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"The past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it."
-- The Lion King (1994)
Life is a subtle metaphor which denotes itself as a teacher. You may showcase your happiness to the world, wearing a mask. The moment it falls off, our vulnerability is at worst. And yes, the world is a scary place. The moment you learn to deal with the monstrosity of your fate, you know you are the winner. Similarly, these 'Indian Superwomen' dealt with the hindrances and paved a way for their luck, instead of luck doing favors for them.
Let's read on to know their words of wisdom which will compel us to change our lives forever.
Born into a low-caste Dalit family, she was bullied at school, forced into marriage at the age of 12, fought social pressures to leave her husband, before she attempted suicide as she was ostracized by the villagers. She was being rescued by her father. She convinced her parents to let her leave for Mumbai. She got a job of a tailor and today, she is a real-time Slumdog millionaire. She is now a Chairperson of Kamani Tubes in Mumbai, India.
Her advice for women is: Hard work is not overrated. It is fail-proof. What you want, whatever it is, you shall get if you apply yourself wholeheartedly and work towards it with a single-minded vision.
Sairee Chahal woke up to the need of flexible productivity and activeness in women. In an era of high competition and societal values in India, which has ultimately devoured the mid-careers of women of the nation. Many Indian women during their mid-careers begin families, which start taking precedence over work. Some wish to work at home, some seek part-time employment etc. To fill the void, Chehel co-founded 'SHEROES.IN".
SHEROES curates work from home jobs in India, is building a community of working women, helping them find mentors and resources. She also co-founded Fleximoms, an online job portal for mothers seeking flexible employment in India.
Lesson to learn from Sairee Chehel: You can always tell who the strong women are. They are the ones you see building one another up, instead of tearing each other down. Sairee Chahal paved a way for all forlorn women and made them successful in every way possible.
Sridharan is born to Indian parents in America where she was raised. She became the chief executive officer of her own startup company called Nextdrop. 'Nextdrop' is a social enterprise which provides accurate and reliable information about water delivery in regions with irregular supply. A company which allows Indian residents in the urban areas to track the availability of piped water through SMS. Anu has also been selected to the Forbes "30 Social Entrepreneurs Under 30″ list.
What do we learn from Anu Sridharan?
Born and raised in America, she grasped the first-hand idea to update and prosper the concept of water availability in the 'parched' regions of India. What a beautiful favor to return to her parents' native land.
Sunitha Krishnan was born in Bangalore. Krishnan was a gifted child. Her zeal for social work was so extraordinary, that at the tender age of 8, she started teaching dance to mentally challenged children. When she was 12, she started running schools in slums for the underprivileged children. And at the age of 15, while working on a neo-literacy campaign for the Dalit community, Krishnan was gang-raped by eight men. The aftermath of the incident changed her completely, which ultimately led to the 'drive' to what she does today.
She is currently a social activist working towards rescuing, rehabilitating and reintegrating sex-trafficked victims into society. Being a rape survivor herself, she is now saving the innocent and pursues the guilty.
Meet country's first female firefighter. Harshini Kanhekar applied to Nagpur's National Fire Service College (NFSC) fresh from university. She went on to become the first and only woman in the college to graduate, initially receiving skepticism; but the ultimate triumph made her what she always wanted to be.
Her advice to all women is:"To break all barriers and create a history for the nation."
I have no inclination to sound like a typical feminist in any way. I quote one of the most common axioms that we have known since our childhood. "God helps those who help themselves." Despite their downtrodden pasts, these women endured the atrocities of their fate and made it through. 'Women' aren't a specified subject in the story, but their struggles deliver a message to each individual who aims to reach the cloud nine. Men, women, on an equal basis, are entangled in the strands of injustice. The gist is to raise a voice. A silent whine would do no good to any one of us.
Leena Yadav's 'Parched' has a similar message to deliver. The movie is about four ordinary women-- Rani, Lajjo, Bijli and Janaki set in the heart of the parched rural landscape of Rajasthan, India. It traces the bittersweet tale. We see them unapologetically talking about men, sex, and life as they struggle with their individual boundaries to face their demons and stage their own personal wars.