It was a day to make their women feel special, and tribal males didn’t disappoint. From sweeping the ground and lining up chairs to cooking food and serving it, they managed all the side acts and let women focus on bigger issues like gender equality and community development on “Adivasi Mahila Swabhiman Diwas”.
The event to mark the day was organised in Pati village of Barwani district on Tuesday and attended by tribal women from Ratlam, Dhar, Jhabua and Alirajpur districts, besides states of Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra.
The day-long programme was organised under the banner of Jagrit Adivasi Dalit Sangthan, Adivasi Ekta Parishad, and Barwani Adivasi Mahila Sangthan.
The special feature of the programme was that, while women took the centre stage by taking out a rally and giving rousing speeches, men helped facilitate the proceedings from the sidelines.
Rulia Bhai of Awli village, who along with dozens of male volunteers offered their services for the event, said, “The society is changing. It’s high time to change our mindset too (towards women).”
“Today we helped them organise the swabhiman diwas. Our small contribution will not only boost their confidence, but also bring a big change in the lives of thousands of tribal women,” Rulia added.
Speaking at the event, Indu Netam from Chhattisgarh said tribal culture had been ruined and tribal people were starving because of corporates. The rich tribal culture, she said, would be corrupted by outside influence. She also alleged that illegal mining in her area was destroying the villages.
Jagrit Adivasi Dalit Sangthan’s Nasri Bai blamed government policies for ruining traditional agricultural methods of the tribals.
President of the event, Ranjana Pawara, spoke about the discrimination against women in the society and appealed them to snatch their rights.
Women activists also demanded equal rights for women over wealth and land.