Monday, March 8, 2010

Happy 100th Women's Day

In the year 1993 in a youth exchange program selection interview with an army officer (that I can NEVER forget), I was asked “What is the one thing you want to change or do that is close to your heart”, I had told him “Empowering women in whatever way I can”. With a smile on his face he asked “in a land of Indira Gandhi and Kiran Bedi do you still feel women do not have opportunities?”. I responded “Sir please don’t define opportunities for women by showing Indira Gandhi or Kiran Bedi they are just two women”.

I did not know if my response was aggressive or simply truth, did not even realize what a BIG word “empowerment” really is, as back then it was a right choice of words.

I am not a big fan of women’s day celebration, wondered why there is a need to celebrate our existence, was offended when people wished me “Happy Women’s Day” and would give a lecture on how silly it was to have a women’s day.

But over the as I grew older, working my way up I felt I was successful because I had opportunities and choices. In the last few years, my travel took me to the remotest of villages in India, it was a reality check indeed. Here was I who could speak, write, scream, talk, whatever I want do and make all the choice I could, but in “REAL India” the “REAL Indian woman” does not even know the existence of words like “Opportunity” or “Choice”.

If India has to be the world power it starts from the womb the women. I am not a very emotional person, but I would like to dedicate my run for all the women on the occasion of “100th Women’s Day” and do hope the historic women’s reservation bill gets passed and becomes the bill to Empower “REAL Indian women”.

- Kavitha Reddy