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Durgabai Deshmukh: Why you should know more about the 'Mother of Social Work in India.'
Durgabai Deshmukh: Why you should know more about the ‘Mother of Social Work in India.’
Durgabai Deshmukh’s training ground was the national freedom movement where she learnt the lessons of perseverance, austerity, and sacrifice. It also brought her in unhindered proximity of the masses and their quotidian struggles. Thus she made it her mission to ameliorate the plight of the downtrodden.
Durgabai identified the culprits of progress as lack of education, obsolete superstitions and subaltern treatment of womenfolk. The Andhra Mahila Sabha founded by her played a commendable role in empowering women through education, health facilities and vocational training. As a member of the Constituent Assembly and the Planning Commission and, later, as the Chairman of the Central Social Welfare Board, Durgabai also effected several welfare legislations to reach out to children, women, the impoverished and the destitute.
For her mammoth social service and outreach, Durgabai Deshmukh was awarded the Padma Vibhushan and the UNESCO Award (for Outstanding Work in the Field of Literacy).
Why we find her inspiring:
– Because she believed in the greatest good of the greatest number
– Because her enthusiasm and commitment to her cause was indefatigable
– Because she was one of those rare leaders who extensively used their power to engender widespread social reform
– Because she was a catalyst of change, and triggered a domino effect by inspiring many to follow her example
A pioneer and a transformative leader
*Photo Credit : http://www.ithappensinindia.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Durgabai-Deshmukh.jpg
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Some time ago, Imtiaz Ali and Hansal Mehta respectively spoke of biopics of Madhubala and Meena Kumari. But do these biopics do justice to these women?
I recently came across a Reddit thread that discussed the fact that filmmaker Imtiaz Ali had announced making a biopic of Madhubala, and I wanted to explore this a little.
Of late, biopics based on the lives of beautiful but fatefully tragic women such as Lady Diana and Marilyn Monroe have created waves. Closer at home, we hear about the possibilities of biopics being made on the lives of Meena Kumari and Madhubala as well. These were hugely famous, stunningly beautiful women who were the heartthrobs of millions; who died tragically young.
I am glad that the Orange Flower Awards seek self-nomination. High achieving women often suffer from self-doubt, and this is a good way to remind us that we are good enough.
A few days ago, I saw an Instagram post announcing the Orange Flower Awards which recognise the power of women’s voices. I read about it with curiosity, but didn’t give it a second thought.
I received an e mail from Women’s Web seeking self-nominations for the Orange Flower Awards, and I ignored it. Yes, I write occasionally, but I didn’t think my work was good enough for me to nominate myself in any of the categories.
A past winner especially tagged me and asked me to look at nominating myself, and I told her that I was not ready yet. “That is up to you”, she said, “but I think you should nominate yourself.”
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