Dr. Lopamudra Priyadarshini

Champions of change – Empowered women nurturing the nation

“A woman is the full circle. Within her is the ability to create, nurture, and transform.” –     

                                                                                                               Diane Mariechi

The words of Diane Mariechi are the sounds of nature. Every woman has the ability to create the universe. She is entitled to live in dignity and freedom.

Empowered women contribute to the health, well-being, and productivity of whole families and communities and improve prospects for the next generation. Empowering women is an indispensable tool for advancing the development and growth of the nation.

Let’s talk about few of these wonder women who are wonderful because of their undefeatable spirit.

It’s inspiring to see more and more women getting educated and aspiring to be a bureaucrat.

Syed Sherish Asgar, a 34-year-old IAS officer, who during her stint as Deputy Commissioner of Budgam in Kashmir, directed all higher secondary girls schools and colleges in her district to install sanitary napkins dispensers and incinerators.

 Mind you! This was happening in a state with the Muslim majority, where speaking about menstruation is taboo and the state has always been under the threat of militancy.

Anyone would be deceived by the petite look that the young IAS officer, T.V Anupama has. Her grit and resilience to ensure safe food on the dinner table of Keralites is worth reverence. As food safety commissioner in Kerela, she conducted multiple raids on illegal and adulterated food businesses, shared information through presentations in meetings, educated and spread awareness amongst the public through the use of mass media. It not only helped in pressing cases in court against the food mafias but also encouraged common keralite to produce vegetables and fruits in kitchen gardens, which led to decrease in dependence on import of vegetables from other states.

Many more women bureaucrats are walking the talk.

How can we forget our ladies in uniforms?

Don’t ever doubt the mettle of those young women, adorned with Airforce jumpsuits and helmets climbing with head held high and smiling faces into the fighter planes.

The 10 women fighter pilots commissioned into the Airforce can give a fight to the mightiest enemy without a gasp for breath. No wonder! We have the first woman fighter pilot to fly Raphael. Thanks to the 18 Airforce women navigators who are supporting the Airforce with their tremendous skill.

India has its own share of family run business houses with women at the helm of affairs. However we are seeing a growing number of educated women sitting as founders of SMEs.

SMES are the spinal cord of India’s economy and are responsible for 48.1% of India’s export. Many women entrepreneurs have explored opportunity to utilize their education and competencies in providing support to SMES in handling business challenges. Yashodara Bajoria shifted her roles from managing a Non banking financial company to being a founder of CAXPert along with her sister –in law, providing services in accounting to SMES.

No one knows it better than Pritha Dutta Chowdhury that data driven decision, works best and faster in the competitive business market. This triggered her to form Econolytics, a company of data scientists and engineers to provide data analytics support to SMES.

There are thousands of women in small and big cities of India wearing the cap of entrepreneurs and taking hard business decisions.

Is it only our cities where women are empowered?

The answer is a big NO!

Chhavi Rajawat from Rajasthan , who gave up her prized career in an MNC to sit on the chair of Sarpanch and drive change or not so well educated Sushma Badhu from Haryana who contested and won local council election and made it her mission to alleviate girls education and training centres in her village.

It is amazing to see Meena Behen being the first woman Sarpanch of her village and heading an all women Panchayat, toiling hard to bring in schools, roads and hospitals in her village.

There are many more standing up by each passing day.

The saying ‘United we stand, divided we fall’ is no lame by any means. Just ponder on the changes that mass movements led by women achieved.

Whether it is the Chipko movement of 70s at Uttarakhand, led by Goura Devi- a tribal woman, to fight against exploitation of forest resource by Industrialists or the Gulabi gang to protect women against domestic violence and other social crimes to Jagmati Sangwan’s protest, unifying 50,000 women against the barbaric acts of Khap Panchayat to the women coming out on the streets to protest against Nirbhaya’s death are all heroines with determination to set in change.

Salutation to lakhs of Anganwadi and ASHA workers who are treading miles on foot to reach homes in the countryside to awaken sleeping souls and spread awareness about education of children, health and vaccination.

The millions of SHGs functioning in the city slums and villages are empowering women to earn, decide and fight for their rights.

Women have been at the epicentre of Operation Flood or Green revolution in India. The story that started in the cowsheds of Gujrat villages with women milk farmers, more in the lead went on to put India on the dairy map of the world as the largest milk producer.

Let us put our hands together to the likes of PV Sindhu, Dipa Kamrakar, Dutte Chand,Saba Anjum Karim, Arunima Sinha who push the boundaries of physical and mental limits to strive and sweat it out to reach their goals on the field or arena.

Magnificient work by our women farmers, tilting the land, educating the common man about agriculture, selling the produce and making a mark.

Yellow Saree women as the name goes are the members of Pratima Organic grower group at Bajiguda in Odisha. A fair trade SHG women group with their endeavour to stop migration and exploitation of women in the hands of Brick Klin owners, joined hands with VK Pati of Pratima Organic grower and availed loan of Rs33,000 from bank to start a brick Klin. The brick klin made Rs1,00,000 in just four months. Today the brick klin supplies bricks to Indira AWas Yojana and many other projects.

There are stories of girls and women walking the path of empowerment and catalyzing myriads of changes in the villages, cities and suburbs of India.

They are the heroines in real life- steering socio-economic and political development in this beautiful country called India. No doubt! Empowered women are nurturing our great nation and championing change holistically.

Yet I believe,

We have miles to go before we sleep!

           And

Miles to go before we sleep!

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