Documentary on woman sarpanch who fought ghunghat on air soon

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Sirsa
  • Updated: Apr 08, 2015 18:35 IST

Sushma Bhadu, the sarpanch of Dhani Miyan Khan village of Fatehabad district, waged a long battle against ghunghat (the tradition of donning the veil) and this struggle against one of the most entrenched traditions of northern India will now be aired by Doordarshan in the form of a 45-minute documentary.

The recording of the documentary film, which will be aired soon on DD Kisan's show 'Jai ho Bhartiya', is complete as the production team visited Bhadu's village in March to record the final parts.

Anjeesh Verma, documentary production house executive, said the date of the broadcast of this show would be announced soon.
A 36-year-old Sushma, who is a Class 7 dropout, took up the cudgels against the centuries old tradition that dictates that a woman be covered with a ghunghat in public places.

"I am from the Bishnoi community, where the ghunghat is a ritual. About 18 years ago when I came to my in-laws' house after marriage I abided by the tradition of ghunghat, which created difficulties in daily chores," Bhadu said.

She maintains that similar problems were faced by other women of the community. "When I used to fetch water from the well, other women shared similar feelings with me," she said. "At that moment I thought that I would have to do something to end this tradition. And I have started to raise my voice against ghunghat."

And the sarpanch left an indelible mark on the society by discarding the ghunghat amid 2,000 people from 25 neighbouring villages. "That was possible because of the support of my mother-in-law and husband. The movement is still running and now we are trying to awaken the people of the surrounding villages."

Even before she discarded her ghunghat, sarpanch Bhadu had evidently faced difficulty to get work. She successfully managed to get a grant of `10 lakh to build a training centre for teaching sewing to women and roped in Punjab National Bank to sponsor training programmes.

Bhadu, who is a mother of three, also ensures that every child in her village goes to school. The government primary school of the village, which was upgraded to a middle school in 2013, has a zero dropout rate since she became sarpanch.

Under Bhadu's guidance, her village won the "Nirmal Gram Puruskar" given by the Union government for its good sanitary conditions, zero dropout rate and the best sex ratio among all villages in Haryana.

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