When we talk about Shakti, we call her the goddess of the universe. When we talk about women, we call them creators of the world. And when we say so, the picture that we imagine in our minds is of a mother who gives birth to a child, nourishes him and grows him into an adult with her love and care. Unfortunately, our minds are so used to the traditional idea of gender role of women that no matter how modern we get, when we think of women as creators, our thoughts go only as far as to think of her as a mother. Is that the only form of creation? Is she not capable of creating anything else? What about for herself, can she not create anything by herself and for herself?
There is no doubt that it is always a woman who creates a family and then a society. But that is her social role. What she does out of her self-worth is a question that mostly strikes the minds of only women and not many men. Since the idea itself is rare, we don't even expect to see much support for women to 'create', not for the family but for themselves.
Of course, there's nothing wrong in devoting one's self to her family. And her role for her family is also significant. It's not that being a mother, a daughter or a sister is depressing but suppressing her own qualities because she is stuck between relations whereas the other gender is not that much caught in the same matter puts a lot of burden on her.
In fact we absolutely learn nothing from our myths. Goddess Durga was born, only when all the gods combined their powers together and blessed her with the best qualities to kill the demon. After the goddess was born, she killed Mahishasura all by herself, confidently, with all her powers. We know the story but we never understood it's moral significance. The gods let Durga 'create' a world free from evil and she did it quite impressively. We failed to understand the moral of the story that our culture has taught us.
Let us understand what happens when you let women create. If a woman truly wishes to make her dreams become reality, then she will. It will definitely be difficult for her but she will do it. But if she gets to do the same with the support of her loved ones, wouldn't it be easy for her. A woman is naturally born with the quality to efficiently create a new idea and a new world. Let us see a few women who have proved to be creators in the society, in respect to themselves as well as others.
The story of Lady Cadet Aahana, who probably must a Lieutenant in the Indian army now, came to be known through an interview of her to the show Patriot with Major Gaurav Arya. And the story she tells about reaching the academy to become an officer is completely unexpected and shocks us to the core. Lt. Aahana had never dreamed for herself to join the army but something tragic that happened in her life made her the person she is today. Aahana was actually an IT professional who got married to an Air officer. However, unfortunately soon after her marriage she had to lose her husband in an air accident while he was posted in North East. Aahana had not even recovered from her grief when she also had a miscarriage because of the stress she had gone through. After all the tragedy, she had gone into depression.
When she took some time to overcome her grief and made an understanding with reality, she decided it for herself that she couldn't be like this for the rest of her life and she needed to do something to honour the life of her husband and do something extraordinary for her own self. When she told her wish to her parents, they were only supportive of her dream. Of course there were relatives who discouraged her about joining the army. But Aahana was determined about her decision and with utter dedication she made it to the Officers Training Academy in her second attempt.
Despite of the fact that something immensely tragic had happened with her, Aahana was able to create a new life for herself because she was given a chance by her family to make that happen. Aahana had the desire in herself and it was only the support of her family that helped her propel towards a life of honour.
The woman who is known as 'the original slumdog millionaire' and has been awarded by the honour of Padmashri by Former President of India Pranab Mukherjee has a struggling story of reaching the glory she is at today. Kalpana Saroj is the CEO of Kamani tubes. The company is an age old business enterprise started when India was a new born country. But the legacy of Ramjibhai Kamani's business was lost after his death in 1987 amidst the internal dispute among his family regarding the ownership.
Kalpana had nothing to do with any kind of business initially. But she had a very struggling life to live. She was born in a very poor famiy in Vidarbha. As per the norms of the community she lived in, Kalpana was married at a very early age and so she couldn't complete her education. Her father too was liberal enough to support her education and let her marry only when she becomes mature. But the community didn't support the idea so she had to give up on her education. Unfortunately, the family she got married into wasn't a good one and she was tortured for around six months, mentally and physically. Then her father paid her a visit and realized what a huge mistake it was to get her married into the family so he took her back home. After that he supported her education and soon she tried to get work wherever possible.
In fact, to not become a burden on her family, she moved to Mumbai to become independent. But her struggle was not yet over. Since her father lost his job, she was the only person earning in the family. She had to work really hard and soon her sister got really sick. The family didn't had enough money to take care of the situation and Kalpana knew that her work wouldn't get her the money she needs. It was during such conditions when Kalpana turned to the idea of business and particularly of Kamani tubes. She invested all her time with the business and solved the legal procedures which had tangled the business.
Kalpana with her determination managed to continue the stranded legacy Ramjibhai's business, along with his ideology. This was possible because her family stood close by her and allowed her to take a leap. It wasn't a big leap initially but Kalpana's strong will power paid off for the support her family provided her even after being opposed by the community.
There are these basic changes that we need to bring in our approach towards women in our family. Let us get out of the traditional mindset and before we teach her the household chores let us support her to 'create', because the basic necessities to survive in this world have changed.
- Himali Nalawade