Bhubaneswar: Women’s Day means a lot of things to a lot of people. On International Women’s Day, five eminent Odia women, who have carved a niche for themselves, spoke to Odisha Sun Times about the relevance of this day.
The 22-year-old Indian sprinter from Odisha says Women’s Day is for people to realize how important it is to respect the fairer sex. “Women’s Day is celebrated across the globe for women who lack support and have been struggling. Earlier, girls didn’t get to run but today, I feel empowered and am glad to see so many women representing India, giving chance and creating pathways for other women who wish to excel in sports,” says the national champion.
Popular Ollywood actress, who had stunned the audience with her women-centric power-packed performance in ACP Sagarika in 2013, says Women’s Day is a celebration of socio-economic-cultural achievements of women. She says, “I want women to be given equal opportunities and respect at work stations.” For her, women’s day is about achieving gender equality in every sphere.
Author of notable works like ‘Yajnaseni’, Pratibha Ray, believes there shouldn’t be a need to celebrate Women’s Day. “We celebrate different days so that people realize its importance and I really wonder why we need to emphasize, again and again, on how essential we are. The day we stop celebrating this day, I think, half of our work to normalize gender roles and establish equality will be fulfilled,” she says.
She thinks women have the capacity to achieve anything and that women are born empowered. “We do not need your empowerment. You can only help us by not being an obstruction in our path to success. Give birth to new brave women and let them fly,” she adds.
Odissi danseuse Aruna Mohanty thinks womanhood must be celebrated every day. “We are women 365 days, then why a specific day to celebrate our spirits? Besides, God created men and women to make this place beautiful, together. When we say that there’s disparity, we must also do something about it,” she says.
She thinks it’s the action, speech and thought process that defines women.
“We need to find the strength within ourselves and be the rocky mountain to hit back all the waves of time and tide. Fearless and flawless, is something we have forever been,” says this Odisha-born social activist. She believes it’s time we stop waiting for aid and rather be competitive to top in any trade.
“Give way to many more Jhansi Ki Ranis and Indira Gandhis. For me, women’s day means celebrating and encouraging women to excel in all fields. Let’s be proud of being an Odia, an Indian and a woman,” she adds.