“When you empower a woman, you empower an economy and a nation.”- Cherie Blair
In a country like India, women are suppressed, discouraged or harassed in all corners in some way or the other; it’s is time now to focus on rights and gender equality; for this, women must not only emphasize but claim the rights to be their own. Through its microfinance programmes, Deepalaya has empowered thousands of women, and given them opportunities to take charge of their lives on their own and raise voice against social evils. Considering the importance of the day, it was celebrated at all the locations, where microfinance activity is being conducted. Here are a few glimpses:-
Deepalaya Pataudi Office: For SHG women staying in Pataudi, it was proud day as many women holding esteemed positions in the government offices graced the occasion. We had Ms. Kalpana Singh Ranga, Block Education Officer, Pataudi, Ms. Meena Kumari, Protection Officer Women Cell, Gurgaon, Dr. Punita Gehlot, Dy. Director Animal Husbandry Dept., Ms. Poonam Sharma, District Coordinator Nehru Yuva Kendra. We were privileged enough to have Mr. S N Sharma, Regional Manager, Sarva Haryana Grameen Bank, Mr. Sujit Kumar, Manager Syndicate Bank, Mr. Puny Pal, Financial Literacy counselor, and Ms. Smitha Meenakshy, Manager Micro Finance, Deepalaya also. Around 150 women from different SHGs attended the celebrations.
The programme was organized with a motive to apprise the women about their rights and different schemes that the government has announced for their uplift.
Speaking on the occasion, Ms. Kalpana Singh Ranga, Block Education Officer focused on the significance of educating the girl child. “We must ensure that our daughters get education, at list till the 12th class,” she said, urging them to come forward and discuss with her if there were any financial problems in providing education to the next generation. Dr. Punita Gehlot, Dy. Director Animal Husbandry Dept. said that while “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” has gained a lot of traction in the last few years, we must also concentrate on “Beti Empowerment” through our actions every day. Ms. Meena Kumari, Protection Officer Women Cell, Gurgaon told the women that if anyone faces any problem in their domestic life they can consult her; however, the laws for protection of women should not be misused. Mr. S N Sharma, Mr. Sujit Kumar and Mr. Puny Pal shared about the government/bank schemes and programmes for the benefits of SHG women, the importance of Sukanya Smridhi Yojna, and so on.
After the meeting was over, all the SHGs members stood in a line shouting slogans like “Beti Bachavo, Beti Padhao “, “Bhurn Hatya Band Karo”, etc. (against female foeticide and in favour of educating women). Hereafter, a small rally was conducted in the local community where all the women shared camaraderie as they held the national flag and raised their voice for their rights.
Deepalaya VTC Dwarka: Women’s day celebrations were also held at Deepalaya VTC Dwarka. Mr. Raj Dutt Gehlot, Counselor of Kakrola, Biranchi Singh, Sr. Journalist, Dainik Jagran were the main guests. Amongst 200 women present on the occasion, there were representatives from two NGOs — Saksham skill development and Chetanalaya.
Ms. Jaswant Kaur, Director CRM Deepalaya was also present on the occasion. Ms. Anita Rana welcomed the guests and the attendees, and informed community women about the significance of women’s day. While speaking on the occasion, the guests spoke high about the contribution made by women towards development of society and appreciated the fact that government has come up so many schemes and legal provision for helping women. However, a word of caution was given that law should not be misused as it is meant for the betterment of society.
Ms. Jaswant Kaur motivated the women to take charge of their lives, and recited a beautiful poem that depicted how women make sacrifices through their lives. She gave a message stressing that it is equally important to keep an eye on what their boys are doing.