"I 'm in love with this day because it makes us love and care ourselves more each passing day, " believes Rohini Pawar, a vibrant rural woman working as a community correspondent since 2010.
It was Video Volunteers who first introduced this day to Rohini as a subject for one of her earliest videos, a video on Women's day where several women spoke on daily life and struggle in 2012.
She learned of Women's day through Video Volunteers while working on a video planned to be launched on this day. She didn't take it too seriously until she was invited in 2012 to attend a function organized by a self-help group at a neighboring village named "Mandaki". She was asked to speak on women issues in her region and the videos she filmed. All attendees were women consisting of daily wage workers, illiterate women, adolescent girls, and domestic violence victims. They all were quite inspired and empowered by Rohini's talk as they engaged in conversation with her on daily women issues. Rohini realized a sense of belonging to this community of womanhood at the meeting which inspired her more talk and film on women issues further. Again in 2014, she attended a Women's day program in a school on invitation where she spoke in front of 50 men of the village. Rohini had learned of more than 10 domestic violence cases in the same village during her fieldwork. This is why she took on the men in audience with her fierce speech as to how patriarchy makes women suffer in households in daily life. Some men were surprised while others giggled at her words, but anyhow Rohini could relieve her angst through her speech. Importantly this was the first time she was addressing such a large group of men and criticizing them in a subtle way.
Women's day is booming its popularity in rural areas, thanks to television and mobile phones. "The closest day to women day in terms of freedom and feeling of selfbeing is Nagpanchami celebration," said Rohini. Its only on this day the women are not judged for being happy, playing games, dancing, singing and putting on makeup. Rest days are as good as being slaves to patriarchy.
Rohini is determined to live every day of her life as a Women's day and teach the rest women the same.
Article by Sameer Malik
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