Be Bold For Change: That’s the mantra for the International Women’s Day this year, and you may not know it, but women in 40 countries have pledged to go on ‘strike’ today. they will abstain from work, paid and unpaid, just to demonstrate how much women contribute to society.
While we didn’t find any women in our town Patna who heard of this global strike, many did express their views.
Former HoD, Department of Communicative English, Patna Women’s college and now RJD MLA Ejya Yadav says, “When it comes to bold women, I always remember the late Indira Gandhi, the first woman Prime Minister of India. She broke the greatest glass ceiling way back in 1966, leading our country. She was the first Iron Lady. You may love her or hate her, but history cannot ignore her. Imagine, even the UK did not have a woman prime minister till 1979, when Margaret Thatcher, another Iron lady , became PM!”
Women farmers are real heroes: In the modern context in Bihar, Ms .Ejya Yadav says that the women farmers of Bihar are probably the boldest and the bravest. “No doubt in the past few years there are women policemen and women pilots, and even some very bold women politicians and women social workers, but the women farmers of Bihar, who are the backbone of our agriculture in this state must be recognized on this day. Somebody said that in our mythological tradition, Sita, wife of Lord Rama, born in Bihar was the originator of the plough. It’s a nice symbol, because right from sowing to harvest, the women in Bihar are toiling in the fields. It is high time that we give them the status and dignity and recognition as farmers. Do you know that groups of women farmers have been doing wonderful things? As a woman MLA I am happy that the government of Bihar is coming up with the first Agriculture Road map, and I look forward to see what will be done for women farmers.”
For centuries, remarkable women shown their power and have been proving their worth. They have made remarkable ‘game changes’ and left footprints for the others to follow: such as Razia Sultan, Rani Laxmi Bai, Sarojini Naidu, Indira Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and many more who have always been breaking the barriers and have made their own identity through their work.
International Women’s Day celebrates the achievements of women. It talks about women empowerment and their contributions to the society and the world.
This year the theme is ‘Be Bold for Change’ and those were the bold women who changed the course of history.
On the eve of IWD, I spoke to some of the women and girls around me who mentioned about the women who inspired them.
Ms Neerja Lal, who was at one time one of the best known RJ’s of AIR Calcutta, Western Music Section is now Head of Department of Mass Communication in St. Xavier’s College. She is ‘single by choice’ and an inspiration to many young women who have been her students (She was also Ho D, CEMS, Patna Women’s College.)
She says, ‘My mother and father has been the greatest influence in my life. They gave me the most wonderful environment to grow in; to think for my self, to be free to make my choices and to live life on my own’.
Rishika Patrik, A student from Political Science Honours from Patna Women’s College was inspired by the bio-pic of the first woman boxer from the North East. She aid ‘Mary Kom has been my inspiration as being a girl and after so many restrictions she was determined to achieve her goal.’
Ms Manisha, a history teacher from Notre Dame Academy said ‘I have always been inspired by my mother, she always taught me to be independent, bold and confident’.
Anjali, a student of Bachelor of Mass Communication from St. Xavier’s College stated ‘Indira Gandhi is my ideal as changed the entire history of India.
Neha, a student of Commerce from St. Xavier’s College said ‘My Masi (maternal- aunt) has been the role model for me throughout my life because she manages everything so well. If she is around nothing wrong happens to us at the same time she is kind’.
Aatmza Raj, an undergraduate student of Mass Communication from St. Xavier’s College said ‘ My mother is my role model because the way she manages her family and everything around her is remarkable and i get to learn a lot of things from her’.
Prerna Jacob, a student of English Honours from Patna Women’s College said ‘St. Teresa of Calcutta (Mother Teresa) is her role model because she spent her entire life helping poor, sick and needy. The life of mother Teresa encourages me to think about the other people’.
Surbhi Goyal an undergraduate of Political Science from Patna Women’s College said ‘ The only person who has been ideal for me throughout my life is my mother as she has not received any form of higher education but still she is being able to smoothly handle both household and business together.
Not a single woman is feeble, she contribute to society some or the other way either by managing her house or working outside. Women need to respect themselves and recognise their own contribution and be a part of ‘Be Bold For Change’.
Prepared by Seema Kumari