Women of substance ink new chapters
TRUE TO her name, Kismati Devi of Gorakhpur district changed the ‘kismat’ (fate) of her fellow women in her village. Fed up with the open sale of liquor in her village and husbands wasting all their earnings on guzzling the same, she decided to call it a day some time back. She stood up against it and started demolishing liquor manufacturing units existing since 1970. She succeeded in her mission. Now she is a leader in the village.
Kismati Devi herself narrated all this in her dialect at the seminar on “Challenges before women movement and AIDWA’s role” organized by All-India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) at the Sahakarita Bhawan, here today. The occasion was silver jubilee celebrations of the AIDWA.
Like Kismati Devi, Chinta, another AIDWA activist, fought for women’s right to ownership of “pattas” (pieces of land). A resident of Mirzapur district, she also succeeded to ensure that “pattas” were given in the name of women also. She also narrated as to how she fought against the ‘high-handedness’ of the local MP.
Rajkumari, a Dalit girl from Fetehpur, has taken a cudgel against criminals who shot her mother as she dared to contest the recent panchayat election despite warnings to the contrary by powerful locals. Rajkumari has determined to teach a lesson to the murderers of her mother.
All these and a few other women associated with AIDWA were introduced to the audience during the function to show how brave and determined women could successfully fight against their harassment and exploitation.
Speaking at the seminar AIDWA’s national president Subhashini Ali stressed the need for intensifying the movement against exploitation of women in UP. She said UP was the centre of communalism and casteism and women were being harassed and exploited in the name of caste and community. She also emphasized that more and more Dalit women should be associated with women’s movement. She urged women to fight their own battle.
Echoing similar sentiments, AIDWA’s national vice-president and Rajya Sabha MP, Brinda Karat cautioned women against communal and casteist forces active in UP and elsewhere. She called upon women to fight against their exploitation under AIDWA, which she claimed was doing a commendable job.
A large number of AIDWA members from various districts participated in the seminar.