By Smita Ram, Rang De Team
Grace, passion, strength, sacrifice, resilience ..I run short of words when I try and describe what a woman embodies. Personally, it disturbs me to see women being denied opportunities based on gender. I have seen and experienced us women losing out on opportunities — be it economic, social, physical or emotional and it saddens me. But I do not see this changing unless many of us begin to question such situations. In fact I see these denial of opportunities becoming a norm which could be detrimental.
As far as Rang De goes, this women’s day definitely belongs to the women entrepreneurs and their enterprising spirit. Here are a few women who I have met during my journey at Rang De. Their passion and attitude to life re-ignited that spark in me.
Fahim, an entrepreneur in Pusad, Yavatamal District makes candles. Sagras is one of Rang De’s field partners in Maharastra.
Fahim: An entrepreneur in Pusad, Yavatmal. We met her during an evaluation trip. She makes candles and sells them for a living. Farheen hails from a muslim community and for her venturing into a business activity was a big, bold step. She started in a small way at home and has gone on to expand her business. When we interviewed her and asked her about the challenges, she said, ‘now that people see me earning and contributing to the family income, people look at me with a lot of respect.’ A true achiever — I felt
Waheeda Rehman: The legendary actress as we all know her is an awe inspiring lady — not just for her accomplishments in her acting career, but for the loads of passion she has in her. She is passionate about the environment and about bringing a change in the society and is willing to walk that extra mile to do her bit. Simply inspiring, I felt.
Farheen and Waheedaji are just two of the women out of the many who have influenced me. What we are trying to do at Rang De is to provide economic opportunities by way of microcredit which is one kind of empowerment. We see ourselves as change agents who could play a catalytic role through other initiatives such as mentoring and providing access to markets. I would like to invite each one of you, especially all you women out there to experience what it feels like to become part of the Rang De journey.
Let’s celebrate and enjoy womanhood. Let’s fight those little and bigger battles so that equality prevails at the end of the day.