Gita Phogat, Babita Kumari, Sania Mirza, Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu and many more. Are these the Women we celebrate on International Women’s day ?
Yes, they are our heroes and we rightly need to celebrate them. But are they the only women we are remembering and celebrating ? The answer is No. No means NO.
Who are our Heroes ?
The Nurse who wakes up before dawn, prepares breakfast and lunch for family, helps her family to get ready, then herself gets ready in a huff and rushes to catch the bus to hospital with two boxes in her bag. Yes, two boxes, one for breakfast and one for lunch. On the way, she lets her wet hair to dry in the bus. She has to punch her attendance in time and that’s why the bus travel acts as hair dryer. She breaks fast after the morning rounds by senior Doctors and lunch time is well past 3 PM, often at 4 PM. She has to often stay back beyond work hours in case there is an emergency, often leading to inordinate delay. Then she has to go back home in overcrowded bus and prepare dinner for the family. The cleaning up of kitchen and then a shower before she can collapse on the bed with the impoverished sleep being the only break in a hectic life.
Families might be helpful or not but most of these ladies work more than anyone else on the planet. They have night duties. Couple of these duties can throw any healthy person’s body clock out of tune. They do it as many as 10 to 12 times in a month and sometimes, even more. In spite of that, they try their best to keep their families well fed and children taken care of. They do all this and more for a pay that is less than 25% of the salaries drawn by a LDC in a bank. They do it with best possible intentions. They do it with grumbling stomachs and spinning heads thanks to missing lunch or dinner on a hectic day. They feel the pride when the teamwork has managed to save a life and they feel the pain when a life is lost in spite of best efforts.
They crawl into a corner on a flimsy bench to catch a few winks when it’s their turn to rest during night shift. They survive on one Roti, a little water and Oxygen through grueling nights. They survive foul tempered Doctors, ill-mannered patients, attempts to molest by thugs acting like patients and their monthly routine trouble days, mostly without ever complaining. I have shared lunch and dinner with them. I have fought with them and apologized. I have shared the joys and sorrows with them. I have come this far in my life and profession, thanks to them. For me, every Nurse is a Hero and I know many of them.
Every woman who manages a home is a Hero. Every Lady Doctor who has to walk that extra mile to make a mark in life is a Hero. Every lady teacher who has to make sure every student in her class understands what’s being taught is a Hero. Every woman who is working outside and then looks after a home and brings up kids is a hero. Where men are always busy, these ladies still find time to apply makeup in the middle of this entire busy schedule. We are surrounded by Heroes, whom we have taken for granted. The ladies have taken it for granted that they are being taken for granted. They still love the man, the kids and her life goes on without even realizing, she is a Hero. She has no time to care for that.
It is this aspect in life we are missing. There are governments, a system, the media and masses of humanity to recognize, honor and celebrate the medal winners. But the bread winner and the bread maker in every home goes unsung. We need to recognize them, respect them, love them and celebrate them. On this day, I celebrate International Women’s Day by offering unconditional apologies to all those wonderful ladies whom I have hurt with or without my knowledge. Though I have apologized to most of them before, it won’t hurt to apologize again and say, “I love you and and am proud of you all. You are my Heroes !”. I want you to take best care of yourselves.
Happy Women’s Day!