She Who Suffered And Made Humanity Cry : A Journey To Be Ashamed Of.
From time immemorial it has been said that the womenfolk is to hearth. If men are the bread winners, women are the home decorators. The essence of womanhood has been thought about as just being indoors, bearing children, instilling them with good values, making them good people, taking care of the husband and the family and working for them all their life. Amidst all the ‘serve thou family’ where does ‘live for yourself’ come? Women have been known to live for others and what more, she has been taught to do so by here very own mother (a woman). And these very ‘values’ to cope with all the situations, to endure everything for the sake of your family, their reputation, to sacrifice your whole life for them… from this stems the endurance of everything, even sufferings.
It’s nothing new, in fact so common that people are blase about it that women have been suffering in the society since long back. Some may have faced downright cruelties against them, others have tolerated mental torture and some have had to take the burden of expectations. But the sufferings continue from the ‘satis’ to today’s Nirbhayas. The sufferings of these valiant women cannot be reduced but can be commemorated and here are 4 such women who have come back to give something better to each one of us…hope, faith and the rebel in us.
“It doesn’t take one to be a feminist or anti-man to be pro-women”.
1. Laxmi (acid attack survivor)
The stories of acid attacks are not uncommon in India. This brave girl from New Delhi is such an example. She suffered acid attack in the year 2005 while standing on the bus stop and has since been permanently disfigured. But her tale is different from many as she did not go into a self imposed exile like many do, but “became the standard-bearer in India for the movement to end acid attacks”. She also went up to receive the prestigious US award for International Women of Courage. Her story motivates all those who think stopping work and studies or killing self is the only path left after an acid attack. In the ceremony to commemorate her heroism she read “You will hear and you will be told that the face you burned is the face I love now … Then you will know that I am alive, free and thriving and living my dreams”.
2. Nirbhaya/ Jyoti Singh Pandey
The gang rape incident of 16th December 2012 has been etched in the memories of everybody. It shook the very foundations of humanity. The victim, whose pseudonym Nirbhaya (or fearless) was made popular by the media, died 13 days after the brutal assault, succumbing to her injuries. This atrocity was internationally condemned and all her perpetrators were excecuted. On the last leg of her human journey where she was taken to Singapore for medical treatments, she showed sheer hope for life and wanted to live to see her brothers settle. Her story was a huge inspiration to many rape survivors who have no hope or faith. The brave and fearless girl though died, carried a lot of spirit in her and will be eternally remembered.
3. Naieema (Acid attack survivor)
She is one of the millions who had hot, concentrated acid thrown on their face. A resident of Pakistan, she was sleeping on a peaceful summer night when a family rivalry claimed her fate and since then she has known nothing apart from pain. She says, “I was sleeping when I felt as if someone had thrown something really hot on me and after that it has been nothing but continuous pain”. Her features are so deformed that she has to stay away from her 3 year old daughter who is terrified by her appearance. But in spite of all the odds, Naieema still lives on with her elder daughter and mother. She is an inspiration to the other acid attack survivors who have lost all hopes for a normal life again.
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4. Tasleema Nasrin
She is a world famous poet, writer and novelist, whose subjects of prominence are feminism, humanism and women’s liberty. Though Nasrin is Bangladeshi by birth, her works criticizing Islam and their practices led her into an exile. Her 1993 novel LAJJA had brought about immense oppositions and criticism from several Islamic fundamentalist groups and the Muslims of Bangladesh. This lady who was courageous enough to hold up the malpractices and misbelieves of her own religion was physically and otherwise attacked, nationally shamed and finally sent into exile. Her brevity is an example for many women who want to fight for and have been fighting for women rights.