Pune district head of Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti releases book

The 32-page booklet is about her experiences and how she helped 108 women get rid of jat (naturally formed dreadlocks)
(L-R) Shriram Nalawade, Nandini Jadhav, Charudatta Buddhisagar, Milind Joshi, Dr Arun Burande, Milind Deshmukh, Vishwas Pendse at the launch of the booklet on Monday in Pune.(HT PHOTO)
(L-R) Shriram Nalawade, Nandini Jadhav, Charudatta Buddhisagar, Milind Joshi, Dr Arun Burande, Milind Deshmukh, Vishwas Pendse at the launch of the booklet on Monday in Pune.(HT PHOTO)
Updated on May 25, 2019 05:06 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Pune | By, Pune

With the last snip of the scissors, Nandini Jadhav, Pune district head of Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (MANS), who is known to give women a second lease of life by cutting off their matted hair, has released a 32-page booklet on her experiences and how she helped 108 women get rid of jat (naturally formed dreadlocks).

The booklet is a collection of Jadhav’s work written by Sunila Budhisagar. It was launched on Monday at the Sadhana Media centre, Shaniwar peth.

Jadhav has reached out to women from various parts of Maharashtra and completed 108 cases so far, with few more in the pipeline.

Her work has not been easy. “I have been thrown out of houses, verbally abused, asked not to poke my nose in people’s business. However, our dedication to bringing about a change is strong and undying. I hope the experiences of the women, whom we have helped, encourage more women to go through with it,” said Jadhav.

Sharing one of her experiences, Jandhav said, “A woman in Junnar had dreadlocks that had turned stiff and were stinking. Due to the heat, its condition had gotten worse. It started affecting her behaviour, she started hitting her children. I have been counselling her for the past six months. She has finally agreed to get rid of the hair.”

Narendra Dabholkar had founded the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (MANS) in 1989 to encourage the growth of a scientific outlook among the masses and work to eradicate superstitions and blind faith.

“Since the death of Dabholkar, we at MANS have committed to strengthen the voice of change. Nandini Jadhav’s work is a shining example of that commitment. This work is extremely difficult. Sunila Budhisagar was fighting cancer when she wrote the book. Her efforts strengthened the movement against jat nirmoolan (removing of dreadlocks),” said Milind Joshi, senior member of MANS.

“Removing dreadlocks has met with lot of social backlash. However, freeing these women from these dreadlocks is like freeing them of the superstitions that bog them down,” said Dr Arun Burande, one of the chief guests at the launch.

Naturally formed dreadlocks are cause of various health hazards. This condition robs the women from basic human rights, said Jadhav. She also spoke about reaching out to more women suffering from the condition in the future.

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