From creating a community of one million women farmers to entering the boxing rings and democratising education for children in non-metro cities, these women are taking matters into their own hands to bring change.
In villages, the clutch of patriarchy is more than what is there in cities. Yet women at times are able to break through the chains of patriarchy and bring a change. The change may be as small as starting a boxing class, or as big as forming a collective of thousands of women farmers. We bring you the story of these four women from Indian Villages who are an inspiration to all.
Foolmati Panikas is a farmer in Godbahra, a small village in the Singrauli district of Madhya Pradesh. Not long ago, eating two meals in a day was a luxury in the village. Besides farming, the villagers often travelled to distant places to work as manual labour.
After a workshop on agricultural entrepreneurship by PRADAN, Foolmati set up a greenhouse with a capacity for 40,000 saplings and prepared nursery beds. Using organic materials Foolmati sowed Tomato, chilli, brinjal, cabbage, and cauliflower. The nursery was then ready with 25,000 lush green saplings in a few months. Her service helped change the prospect of vegetable cultivation in Godbahra and soon started offering the service in five neighbouring villages as well.
Even with her family’s objections, Nikhat Zareen went on to study boxing and became a boxer. Today, the 26-year-old is an inspiration to women in her community and across India with many laurels to her name. In 2010, Nikhat won the gold at the Junior Nationals and was selected for the World Championships in 2011. She won the gold in the flyweight division at the AIBA Women’s Junior and Youth World Boxing Championship in Turkey.
Shiroi Lily Shazia
Entrepreneur Shiroi Lily Shazia’s edtech startup seeks to tap the potential of people in her home state Nagaland. It offers centralised content distribution across a digital school network to regulate quality and provide regular content updates in sync with NBSE/CBSE. Along with her co-founder Kevisato Sanyu, the goal is to create proper access to education online and enable the learners to catch up with students across India.
In 2020, the duo launched NagaEd to ensure access to education without having to migrate to cities or outside their home state. The platform also empowers teachers by equipping them with modern and digital skills that were needed especially during the pandemic.
Savita Dakle’s life as a farmer began after her marriage at the age of 17. When she was 36-years-old she found interest in Seva Samta where women gathered to discuss the best practices and challenges of working in the field. As a member of Seva Samta and armed with a working knowledge of using phones and social media, Savita created a Facebook group, taught women in her village to participate in discussions on Facebook, and the network grew far and wide across the country with thousands of farmers as a member. The community now discusses everything related to farming, from tips and tricks of sowing and harvesting different types of crops to pricing them in the market.
These four women bring in hope for a better future for the small villages in India and are an inspiration to many. We salute their actions and drive to bring a positive change to the world.
Credits: HerStoryRead the full story here.