Define success on your own terms, achieve it by your own rules, and build a life you're proud to live.
My genes impregnated with XX chromosome has made my life exciting in spite of paradoxical sentiments that sometimes perturb me.
There are times when a working woman is sandwiched between her role demands as a Mother, Wife, Daughter and Daughter-in-Law and her role demands as a professional.
There are times when a woman is caught between two poles, that of exhausting her energy tending to her family and squeezing out time and space for herself. Unfortunately, this is a significant challenge for most Indian woman.
Yet, after having traversed so far in the journey of life, I can say with conviction that I bask in the glory of being a woman.
I can proudly say that I am exhilarated in being a mother to twins. 2 beautiful daughters.
I often wonder why does society not celebrate the life of women?
I believe every woman must be celebrated and most important she should be proud of herself. She does not need any special treatment. Accept her the way she is. Let every gender compliment and support each other. We must not personify each other basis on our genders. Let us all prioritise humanity over everything.
I often ponder on why women do not resolve to carve their own path?
Let us see the statistics:
India accounts for almost one-third (32.1 %) of the total 142.6 million missing females in the world, trailing behind China which accounts for 72.3 million ( 7.2 crores) 'missing females' that is 50.7 % of all missing females in the world (UNFPA report, 2020).
These missing girls are a result of female infanticide or selection of the sex of the child during pregnancy.
Between 2010and 2019, each year more than 7.5 thousand women lost their lives failing to fulfil the greedy demand for dowry by their husbands and in-laws. In some years this increased to 8.5 thousand.
In India, an average of 87 rape cases occurred daily in 2019 and overall 4,05,861 cases of crime against women during the year, a rise of over 7% from 2018, as per the latest government data released on September 29, 2020.
Also, in India 1 in 9 girls under the age of 18 experience molestation and sexual abuse or assault at the hands of an adult. Unfortunately, they are molested without having any understanding of it.
About 86% of women who were subjected to violence never sought help and 77% of the victims never mentioned it to anyone. This is due to the fear lurking in their minds against the perpetrators and also due to their own acceptance of such violence as a normal part of life.
This is alarming!
Horrifying! Isn't it?
As this figure sinks in, I am baffled.
Why are such heinous crimes happening in the 21st century?
Why cant society treat women as they are?
When life initiates within the womb and every time a woman delivers, she takes the risk on her life willingly and happily to see the breathing bundle of joy in her arms. That's courage inevitably.
Women fighter pilots, manoeuvring Mi g21, Mig 29 UPG or soon to fly Rafael, touching the blue sky, ready to embark anytime on a deadly mission to terminate the enemy enjoy the same thrill, embrace the same extent of risk, go through the same arduous and back-breaking training and discipline their lives equivalent to their counterpart male colleagues.
They never settle for less in delivering their duties and responsibilities.
When one drives in the countryside, the lush green paddy fields on both sides of the roads and women bending down, either sowing, tending or reaping the crops is such a blissful spectacle. Lakhs of women in the hinterland religiously tilting mother earth and growing vegetables, fruits and crops to feed millions.
That's immense hard work and sincere effort!
105 years old Pappammal from Coimbatore was awarded Padmashri for her contribution to organic farming.105 years of age and is still active tending to her fields to organically cultivate millets, pulses and vegetables in her 2.5-acre farm.
Getting a place in Wikipedia, being bestowed with Padmashri, the second-highest civilian award of the country, flying to Johannesburg to receive the Equator initiative award in 2002, being the first tribal woman to be included in the list of members of the Odisha state planning board to formulate five-year plans for the state apart from policy guidelines and many more feathers on her cap – are no small achievements.
More astounding for a lady from the remote tribal area, who never stepped inside a school ever in her life. That is Kamala Pujari, who not only preserved 100 types of paddy through organic farming but spread awareness and created a mass movement in many villages to relinquish chemical fertilizer and adopt organic farming.
Can you believe this?
A poor, illiterate lady from the remote tribal region, who never studied agriculture in a classroom, but a University of agriculture being named after her.
Is this some magic?
Yes, magical! For sure.
A will of steel, a heart of gold, magnetic love for nature and ecosystem, a passion to transform lives, an insatiable urge to revolutionize agriculture, a fervour to tend the soil and resolve to work for society.
Pappammal and Kamala Pujari's works are angelic and they show how courage, determination and leadership know no bounds and requires no age or education. There are thousands of Pappammals and Kamala Pujaris in the making, working to make a difference.
Women are the largest untapped reservoir of talent in the world.
It has never been easy to be in a corporate or be an entrepreneur. The world is witnessing an increasing number of women climbing career ladders to sit in the chairs of CEO, CFO or CHRO. They did not reach there through favouritism.
Nourishing their brains with the right education, developing the right skills, continuously learning, focussing on self-development and taking on challenges right from the time they were in school.
It is not only women who get an award or are noticed are changing the world. It is every woman in every home, in every part of the world who have reservoirs of energy and talent and are stirring change in their own lives.
Women do not require a reservation. They require understanding, they require acceptance, they require to be treated as the master creator has created them, they just require equal opportunity for education, health care, freedom to make decisions and assert their rights on their body, mind and soul.
Women do need sympathy, they require empathy, they need the cooperation of their families and society, they need to be loved for what they are individually by, they need no clipping of their wings.
Many times women are women's enemies. The beautiful girls with dreamy eyes, who negotiate with all kinds of physical abuses to get a role in Bollywood to be projected as an object for the eyes of men.
Every time she does that, she violates her feminity and suppresses her talent by the vulgar display of her body parts which endangers the lives of many other women. Statistics have proven that in many dowry cases, the women of the house play a pivotal role in being the oppressor.
So women please stand up, get up, stand up and assert your rights!
Give a woman education, you educate a generation
Give a woman the scope that is rightfully her's, she can scale unimaginable altitude.
She will carve her path with determination, love and passion
Here's to strong women: may we know them, may we be them, may we raise them and may we stand stronger with them. - Unknown