SunstaTV Bureau: Woman is a word which describes the entire world inside of it. She is a soul giver, she is a healer, however she is the one who accept all the pains and still smiles. Every year, International Women’s Day is observed on March 8 to celebrate women, their rights and their achievements. IWD began in the 1900s, and according to website “a global day celebrating he social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality”.
Here is the women of Odisha who secured a respected place and even proved that they are enough to break the stereotypes the ‘Women are weak’.
Pratibha Ray is well known as an eminent writer & Padma Shri winner, who is the first woman to win the Moortidevi Award for her literary works. Apart from being an archetype academician, Pratibha has touched various horizons of life too, like being a school teacher to guiding doctoral research. Winner of the prestigious Jnanpitha Award as well, she has also substantially contributed in fighting against social injustice. Besides, Dr. Ray has represented India in global literary fests and conferences. Associated with Indian Council of Cultural Relations, National Book Trust and many more, Pratibha is truly a lady to marvel at!
Even after being born into a poor tribal family, Tulasi’s indomitable spirit did not stop her from eradicating acute poverty and illiteracy. At a time when educating girls was considered preposterous, she pulled it off with élan and made people realize that education can be their weapon for fighting social evils. She started her journey of teaching and learning from a small veranda, and later established Adivasi Vikas Samiti in Serenda. Moreover Tulasi has the credit of educating 20000 people and 16 outreach education centres as well. This Padma Shri awardee even has a biopic titled Tulasi Apa, directed by Amiya Patnaik, which encapsulates Tulasi’s struggles and achievements!
Another exemplary lady, Nandini Sathpathy was the first woman Chief Minister of Odisha. Such was her popularity that she incessantly won all elections over a successive period of 55 years. Landing on a seat of Rajya Sabha as an MP, she has worked in tandem with Smt Indira Gandhi & was assigned one of the coveted portfolios, the Information and Broadcasting. Nandini has also authored Uttara Purusha besides translating works of various authors including Lajja by Taslima Nasreen & Rasidi Ticket by Amrita Pritam. Sailing successfully though the dark phases of life, Nandini has emerged victorious by proving her mettle as a woman and also as an individual!
Born in Cuttack on 3rd December 1899, Ramadevi was considered a versatile genius. A daughter niece of Utkal Gaurab Madhusudan Das, Ramadevi played a pivotal role during the freedom struggle of India & she joined the Indian National Congress as well. Post-Independence, she involved herself in Bhoodan & Gramdan movements, helped set up the Utkal Khadi Mandal & even established a Teachers’ Training Centre & Balwadi at Ramchandrapur. Also in 1950, Ramadevi set up a Tribal Welfare Centre at Dumburugeda. A primary school, Shishu Vihar and a cancer hospital was also set up by her in Cuttack.
The first Odia woman to go to England for higher studies, Sailabala was a social worker & a politician in an array. Born in 1875, this iconoclast was always ready to dissent colonialism & help the oppressed. She became the first Honorary Magistrate of India & was instrumental in creating the first women’s college in Odisha. First in many aspects, she became the first woman inspector of prison cells in Patna, the first lady to join the management committee of Prince of Wales Medical College and even became the Syndicate member of Patna University. Sailabala will forever be remembered for her amazing contributions to the society!