by shalinijena

Every woman is a feminist. Some are strong enough to show and some are stronger enough to hide, but yes, every women – deep inside is a feminist. If she resists the atrocities then you’ll be afraid of her and that is why she doesn’t. She takes them all because she can.

Now suddenly am wondering, wassup with me? Why am I talking about “atrocities” and “injustice”? Is it that how we stereotype the women of our country? Here is a post inspired from the wonderful pile up of the most amazing women 2012 has seen that has been listed in the September (Vidya Balan) edition of Femina making it one of my favourite cover stories ever!

There are many women who prove to be great examples everyday! So many women who have fought to make it to the Rags to riches stories, so many women who have proved that gender is NOT a disadvantage. I will need another blog only to talk about them and hopefully I will someday. This post is about the ones who have made a difference – a difference not in our lives – but in the fields that they have chosen. Such women are my inspiration, they might be yours too.

Anshumani Khanna – A copywriter by profession, she made an ad in 2008 that brought goosebumps to the world.When I read it, I didn’t know whether to appreciate or appreciate it more! She was given this assignment while working for Contract Advertising Pvt. Ltd. agency. Their clients were the non-government organization Aadhar, which fights against this curse of Female Foeticide.

Pic Courtesy – The Inspiration Room

What do you notice in this ad which makes it so different that any other campaign you have ever come across? Is it the “Gross factor” or the question which sounds like a cry, “why!”? This ad or campaign was for all those men and families who insist on abortion without having a slightest idea of what actually is happening behind the green curtains. When I see it, I can’t think of anyone but a woman capable of making something as gut-wrenching as this. Being sensitive is natural to us but being this incredibly potent is a gift, nurtured everyday and can I give a better example?

The ad won her the prestigious, Cannes Lions Gold in 2008. Now she is working as the creative director at McCann Erickson which is a global advertising agency network that is spread over in more than 130 countries. She is also the only woman who made it to the list of being one among the five best young ad professionals who could change the face of Indian advertising in the Businessworld Magazine.

Chhavi Rajawat –  She is not a celebrity. She is not a writer, police officer or a hitch hiker. She is a politician. The youngest one this country ever saw. What? Is she a mayor you asked? Or a student union’s leader? They make more sense than what you’re about to hear now. She is the sarpanch of a small village named Soda in Malpura tehsil of Tonk district in Rajasthan. A graduate from one of the most prestigious colleges of the country, Lady Shri Ram (University of Delhi), Chhavi Rajawat is that MBA graduate who instead of running after berths that provide a six-figure salary, went back to where she was born to make use of her business management degree in the development of her village.

Chhavi Rajawat with her village council

Here is one woman who believes in facing the problems from the very root of it instead of running away from them. From facing the rural plight of poverty and under-developed structural system to having to confront the male prejudices, Chhavi Rajawat is an exemplary figure of inspiration to not only women, but all the young minds who wish to make a difference but don’t know where to start.

“If you want to make a difference, you have to start from the bottom”, she says. Can we agree more?

Binalakshmi Nepram – In 2004, a group of sensitive and concerned citizens of the country came together to fight for those tens and thousands of innocent lives that have been lost due to gun-violence. Binalakshmi Nepram is a writer-activist who became the co-founder of India’s first ever civil society organization that works on issues of disarmament – Controls Arms Foundation of India (CAFI). Only a person who has faced and felt the atrocities and the most horrible quandaries of blood, gore, death and the despairing pain of loss can understand her dire commitment to make a better place for life to sustain in her part of the world. In one of the UN conventions she pointed the following out infront of the “world’s” General Assembly:

90% of the conventional arms exports in the world are from the permanent five members of the United Nations Security Council: the US, UK, Russia, China and France. Seven of the eight G8 countries are among the world’s largest arms exporters. Most of these weapons go to our part of the world, namely the developing world. Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East hold 51% of the world’s heavy weapons that come from the developed world.

Undoubtedly this is disturbing. Peace is the only way out of this misery and to attain the same, she has devoted her life to CAFI to take on the life-threatening issue of small arms proliferation in the country. Not only that she is also also the founder of the NGO Manipuri Women Gun survivor network (MWGSN) that protects thousands of women from the gun violence in Manipur.

Binalakshmi Nepram speaks before the UN General Assembly representing thousands of people subjected to gun violence in her state.
She is the author of two books,  
“South Asia’s Fractured Frontier: Armed Conflict, Narcotics and Small Arms Proliferation in India’s Northeast” and “India and the Arms Trade Treaty”

She has been bestowed with the Ploughshares Fellowship in 2004, Dalai Lama Foundation’s WISCOMP scholar of Peace award in 2006,  the international Sean MacBride Peace Prize in 2010, Ashoka Fellowship in 2011, CNN/IBN 2011 Real Heroes Award and her team MWGSN was also awarded the INDIAN OF THE YEAR AWARD 2011 in the public service catagory.

Damayanti Sen – She is a live, non-hyped example of dirty politics in the country. Mamata Banerjee had declared the Part street rape case of a 37 year old Anglo-Indian woman (a mother of two girls) as “fabricated”. But IPS officer Damayanti Sen, the first woman chief in the Kolkata crime wing department snubbed the CM’s claims and single-handedly cracked the case inside out charging the culprits to prison. Impressive, isn’t it? What do you expect for this tiger woman? Awards? Accolades? More medals? I wish…

Damayanti Sen who was the Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) was instead transferred as DIG in Police Training College, a insignificant posting in Barrackpore. Our all-powerful “didi” proved that her power wouldn’t go disregarded after-all and dismissed the topic by stating that the transfer of Damayanti Sen was her government’s right.

Some manage to survive the pressures of the top-down rule in India’s democracy and others give up. Damayanti Sen is one of those few examples who has operated herself to “change” within the government, without flashing herself up on the limelight. 

Faith Gonsalves – As a 19 year old  student of Lady Shri Ram college, Faith Gonsalves in 2008 founded the Music Basti – a space where children gather together to learn and create music. Don’t we all agree that music is one of the best mediums of self – expression? Wait a minute. Is it not something new that you have ever heard? Oh ok. I forgot to mention the most important thing. It is not your neighbour’s children she is talking about. These kids are brought up in the streets of Delhi who enjoy singing or learning and playing instruments. Today around 350 children are a part of this platform which hopefully could be a medium of empowerment for these children.

For more information about Music Basti, visit this Blog.
Pic Courtesy – thesipoflife