The first person who comes to my mind, who taught us to be self reliant is my DAD! Well, to be very frank, he not only made all of us self-dependent, he also helped with every bit of support to make my mother what she is today.
Born to a small place in Bihar, my dad's vision was larger than life. He had to support his family at a very young age, but he became a doctor in all odds. He helped his sisters to get a simple degree so that at least they can teach and earn their daily bread and butter.
When my mother entered his life, she was not treated or welcomed as a doctor. She was welcomed as a to-be-home-maker-bahu! Somehow, my grandmother didn't want my mother to work. At least she didn't want her to go to some other hospital and work.
My mother was hell-bent on working and my dad gave her the only thing she was looking for - his support! He helped her open her own clinic in a room, the room which was supposed to be for the cows. He got it done properly so that basic checkups/delivery/minor operation could be done. From that day to owning a fully-equipped, well-furnished and extremely established hospital, has been a journey of many ups and downs. My father has always been there, with my mother.
Well, of course many people think that girls shouldn't work, but my father sent us to same school as my brother. He was equally proud of our results. Talking of making us self-reliant, not only supporting us with proper education or love, he encouraged us in every which way.
A small incident which I still remember was when I had to travel to my college after my first semester. My brother was to drop me. But my father told me to manage the entire trip all by myself. To travel alone.
I was scared. To bits. But I had faith in him. I thought something important was there for my brother.
It was a overnight journey and then I had to take a bus to college. I had a sleepless night. After every five minutes, I was checking on my luggage. I was sure someone is going to flick it. I was acting to be serious, trying not to be too engrossed in my book and alert like a dog.
Finally, I had a safe train journey but anther two hours trip to college remained. I sat on the bus and again was very vigilant. At last, when I reached my college and while I was getting down from the bus, someone tapped my shoulder. I looked back. He was my brother, getting down with me. We got down and I was soo shocked that I couldn't speak a word. He smiled and said, "Close your mouth or you will eat a mosquito. Haha. Well done, chutki! I never thought you could actually manage yourself. You are soo little. But you did it
Although, by my choice I am a stay-at-home-mom (the fact which my dad is not very happy about), but I know that I am strong and educated enough that if at all I need me, I will be there. FOR ME!
You have fully lived this statement -
Apno ko Apne dum pur jeene do!
My mother, sister, sister-in-law and every male member in my family are self-reliant and self dependent. We are together but have our own identities as well.
Thanks for the big lessons of life in such simple ways, dad! Thanks is but of course,an understatement! But yes, I will pass on the same values to my child as my gratitude to you.
Love you Papa!