‘Woman’ is otherwise a mere word in a language we speak, but the power that this five-letter word holds, is sometimes, not even known to women themselves. To many men, unfortunately, women are nothing, but only something they desire to own as a trophy wife or say, a dutiful daughter. But that is not the truth; it is a fairy-tale by which we all are fascinated.
Women are inherently linked to Mother Nature for their nurturing and replenishing characteristics. Women give birth after cultivating us in their wombs for nine months. We experience the world though them. Though they are depicted as soft, feminine, I think, by the alpha-male typed men, women could be more masculine when running the most tedious tasks of life. Whether it is a 6-8 hours job, or managing homes and relationships, or raising up children, they are the epitome of strength.
A very popular quote by M K Gandhi, ‘Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an Indomitable Spirit’ defines it perfectly. Their indomitable spirit is what separates women from men. They are the Indomitable Spirit. They are the queens and their hearts are royalty is what Adrian Michael, the writer from Denver believes. I believe it too.
I see every moment women all around are breaking stereotypes through their incredible achievements. They are moving past boundaries, stretching themselves to the new horizon, and flying high to live their dreams. Amongst all the women achievers, there are, in fact, a few who inspire me to stand up and fight for justice and to never give up, not even when one goes though unimaginable pain. I wish all the men out there, like me, get motivated by them and understand that strong women make the best role models.
Neetu Sarkar, a child bride who became international Wrestler
Neetu Sarkar from a village in Bhiwani district, Haryana, was married off to a man, 30 years older than her age, when she was only 13-years-old herself. Though the marriage did not last more than a week as she ran away when her father-in-law tried to rape her. Her parents got her married again, luckily, to a suitable man this time. In a year’s time, she became mother to twins. But again, because her husband was unemployed and her mother-in-law’s pension wasn’t enough to run a family, Neetu decided to take up the responsibility. To start to earn, she chose wrestling because she was always fascinated by it since childhood.
She started training at a facility in Rohtak for which she would wake up at 3 in morning and go on running. By 9 she would reach Rohtak after taking up one-and-a-half-hour bus journey from her native village and after completing her morning sessions, she would go back home to prepare lunch and finish her household chores. She must then go back to Rohtak for evening sessions and come back home by 9 in night. This is how she managed to look after her family while training to become the international Wrestler.
Her unconceivable struggles and hard work paid off soon. She won a silver medal in the 48 kg category in the 35th National Games in Kerala. She went on to represent India in the World Junior Wrestling Championships in Brazil. Her story not only touched me or makes me feel proud of her, but also persuades me to keep going.
Deepa Malik, the first Indian woman to win medals in Paralympic games
Deepa Malik was 30 when she was diagnosed with a spinal tumour that confined her to a wheelchair. She became a paraplegic (paralyzed from waist down), but who knew that she is made of steel, having braved 183 stiches between shoulder blades and three spinal tumour surgeries, she started her sports career at the age of 36! She pursued biking, her first love, and started swimming. She also started training in other sports as well.
She became the first Indian woman to win a medal in Paralympic Games and won a Silver medal at the 2016 Summer Paralympics in the shot put. She has also won gold in F-53/54 Javelin event at the para athletic grand Prix held in Dubai in 2018 and she currently is the world’s number one in the F-53 category. Her undertaking Raid De Himalaya, an 8-day, 1700-km drive in sub-zero temperatures which included a climb to 18000 feet is just another feather in her cap.
Being honoured with Arjun Award in 2012 and prestigious Padma Shri in 2017, she is not only a wife to Colonel Bikram Singh or mother to two grown-up daughters or a daughter of Infantry Colonel B K Nagpal. She is an inspiration to many, a perfect example of inner beauty and vigour.
Sunitha Krishnan, founder of Prajawla organization
Sunitha Krishnan was always passionate about social work and so, she would teach dance to mentally challenged children since childhood. When she was 12, she was running a school for children of slums in Bangalore, but by the time she turned 15, a tragic incidence altered her whole life. While working on a neo-literacy campaign for the Dalit community she was gang raped by eight men, who beat her brutally to deafness in one ear.
But, instead of drowning down of that incident, she stood strong. After completing her Master’s degree in social work, she started an anti-trafficking organization Prajawla, which works with police and other law enforcement agencies to fight commercial sexual exploitation. Prajawla shelters rescued women and children and set up one of the largest rehabilitation homes in the country. She was awarded India's fourth highest civilian award the Padma Shri in 2016.In 2009, Krishnan gave a speech during an official TED India conference about the cause of human trafficking at Infosys Campus, Mysore, which has since inspired over 2.5 million viewers globally.
All these women and many more like the Kabaddi Queen of India, Mamtha Poojary and Mary Kom, the only woman wrestler to become World Amateur Boxing champion are such a gem of women.
They strengthen the women power. They have materialized their indomitable spirit to success. Their success story is an inspiration to many, and their achievements provide a fillip to dreaming of new horizons.
In our society, most of the families are headed by men so it becomes our responsibility that we share our ownership with them, we need to give them their wings and help them fly. We should tell these brave stories to our girls, our wives and show them a path of courage is all open to them. Tell our boys the importance of a social structure, which places both men and women at equal level, let them know how good it feels when a strong woman stands by their side and make them proud. There is nothing more satisfying to my soul than these stories of great women, who are making the entire nation proud!