Ideally, we should celebrate women daily. Honestly, we should celebrate every person daily but that seems a tad bit impractical and hence we have specific days celebrating and dedicated to the special people around us.
On such days, we, not just talk about them, but in a way start a dialogue about the current situation of things and what all can be and needs to be done to go a step further.
Women rights has been a topic of concern for at least a decade now. While we have seen significant improvements happening and a lot of strong women have come to the forefront yet we have a long way to go.
Now, while the usual strong women celebrities keep making news every now and then, a lot of strong women do not always get the limelight. So, this Women’s Day, we thought to dedicate a post to these women and let the world know about the amazing work they have been silently doing!
So, here we go
Also known as Alada Marada Thimmakka, Saalumarada is an environmentalist based our of Karnataka. She has been planting trees for many years now. She came into spotlight for planting 385 banyan trees along a four-kilometer stretch of highway between Hulikal and Kudur. Other than that, she has also planted 8000 trees in the nearby areas. With no formal education, Saalumarada has worked as a casual labourer in the nearby quarries. It was the earning from this which she spent completely on buying saplings and planting them. A U.S. based environmental organisation called Thimmakka’s Resources for Environmental Education is named after her.
Kinkri Devi was amongst the first to wage war against illegal mining and quarrying in Himachal Pradesh. As surprising as it may sound, she wasn’t educated and learnt to sign only a few years before she died in 2007. Her financial situation wasn’t good either. Despite all these hurdles, Kinkri Devi was instrumental in creating a mass movement and mobilising not just the people in her area but also the government to take action and ensure a complete shutdown of the illegal quarrying.
Meera Chaudhary and the Grandmothers of Janakpur
Meera Chaudhary and her friends from Janakpur got married in their teens and bore children soon after, spending most of their time cooking and taking care of the livestock. However, fast forward today and they are looking at reshaping the communities and starting meaningful dialogues between men and women of the village. After Chaudhary’s husband died, she started looking after her field, took up training from the NGOs and under several other Government schemes and improved her yield. While she wasn’t seen as a “farmer” initially, now she is and so are the multiple women who have joined her in this effort. This has led to not just the villagers understanding and acknowledging the role of women but also helped reduce the number of child marriages which were so common in this area.
A really well versed environmentalist from the Honnali Village of Karnataka, Tulasi Gowda is a living encyclopedia. Not just has she planted more than 30,000 saplings in her lifetime but also looks after the nurseries of the Forest Department. Owing to her immense knowledge of the plants and their growth in general, she has significantly helped these departments to further their cause. Tulasi Gowda has been honoured by various national and international organisations and received Padma Shri this year on the Republic Day-2020
The Lady Tarzan who took on the timber mafia in Jharkhand. Jamuna, along with five other women formed the “Van Suraksha Samiti” to prevent illegal felling of trees in the areas nearby her village. Not just the timber mafia, the iron lady fought against the naxalites too bringing in significant respite to the nearby areas. She single handedly motivated and mobilised 10,000 women to join her fight.
It is, thanks to her efforts that today, the villagers in her area plant 18 trees on the birth of a child and 10 on a marriage.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, appreciated her efforts wholeheartedly on his “Mann Ki Baat” podcast. Jamuna was recently awarded with Padma Shri too.
Super Solar Mamas of Rajasthan
Barefoot College started its solar project in India in 1989, and since then has been training women for its execution. The solar mamas of Rajasthan are actually a bunch of women who have been fabricating, installing and maintaining the systems for over 50 households. Under this scheme, villages are divided into sets of 100 with two women working on each. These solar mamas then train others with one woman teaching on an average three other women.
(At BuzzonEarth, we salute the indomitable spirit of these women who are making such a strong mark for the generations to come. The nature represents a woman, it is the janani, the mother, and strong women like the ones mentioned, make sure that as her children, we take care of her too)