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Voices: Girls from Kolkata schools speak their mind on International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day is an occasion that gives the opportunity to celebrate the valour and inner strength of women.

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |


Pillar of courage

It’s incredible and unbelievable that a woman plays various roles and that too with love and full enthusiasm. “Woman”, she is a mother, a sister, a wife, a daughter and the most dedicated employee at her workplace. She is indeed the pillar of the society on whose shoulder there is the onus to take forward the existence of humankind in a smoother way. She is generous, passionate, and audacious and knows an absolute solution to all the problems. Not only she is externally pretty but her inner strength is the most beautiful thing on the earth. She is the one who gives life. A woman can give you everything from love to respect to strength without keeping any expectations. And it’s really essential that we encourage her to showcase her extraordinary occult strength and help her nurture that power. International women’s Day is one of those occasions that give an opportunity to celebrate the valour of women and her inner strength. Most of the countries celebrate Women’s Day with utmost fervour and zeal. It is great that we have a day like Women’s Day specifically a country like India which has completely been spoiled by many atrocities against women like rape, dowry, female infanticide, exploitation of women at workplace and many more. Like many other countries, Women’s Day in India is celebrated with the similar enthusiasm. But people across middle and lower-middle classes in remote villages of India, and in cities also, are deeply rooted into age-old ideas, superstitions, and concepts, where women are never allowed to take the center stage. Women have to do most of the family chores but have no exposure to growth opportunities or health facilities. Most girls, not boys, handle household chores from childhood, at the cost of going to schools. Women are suffering from malnutrition, neglected health ailments, domestic and sexual violence. It’s a scenario where a woman owns nothing, not even herself. She has no income, no possessions. She is oppressed. It seems women, particularly in rural India, will never be able to experience even a semblance of equality with their male counterparts. It’s the day to celebrate It’s the day to think For all that the world has done With the charming colour pink They found her so helpless They made her cry They turned her life to hell And forced her to die A woman, a mother, a wife With patience she strives Caring, bearing and working Still struggling with life… To all the women who are strong, compassionate, beautiful and unique. May you continue to inspire those around you! Happy Women’s Day.

Aritra Das, Coordinator, Class XI, Methodist School Dankuni

Feeling proud

There are a lot of allegations that women face every day. People say ‘if behind every successful man there is a woman, then behind every unsuccessful man also there is a woman.’ They laugh at the efforts that women make. But do they realize that women endure so much that they cannot even think to have endured? Do they know how it feels like to be subjugated every time? Or to be made shut even when women have more logic than the opposing party does? They say women are ‘overrated’, I say do they deserve to be rated? Basically, there’s this problem that occurs with our so-called ‘tradition’ and ‘modernity’. Why cannot we talk about things openly and solve it out? Why can’t the parents teach their sons to rectify their quality of desire, rather than infuse the daughters with the depth of words like ‘adjustment’, ‘sacrifice’, ‘responsibility’, ‘shamefulness’, ‘modesty’ and so on? Why will we be modest to people who treat like any commodity in a sale? Why can’t we express our rage, our discomfort, or our desires? This is because, from the very childhood, we are taught to control our emotions. So this Women’s Day, I’d request each and every one to teach that crying makes no harm to their manliness but making anybody does! It is the youth that needs to correct. And dear women, feel proud and not ashamed of your presence. You make the world a better place, a safer place.

Debopama Datta, Class XI, Coordinator, Methodist School Dankuni

A guide for life

An internationally observed civil awareness day specially dedicated to women and girls all over the world is what we know as Women’s Day. It is celebrated on 8 March every year commemorating the movement for women’s rights. The first observance of this day was held on 28 February, in New York. Later on the suggestion of the International Woman’s Conference, it was shifted to March. Women gained suffrage in Soviet Russia (1917). This day was enjoyed as a national holiday there. Then onwards it was celebrated by the Socialist Movement and communist countries until it was adapted in 1975 by the United Nations. Women undoubtedly play a very vital role in the progress of the humankind and have a significant place in the society. We are not at all inferior to men and possess all the capabilities to share every responsibility of life. Men and women are compared to the two wheels of a carriage. Women play the most important role in preserving the human race with intense care and nurture. Once Napoleon had said, “Give me good mothers and I will give you a good nation”. The progress of a nation depends majorly on how our mothers bring us up. Earlier, women worked by the sides of men in the battlefield. They nursed the injured, kept up the supplies and in certain cases, even fought bravely. Florence Nightingale sets an evergreen example of a successful woman who led the most successful campaign for the reforms of hospitals and nursing profession. Women if imparted with the lessons, guidelines, and training, can bring about much to reform the society. They should get the taste of living life. Today, women are flourishing in different fields demonstrating their talents in the best possible way. So it’s imperative to preserve a girl child and by instilling good morality in them surely make them a strong pillar of the family.

