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In his speech for Utkal Diwas (Odisha Day), CM Naveen Patnaik says that this is lockdown, not holidays, so don’t overburden women with extra cooking and house work.
We as country are going through incredibly tough times right now. But it has been especially rougher for women staying with their family.
With schools, colleges and offices being closed, everyone is now at home and the responsibility of taking care as well as keeping everyone happy and satisfied falls solely on the shoulders of the women of the household.
There have been many articles on feminist pages who have pointed out this disparity in the division of labour at our homes.
Bringing some hope to this gloomy environment, the Chief Minister of Odisha Naveen Patnaik, has made a sincere appeal to his people, especially the men, to not overburden the women of the household by asking them to prepare food multiple times a day and enjoying this lockdown as holidays.
Odisha’s COVID-19 spokesperson Subroto Bagchi conveyed the CM’s message in a press brief. He further detailed that this lockdown should not be treated as holidays, people should limit their food and not burden the mothers, sisters and sister in laws by demanding good food.
This message has thereafter gone viral amongst the women of the state. It remains to be seen if the CM’s appeal will be adhered to by the men. However, it is rare and incredibly welcomed to see our political leaders think about the welfare of women in such tragic times especially after the sanitary napkin disaster.
The women of Odisha have been at the forefront in the battle against corona virus. Apart from doctors, nurses and other essential service providers, the SHGs (Self Help Groups) of Odisha have put their lives on line to ensure multiple vital functions of the state.
Under the directions of Sujata Khatikeyan, Director of Mission Sakti (a separate department for SHGs of Odisha), lakhs of women members of SHGs are involved in making cotton masks (because of the acute shortage of N95 masks). They are also doing door step delivery of ration and groceries, free meals for poor and old people, as well posters to raise awareness about social distancing in smaller villages while maintaining social distancing themselves. They are working round the clock to provide uninterrupted services like door step delivery of various government allowances to fight this disaster.
As of today, over 70 lakh leaflets and posters have been distributed to raise awareness, about 50,000 cotton masks are being made per day and almost 45,000 people have been fed through the community kitchens.
Today on the occasion of Utkal Divas, the day Odisha was made, we applaud the spirit women of Odisha and Mr Naveen Patnaik for giving us hope in these dire times.
Image source: YouTube
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Asefa writes about the lives of women in smaller towns of India. Her interest include
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