Hindustan Times (Gurugram)
GIVING WINGS TO FLY
This International Women’s Day, Nitasha Chawla talks about some superwomen who have transformed the lives of underprivileged women by fighting against the system, traditions and customs that impede their growth.
There are hundreds of child brides who are living a life of dignity after being freed from the shackles of child marriage. Many women from remote villages of Odisha are now independent and have been saved from domestic violence. Voices of several underprivileged women have been heard by the law. All this has been the result of the efforts of women, who have dedicated their lives to empower other women.
These women are fearless and fierce, they are clothed in strength and dignity. Meet the women rights activists who have been empowering underprivileged women through their relentless pursuits.
DR KRITI BHARTI
Hailing from Rajasthan, where child marriage continues to rob young girls of their childhood, Dr Kriti’s efforts in fighting the dogma of child marriage have been recognised globally. Till date, she has annulled more than 35 child marriages, and stopped over thousand more. She has also rehabilitated more than 6,000 children and 5,500 women.
Kriti is a warrior who has not only fought the age-old custom of child marriage but also given a new life to these child brides through her rehabilitation programme. Her NGO, Saarthi Trust is included in World Records India for the firstever Child Marriage Annulment in India in 2012. Dr Kriti has been bestowed with many awards and she continues to add to her victories each day.
A renowned Supreme Court lawyer and human rights activist, Vrinda was identified by TIME magazine as one of the 100 most influential women in 2013. She has used her prowess as a lawyer to protect the rights of women, who cannot afford legal aid on their own.
She has actively dealt with domestic violence cases and cases involving sexual minorities. Grover has also represented victims in the Soni Sori rape case, and has been influential in the drafting of the Criminal Law Amendment of 2013, the POCSO Act 2012 and the Prevention of Torture Bill, 2010.
She believed she could, so she did. Manasi Pradhan is an Indian women activist and author, hailing from Orissa where she has done extensive work in the field of women empowerment. A women’s rights activist and author who received the Rani Lakshmibai Stree Shakti Puraskar in 2013, Manasi has risen against the odds she faced in her early childhood to uplift the life of women facing domestic violence. She is the founder of Honour for Women National Campaign, a nationwide movement to end violence against women in India.