Saturday, March 08, 2014

Women who inspire, women I celebrate

Its International Women's Day. Join me as I celebrate some of the most inspiring women in India

You refuse to suffer in silence any longer. You demand for your right. You speak, to be heard, and to be taken seriously. Rising Army of Indian Women Activists, I celebrate you!   

She grows food for me and my countrymen. She toils on that land that she isn't allowed to own, oftentimes. I salute you and I celebrate you,Woman Farmer of my country. And I wish you ownership of that land. Also, I wish you love, respect, recognition and gratitude.

You are the only worker in my country who works 7 days a week with no break, no holiday and a salary so paltry, it can't even buy you food for a week. And when a mishap happens, you are made the first suspect. Despite all that, you keep homes running across the nook and corner of India. I celebrate you, Woman Domestic Help

You do work that are unrewarded, risky, at places that are dangerous - protecting endangered wildlife in forests that are infested with brutal poachers. Few know about you, even fewer want to follow you. I celebrate you, Woman Forest Guard!

She cleans the filth that we create. And then we call her filthy. She is the waste picker. Always from a Dalit community, she is considered by many of my countrymen untouchable, a lesser human. The truth is, as poet Rabindranath Tagore said, "cleanliness is your shadow/its you who makes our world livable". I can't cure the sickness of my society alone, but I can certainly tell you this: You are lesser than none and I celebrate you!

You try to teach people the importance of safe sex. Yet, instead of applauds, you get brickbats. They laugh at you, some even curse you for 'polluting' minds. Truth is, in a country of millions of HIV-positive people, you are an angel at work. And I celebrate you, the Woman Sex Educator!

They don't invest in you. They dismiss your abilities to make profits. But you don't give up. You gather your coins and go about earning your living - successfully. You inspire me, and I celebrate you, Woman Grassroot Entrepreneur of India!

They allege, you are a puppet, that your husband run the office for you. They don't care to know you - who stands her ground and holds on to her authority. I have met so many of you - risking life everyday in most remotest, most dangerous villages of India, and working for the welfare of people. I celebrate you, the Independent Woman Sarpanch (village head)

Indigenous woman, I know many look down upon you. They think - and I have no idea why - you are inferior to them. In fact, some treat you no better than they treat a Dalit woman.  What a shame! You, TRIBAL WOMAN are beautiful, wonderful, closer to mother earth, bear her smell, her broadness of heart and her simplicity - qualities that I yearn to have! I celebrate you!

And then I celebrate the woman who brought me into this world, nursed me, nurtured me, made me who I am. I celebrate you, Ma! 

Do you like the post? If yes, please leave a comment. Or share with someone in your circle. Lets expand the celebration!


Rhoda Alex said...

you also are an inspiration stella.. lovely post. thank you

Stella Paul said...

The feeling is absolutely mutual Rhoda! I am always inspired by all the women I am surrounded by. And coming from you - an ace artist/lenswomen, its a huge motivation to work on. Happy IWD!