BHOPAL (Madhya Pradesh): Women piloting fighter jets, conquering Mount Everest, winning a medal in Olympics or flying into space or topping the civil services examination, often grab headlines and are cited as glowing examples of women breaking the glass ceiling. But there are many unsung women in the remote areas who Broke the Bias (theme of this yearís International Womenís Day) in their own way. Their feats required as much courage and hard work as done by their glamourous and well-known counterparts did.
Here are profiles of two Dalit and Adivasi girls who broke free from the shackles of social backwardness, illiteracy and conservative society and carved out a new path for themselves.
Want to strike at conservative beliefs- Nisha Ramkuche, poet
Born into a Dalit family in Pan Talai, a village of 2,000 residents in Harda district, Nisha had to struggle at every step in her life. Her father is an agricultural labourer and is differently-abled and her mother is a housewife. She has six siblings. After completing primary education from her village, she moved to Jawahar Navodaya Vidhyalaya (JNV). Even in the relatively open atmosphere of JNV, she remained tongue-tied.
As a girl from a poor Dalit family, I was taught not to talk much and to keep my feelings to myself, she said. That was why she took to pen and paper to express her feelings. My poems and stories are about pain of women, their suffocating life and their miseries, she says. She has obtained Master's degree in social work and is now preparing for PhD entrance and NET, while working as employment assistant under MGNREGA. Conservative notions and tendency to stick to outdated traditions do terrible harm to women in rural areas. I want to strike at these conservative beliefs, she says.
Have inspired other girls to study- Anjali Evaney, entrepreneur
Anjali imparts training to small and marginal farmers, especially members of women SHGs, to enable them to earn livelihood in Anuppur district. The Gond Adivasi girl hails from a small village with a population of just 1,000. The village didnít have transportation facilities or shops. The people of my village did not favour educating girls or sending them outside. Marriage was thought to be ultimate aim for girls, Anjali said. She, however, defied popular opinion and with the support of her patwari father, managed to study. After obtaining a bachelor's degree in social work, she did her post graduation in Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Udaipur. I am happy that because of me, the people in my village have started educating girls. Inspired by my example, at least five girls of my village including my younger sister are studying now, she said.