Education

Educate a Girl: Educate a Nation

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Any social narrative in the month of March always resonates with the issues and concerns relating to women and girl children.

When the entire world plans to celebrate the “International Women’s Day 2022 with the theme: Women of Tomorrow”, as a young adolescent boy, this motivated me to articulate the contribution of women in nurturing families and society; that I have witnessed in the last few years.

Women play huge role, beyond my comprehension to analyze, in the family.

As far as I can perceive, they are the mothers, instrument of procreation, reproducing next generation of human being, ensuring continuation of humanity on earth.

They are the primary care giver and nurturer of the family members.

Their transcendent service and sacrifice for the family members, make the beneficiary stand upright on their respective ground holding head high on their shoulders.

Women’s immaculate service for their loved ones is beyond comparison.

During the pandemic when the national health systems were on the verge of collapse, it is the careful nursing of women at the house hold level that restored normalcy in the overall wellbeing status of the people in various countries.

At the house hold level, women are the first responders to the various needs of the individual members of the family. I

The need and requirement may vary from satisfying hunger to wear clean dresses, mess-free organized and orderly maintained various household objects as well as maintenance of study table of the children and office documents of the elders, in the context of online education and work from home situations.

Women have a natural tendency of preserving and also hoarding essential items for the rainy days. They being around gives a sense of nourishment, even in the time of great scarcity.

Their presence in the families always gives a sense of assurance and comfort to all the family members.

With my limited understanding, I sense, women by nature hold a great sense of nurturing character.

They nurture individual being, emotions and relationship.

This nurturing behavior most of the time get converted into an ecosystem that ultimately gives tangible and intangible benefits to the family members.

Women are the creator and innovator in their own small world.

With limited assets and great many challenges, they are able to do wonders and mesmerize the family.

This key feature of women, I happen to encounter during the lock-down period. With so many difficulties, demurrer during the nation-wide lock down period and limited supplies of essentials, my mother regularly used to come up with new interesting food innovations that was sufficient enough to captivate our attention engaging in the process, suppressing the pain of confinement in the four walls of the house for an uncertain period.

Another contribution of womanhood is that she adds colors and richness to life.

Celebration of various festivals throughout the year at the house hold level with detailing effect in traditional manner gives a sense of getting connected to the roots of culture hence silently imbibing many ethics, morality and values among individuals, specifically in the children.

The decoration of the houses with various particularities like diyas, rangoli, flowers etc., during observation of festivals add bright colors to the life that the individuals learn in their childhood by observing their mothers.

The culture and tradition are passed on to the next generation through the women.

It is a known fact that, celebration of culture in a particular region develops social cohesion, an essential element of coexistence.

Juvenile mind of mine with limited understanding about women issues compelled me to search for their contribution at the societal level.

In the search process, found Prof. Amartya Sen’s quote “women are increasingly seen as active agents of change: the dynamic promoters of social transformation that can alters the lives of both women and men.”

The Nobel laureate highlighted on the agency role of women in transforming the lives of people around them.

In order to make better sense of this thought, further search made me found another popular African proverb, “if you educate a man, you educate an individual and if you educate a woman, you educate a nation.”

This magnificent proverb created a touchy-feely on my mind, analyzing upon which I found parallel running in my family.

I heard countless times my father expressing his gratitude for my grand-mother for being the foundation of education and growth of the family members.

Her deep-rooted support for education included wide array of beneficiary, across generations.

She, in her own strength being a disciplined and caring school teacher, took utmost care to allow the person grow high with education.

Her reinforcement for education made my grandfather pursue higher qualification. She was instrumental in making her brothers-in-law achieve higher degrees and settled well in their lives.

Her rock-solid emotional support for my father seeking higher education changed the trajectory of our life.

She even extended the same support towards her daughter-in-law (my mother), in pursuing her higher education goal.

The agency role of women in transforming the lives of their loved ones generated an emotion of gratitude for them within me.

Simultaneously my imagination caught hold of the inequality, injustice, cruelty and violence against women that I regularly read from the newspapers as well as get to know from various forms of other media houses.

The violence against women in various form at various platform is appalling me the most.

Female feticides, domestic violence against women, molestation, physical abuse of women at public places etc. are creating howling impact on my tender mind. My inner self poses me questions like:

How could a human society degenerating to such an extent that it is continuously harping on its own nurturer? Hypothetically, if a day would come when due to extreme form of violence, the women race would get wiped out of the earth like other extinct animals from the planet, then what would be the fate of human civilization!

Further to this, the issues of climate change are looming large on this planet and the popular narratives to resolve this has been to act now.

Unless actions are taken at present to reduce the impact of global warming, the future seems gloomy.

In this critical juncture of time, women because of their very nature of nourishment and protection, can be crusader, the savior of human race in the face of climate change.

Their conservation and preservation attitudes may act like healing balm for the eco-system that in turn may generate forces to counter the climate change impact.

The leadership qualities of women have really helped many societies having women as the top political leaders as well as being head of various Panchayats at the state level in Odisha.

The time has come, when the women would hold the baton to lead us from the front to fight the various issues the society is facing today.

Their role as an agency of change will surely help us to revive and regenerate the degraded social ecology and build a future with just and caring society.

We must focus on gender equality today for ensuring a sustainable tomorrow.

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