Adrija Dutta, Coordinator, Class XI, St Joseph and Marys School

Importance of women

Women held a respectable position in the ancient Indian society. However, today they are snubbed and abused everywhere. Keeping our Indian culture in mind we must learn to respect women and maintain her dignity in our society. ‘Mother’ is the supreme form of womanhood. The word ‘mother’ itself is symbolic of God. A mother undoubtedly plays the most vital role in our development. Her significance in our life is superlative to all other possessions. No matter how much you succeed the one working and praying behind the scene for you is always a mother. Her unconditional love and devotion are incomparable to everything else in this world. Sisters are someone who loves us from the heart. This bond is one of the most important relationships that we can ever have and attributes to our growth and development from a very early age. It is one of the long-lasting relationships we have and probably the most influential. Teachers are modern-day heroes. Every day they work to shape and mold the lives of young minds by teaching them valuable lessons, many of which go beyond books and computers. Behind every successful man, there’s a woman. This proverb has spread across the world and often proved to true. But, a woman’s contribution to the world can never be limited to the success of an individual. Over decades, women have played a major role in developing ideas and working towards a better future for the world. This Women’s Day, feel proud to have a woman as your teacher. We all love and respect Savitribai Phule. She was India’s first female teacher. In a country where women are still not seen at par with men, Savitribai’s role as a teacher at a village school in Pune just a year after the Independence was remarkable. This Women’s Day we should not forget about the contributions of Maria Montessori as a teacher. She was the woman who started the nursery school culture. Born in 1870, Maria Montessori devoted her life to education. She propagated the idea that children should be able to shape their future in their own ways. International Women’s Day is a special day to honor women working in different areas and celebrate their accomplishments. Women in the Indian society have been considered inferior to men for many years. She is seen looked down in the society with ridicule. Women in India face a lot of challenges because of the existence of patriarchal society, childbearing and family care roles, deep-rooted cultural norms, etc in the Indian society. There is the need for complete abolition of social practices such as dowry, sati, female infanticide, permanent widowhood, child marriage and many more. Although gender equality is an issue faced by every single woman in the world, there is a high probability that the sports industry is the area that suffers the most with this problem. Besides the challenges that athletes encounter on a daily basis, female athletes have to confront several other complications on and off their fields of work. Nonetheless, the modern society has started recognizing the individual identity of women. She is believed to have her aspiration, abilities, and qualities as a man. Happy Women’s Day!

Aniketh Chakraborty, Class XI, St Joseph & Marys School

I am a woman

I am a woman. I have the right to speak my mind and sing my heart out. I have as loud a voice as any other’s, and I cannot be suppressed. I am courageous, strong, confident, by no means weak and puny and can speak for myself. I am equal to any other person. I have the right to work and earn wages. I have the right to education and to vote. I can wear what I want and in any way that I want, and not be marked “improper”. It is my sole decision. I can walk in the streets alone at night and need not be scared. I have dreams just like any other person. I can feel, like any other person and wish to enjoy life at it’s fullest. Sometimes I’m captured in a cage with my wings chained, unable to break free. Sometimes, in spite of all this courage, I fear. Sometimes, I’m scared of darkness, scared of flying and scared that I might fall. But what if I fall? What will happen? Maybe I’ll get a bit wounded. But still, I’ll rise. I will swirl and twirl, trying my best not to drown in this deep dark sea. I’ll fight against all odds and never lose hope. And one day, I’ll break my chains and fly higher into the sunrise, my wounds will fade and fade, till one day it will vanish. And then I’ll laugh out loud, for I’ll be free. You know me, I am a free spirit. I am a woman.

Renesa Mukhopadhyay, Coordinator, Class IX, Patha Bhavan, Kolkata