When we talk about Rural India, we still feel that Indian rural women are confined to their homes working day and night for their family, no education, no jobs, oppressed and neglected. While this is true for almost all rural Indian women, yet we feel happy when we get to know stories of women in the villages of India who are doing wonderful works for women empowerment. These women are still unknown to the rest of the world. But the kind of work they are doing for their villages needs to be spread. These are stories of inspiration and to feel proud of. Let’s check the stories of these rural Indian women achieving the impossible.
The rural Indian women of Sathyamangalam
Sathyamangalam is a small village in Tamil Nadu and the women of this village have always been victims of oppression and neglect since many years. But since the last 5 years, two voluntary organizations, ‘Signs’ and ‘Aide et Action International’ are providing training to rural women in handling video camera. These women are now using video cameras to depict the reality of their lives and to fight for their rights. In this age of mass media and technology, the video camera has become their weapon to fight against oppression. Various films have been shot on different stories, like as women’s rights, rights for people with disability, child labour, and equality across gender, caste, and class. These films are then shown to the villagers and outsiders to spread awareness of the ongoing oppressive practices against women and children. This is actually a kind of movement where all the rural women of Satyamangalam participate in with their heart. The idea is to use these videos for getting support from the district authorities and other related bodies in Tamil Nadu to empower the women in the village.
Women Farmers of Medak
Medak is a small district in the state of Telangana. The rural women of this district with the help of Deccan Development Society (DDS) village level women’s sanghams (voluntary farmer associations) learnt the techniques of sustainable rain-fed farming, which they applied in their own district initially. Later, they started providing training on the same to peasants in their neighbouring village Vidarbha region of Maharashtra. It is said that the rural women farmers of Medak district were once landless labourers but today they have solved their farming problems efficiently. And they have also developed innovative and eco-friendly ways to generating additional income for their family.
Lijjat Papad and women behind the brand
Lijjat is one of the most popular papad brands in the country. It’s the rural women from various parts of India who are to be credited for the success of this brand. Started with a modest loan of Rs 80 almost 40 years back, it’s the self-employment initiative ‘Shri Mahila Griha Udyog’, the cooperative which employed rural Indian women to make papads, and today the Lijjat brand has annual sales exceeding Rs 301 crores. The entire process of making papads, right from kneading the dough to rolling out the papads to packaging, everything is taken care of by rural women of India who are part of this co-operative. The best part is that these women earn a comfortable profit and they get their due share.
These stories are of real women, the rural Indian women and are indeed stories of inspiration, stories to be applauded and spread. We see that when women have the power and will, they can help in shaping the future of the family as well as the society for a sustainable development.