Sunday, March 6, 2011

First Blogathon entry for Virtual Hall of Fame - community worker Gyani Devi from HP!

WAVE videoblogger Vandana sent in this entry:

On the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day, I would like to nominate Gyani Devi, a 75 year old a woman living in a small village in Kangra in Himachal Pradesh for WAVE's virtual hall of fame.

When I walk around in the villages here, I see so many women-young and old, toiling hard to run their families. They wake up at the crack of dawn to work in their farms, graze their cattle, clean their houses, fetch water from miles, cook for the entire family and prepare their children for school. They work endlessly till night. They are the last ones to eat.Very few of them have a say in family matters. They have several restrictions imposed on them by the men in the family and society. When I saw Gyani Devi, I was truly amazed. Gyani Devi looks like any other grandmother in the village except the fact that she doesnt stoop when she stands or walks. Gyani has never been to school but she has been to police stations, panchayat offices and government offices. At an age when old women generally confine themselves to their prayer beads and sit in their courtyards, she helps victims of domestic violence file their cases with the local police, accompaines them to court hearings and brings back their dowry in huge trucks.She stands with pride and her eyes always have a mischievous glint. She is a firebrand woman who has worked tirelessly to help other women and fellow villagers during many crises.In the past, she has been elected as a panchayat member because of her dedication to serve her community,

The best part about Gyani is that she likes to enjoy life and laugh. She always has a song on her lips and she loves to entertain other women. She dances at functions and lives her life to the fullest. She is one of the most inspirational women I have met in rural India who has proved that you dont necessarily need a supportive family, a decent education and money to be empowered. What you really need is a spark which can only be found within you!

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