Free Press Journal

Mamta Sangte: A ‘real’ sister of soldiers


Ujjain: It is said that a sister is always blessed to have a brother or vice-a-versa. However, many women are deprived of this brotherly love. Though brother-less, a few of them enjoy extremely privileged and enviable status on this day. Mamta Sangte is one of the few who has been making and tying ‘Rakhis’ for the last 10 years to unknown and anonymous soldier brothers. Free Press caught up with her to get a glimpse of her passion and her preparations this year.

Describing the meaning of Rakhi festival, Mamta Sangte said, “Rakhi means life-long commitment of mutual respect and honour by brothers and sisters for each other. Festival of ‘Rakhi’ characterises the flurry of heightened emotions such as warmth, affection and eternal bond between brothers and sisters. Thus, every year I brave these god-forsaken frontiers to tie ‘Rakhi’ to my brothers in recognition of their service to our motherland. ”

Revealing the guiding force behind her inner passion for this special day she said, “To be very honest, this day, I explode into a fountain of overwhelming ecstasy however at the same time I feel sharp pangs of disappointment as well. It is because of the plight of my brothers, our soldiers that comes back to haunt me.

Standing guard and protecting the sovereignty of our nation from hostile forces, they should be regarded as ideal brothers for all women across the country. Strangely enough though in spite of their unwavering loyalty and allegiance to the country, their hand remains untied with ‘Rakhi’. This is why I keep going to different border areas of our country on this day to make them feel special.”

Throwing light on her endeavours and allied hardships she experiences off and on with it, Mamta further said, “Any righteous endeavour you undertake, one is bound to face hurdle. Our case is no different. We are a group of 20 women who prepare ‘Rakhi’ for soldiers however at a time only four or less are present due to unforeseen and inevitable reasons. Besides this, we use our savings for buying and making ‘Rakhi’ as we do not take or accept any form of donation from anyone.”

She further said, “At times we have to travel in general compartments or sit near the toilets to reach borders. Our predicament does not end there. We have to look after lodging and boarding arrangements as well. Many a times, we have to spend sleepless nights on platforms. However, I don’t harbour any grudge as the sheer joy that I derive from this is way more supreme than any hardship and obstacle I experience.”

Commenting on the rampant violence and atrocities against woman she said resolutely “Now-a-days, such cases are on the rise but as a woman I have different take on it. Women need to come out of the shell and relinquish the imagery of being oppressed and persecuted one. Self-defense, Independence and being vocal against the ill-treatment are the remedy for the non-occurrence and reoccurrence of such incidents.”

She added, “I am myself a black-belt in martial arts and also teach various self-defense techniques to many girls. We also run an organisation “Sangini” where girls approach us for the redressal of their everyday problems including eve-teasing. Not only this we also empower them by teaching Rakhi-making skills. In my view, empowerment and ability to fight for your rights is the key for a woman to bring about a change in society’s perception.”

Exhorting all brothers and sisters she appealed: “On this auspicious occasion, all of us must pledge and strive to rekindle vintage love and warmth as of late, people have made this festival a glamorized and glitzy affair thus keep it simple. Also, as a brother, one must not only save the honour and dignity of one’s real sisters but he should treat any other women as his sister who seeks his support and help.”