Honour the incredible women who have shaped your life – share their stories this Mother’s Day! Let’s pass on the #legacyofstrength!
Meeting the secretary of an SHG in a rural Uttar Pradesh changed my idea of what a strong independent woman meant. She taught me what it means to be happy.
This is the story of Barkha- a strong, independent woman I met during my visit to Bahraich, in Uttar Pradesh. She is the secretary of an SHG in Gokhulpur village. The group was formed by Dehat- an NGO that works against child-trafficking in that area.
Though I met several women during the SHG meeting, Barkha stood out. She would participate actively and wasn’t afraid to speak her mind about the issues in the village.
Since I was intrigued by her, I decided to know more about her. To do so, i drew a daily activity chart of her daily routine. I learnt that she wakes up at 4 am and goes to bed by 9 pm. And during her day, she does a number of things. Right from making breakfast and lunch for her family and ensuring that her kids reach school on time to managing the domestic cattle, working for the SHG, sending her kids to tuitions to cooking dinner, she does it all.
Her routine, initially, seemed very normal to me, but I quickly learnt that it wasn’t so. She worked very hard all day long. And as the secretary, she took the responsibility to encourage the other members of the SHG to regularly participate in their initiatives. She also leads and participates in activities that contributed to the development of the village.
After our SHG meeting was done, she took up the initiative of showing us around the village. And it was during this walk that I understood more about her as an individual and a woman.
I learnt that like many of us she has dreams to do meaningful work and to see her children receive proper education. What amazed me about her was her reply to the question “How did you manage to overcome to societal pressure to be the voice of the SHG?”
She replied that “Agar achche kaam karne se ye sun ne ko milta hai, to kaam thodi na rok denge (If people oppose good work, it is not the work that should stop)”
I was surprised to know that her husband’s support has been the biggest driver in helping her achieve confidence and success. She even admitted that she hopes to get married to him in all her seven janams!
Her husband’s support to let her pursue the activities debunked a lot of my preconceived notions about patriarchy and gender. All the while, I had an image of a patriarchal man who spent all his earnings on alcohol, got drunk and beat his wife up. But Barkha’s husband changed that for me.
Meeting Barkha not only challenged my notion of an independent and strong woman— a definition which I now realise was too narrow—but also of patriarchy and gender. I was inspired to meet a woman who is driving change in a village in one of the most backward districts of the country in her own capacity and absolutely loves her life.
Picture credits: Pexels
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both!
We need to stop stereotyping women's bodies, and also be more sensitive towards our children who are growing up with terrible self-confidence leading to loneliness and depression.
When Kate Winslet said, “Young women should enjoy their life instead of worrying about how they look,” it stuck a cord with me. I am one of those women who struggle with body image issues in a society heavily influenced by unrealistic beauty standards and societal expectations, and Kate’s statement was empowering.
I grew up listening to unsolicited advice about wearing clothes a size bigger than what I wear; everyone took a free ride to comment about my bra and how big it was. I have spent most of my life loathing how I look—my size, weight, clothes, appearance, skin tone, and hair. This isn’t because I’m not too fond of how I appear, but rather because I’ve been told repeatedly by most trusted people around me that I have one or more flaws.
It is imperative that, as a society, we shed our stereotypical thought not just to support women but also our children who are growing up with terrible self-confidence leading to loneliness and depression. We can significantly impact our mental health and well-being by fostering a culture of compassion, understanding, and empowerment.
Here are some online tools for startups to use for their tech needs for organising work, mind mapping, ideation, etc.
Most startups are bootstrapped, the budget is low, there is no funding, startups need some support and excellent tools to run the show. The team may be working at one place or the team is spread across the globe, but the team needs to brainstorm. Brainstorming can be fun. Listing few resources which a startup or entrepreneurs can use for brainstorming.
Bubbl.us is an interesting tool which is useful to take notes, brainstorm and organize new ideas, collaborate, and capture thoughts. It allows you to avoid distraction by focusing on task, to collaborate and share with friends, families, team and social media. Essentially no hassle of downloading any app, works on mobile and desktop. You can use the basic plan to explore and later subscribe for at $4.91/month, $59 billed annually.
Miro offers the quickest, easiest way for teams to capture, organize and visualize thoughts, solutions, ideas across the team. Other than brainstorming, it can be used for project planning, creating organizational charts and sales strategies. It runs on all devices: mobile, tablet, desktop or interactive display.
Please enter your email address