leave and wishes to devote each moment on nurturing her daughter. “I read a lot and am highly spiritual. It is not that I have become a single mom to cock a snook at the society and prove that a woman can do it. I have become a mother as it is the most humbling experience and most rewarding.