On International Women’s Day (IWD), Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave his Twitter account to seven women achievers to inspire people across the country. The women hail from different backgrounds and range from a water conservationist to those working on traditional crafts and fighting hunger. The theme for the IWD 2020 is ‘I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights’ which seeks to promote a gender-neutral world.
Sneha Mohandoss, the founder of Foodbank India from Chennai, was the first one to share her story. Inspired by her mother, she has been feeding the homeless. Mohandoss said: “I’m using the PM’s handle to spread awareness on the need to remove hunger. Will you and others help me?”
The second woman to tweet from the PM’s handle was President awardee Dr Malvika Iyer, a disability activist. She shared her story with the hashtag, #SheInspiresUs: “I survived a gruesome bomb blast at the age of 13 that blew off my hands and severely damaged my legs. Yet, I worked and went on to get my PhD.”
The third woman was a Kashmir-based entrepreneur who is creating livelihood opportunities. “I always dreamt of reviving the traditional crafts of Kashmir because this is a means to empower local women. I saw the condition of women artisans and so I began working to revise Namda craft,” said Arifa in her tweet.
Water warrior from Hyderabad, architect Kalpana Ramesh is conserving lakes and rivers. Her tweet said: “Small efforts can make a big impact. Water is a valuable inheritance we got. Let us not deprive our next generations. Contribute by using water responsibly, harvesting rainwater, saving lakes, recycling used water and creating awareness.”
Vijaya Pawar, an artisan from the Banjara community of rural Maharashtra, tweeted: “You have heard about handicrafts from different parts of India. My fellow Indians, I present to you handicrafts of the Banjara community in rural Maharashtra. I have been working on this for the last 2 decades and have been assisted by a thousand more women.”
The sixth woman to tweet was Kalavati Devi from Kanpur, who said: “The place where I lived was dirty all over. But I was determined to clean it up. So, we started an awareness drive, then collected funds and eventually met with success.”
The last woman to handle the PM’s social media account was organic farmer Veena Devi, who narrated how she became financially self-sufficient and confident through mushroom farming. She rose to become the village chief in Bihar’s Munger village..