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Women of Steel

Women of Steel
From the faraway lands of Belgaum and Muzaffarpur, two brave and persevering ladies, namely, Kushavaa Mangal and Rajkumari Devi were featured in this week’s Stree Shakti. These women in real are the epitome of womanhood in our patriarchal and male dominant society, through their strong will to survive the trials of fate and the injustice of society. Their stories of courage became the theme of the talk Show hosted by well-known actor Divya Dutta, on this week’s Stree Shakti on March 21 and 22 respectively.

In our society, where men has the say in all prime things and women subserviently wait for their men to come home in the evening, emerged a woman of steel, who exasperated with the shackles of poverty and social pressures, decided to take her destiny in her feminine hands and walk the path forbidden for any woman, in a place, where such sights were never seen before. Rajkumari Devi wrote her own destiny, with a plough in one hand, riding a bicycle, and stars in her eyes and resolve to make her life a better place by doing farming and pickle making. Thus, her name Kisaan Chachi or Cycle Chachi, became synonymous with her image. Today, she has encouraged hundreds of women to join the self help groups, and churn out pickles, and work in fields like any other farmer. From a poor housewife to leading a campaign of women farmers, Rajkumari Devi is a befitting personality to adorn this Saturday’s Stree Shakti talk show.

Sunday’s episode focused on a shameful tradition of forcing women to become ‘Devdasis’ which in other words turned them into mere prostitutes, pleasing those stronger than them, be it the priests, upper caste men or the powerful people of the village. Contrary to the old belief that Devdasis were servants of the Gods, only meant to sing, dance and pray in the temples, today the scenario wherever it exists, is drastically different. Kushavva and Mangal are two such women, having been forced into becoming ‘Devdasis’ today have broken the shackles of slavery and prostitution and emerged as strong and independent women, leading a dignified life through the help of an NGO called MASS that helps women get empowered and employed.

Stree Shakti, brings forth in each episode, a burning issue, that needs to be discussed, reviewed, and presented before the thinking audience of the country.
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