by Nandita Das
“Women are the real architects of society.”â??Harriet Beecher Stowe
It is estimated that a million girls disappear in India, every year. Women in Indian culture have been victims of inhuman violence and oppression for centuries and till a couple of decades back, their condition was pitiable. Belief systems and practices and a regressive mindset have contributed to this evil. Some of these behavioral practices flourish even today.
In India, women frequently experience bias, oppression and subjugation, both in their family and in their workplace.
Newspapers and TV channels are full of occurrences of violence against women like dowry death, rape, domestic violence, moral policing, assault cases, sexual harassment and so on reported daily in newspapers or magazines. These are issues confronted by women in India, every day.Despite many laws framed with a view of protecting women, this suppression of women continues without end because of patriarchal mindset and the age-old traditions, customs, conventions, and religion. In most homes in India, equal rights and benefits for women are simply a myth. Financial reliance of Indian women on male members of the family has kept them in a condition of ceaseless servitude. This is the essence of subjugation of Indian women. She is not treated as an individual, in her own right.
. There is a drastic increase in crime against women. Our political leaders fail to ensure a safe India for women. India is now considered the fourth most dangerous country for women. What has made India so unsafe for women? Why can’t women be made to feel more secure in our country? It’s because women are not considered a priority. The dismal record of surging crimes against women attests to this. Kalpana, a young Indian girl grew up in India and schooled in England, she returns to India with dreams of helping the women of her country lead better lives and help her country develop. She got back to India and was frustrated by the corruption and the gender inequality. She could not stand the oppression and suppression of women, the hardships women were forced to endure in her country, in the name of tradition and culture. Most of the women were just confined to the house as housewives or were only allowed to trade food items. Kalpana with the help of her father who was a minister decided to start up an NGO where she could empower women and help them achieve their dreams. She brings together a group, calls for external help for the empowerment programs held in India.
On one of her trips to attend a party, she meets an English tourist, a lawyer by profession, working for a business firm, in England. She had seen him at a gathering before when he had addressed the rioting men. At the party, Kalpana discovers an evil plot against her father to implicate him just because he was not doing their bidding.
She works tirelessly, dedicating all her time, campaigning and advocating women’s rights. She takes up multiple measures in her mission to empower women and thereby improve their lives.
Kalpana’s foundation also blossoms. Kalpana’s mission is far from over. Women still face discrimination in many forms. But her passion for bringing about a change in women’s lives and her dedication to her task pays off. More and more women encouraged by her noble mission and good work, join her in support of her fight for women’s equality, through empowerment. Kalpana takes us on a journey of love and empowerment as she corrects the ills of society with love, passion and kindness It is indeed a long walk to equality.
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