Celebrations in the Air!!!
On the 8th of March, when the womenfolk all over the world were enjoying their day in different forms, in Kashmir, there was something charismatic in the air. Everybody was busy with celebrations, jubilations and others who were doing their routine were also discussing their connotations of women power through serious discussions, cracking jokes and sharing their memories and lovable moments on a lighter nerve. It was a perfect treat for all the lovers of the womanhood who rejoiced this day in their own exclusive ways.
Since morning, the only private Radio Station in the state, 92.7 Big FM was buzzing inspirational messages on the forte of women and interviewing both known and unknown faces of women achievers in Kashmir, on the backdrop of Women’s day. Throughout the day, the channel aired special programmes on women. A special programme was aired, which most of the women enjoyed as that evening show played songs by women singers, which beautifully marked the dynamic greetings to women at large.
Guess what! Many leading shops of women accessories and the related had put a special discount on the women’s special day. So it was obvious the day was also fantabulous for the shopaholics and also to the others who didn’t miss this chance of discount on ladies apparel, footwear’s and other accessories.
The streets were also buzzed with little girls mostly from 4th class to 7th class wearing school uniforms and taking part in the marathon which was conducted under the banner “Suen Awlaad” by AASH Ngo which is run by Social activist Qurat-ul-ain Masoodi who works for the orphans of Kashmir to observe International Women’s Day on streets.
More than 40 girls from Gulshan-Banat, an orphanage of Yateem Trust, Gopalpora marched on the Boulevard Road to honour the Women’s Day. The young girls in the morning hours gathered near the Lalit Palace and they ran towards the Nehru Park with full of energy and excitement. They were carrying placards on Domestic violence, illiteracy, child marriage, Dowry, sexual abuse elsewhere and at work, under payment of wages, trafficking, gender based abortions, control over our fertility, eve –teasing and discrimination, female foeticide and other human rights violations.
During the run, rain also played an additional role to the marathon where the young soul enjoyed the run on the smooth road on the banks of world famous Dal Lake. The winners were also given prizes for their participation.
A special poetry recitation function to showcase the talent of women in Kashmir was organized by Prasar Bharti Broadcasting Corporation of India (PBBCI) at Radio Station where various women poetesses participated in the program. The concert unfolded the unique talent of Kashmiri women. The audience enjoyed the poems of the women participants which were mostly on the theme of women empowerment. They also emphasized on the need to raise the honour of women vis-à-vis knowing about their rights without any dilemma.
Many women from different freedom groups also staged a sit-in at the Press Enclave and demanded the participation of Kashmiri women in the process of resolution of Kashmir dispute. In this regard, Chairperson of all-woman Muslim Khwateen Markaz (MKM) led by Zamrood Habib said that when the whole world is busy in celebrating the Women’s Day, the women in Kashmir are still traumatized and subjected to the untold miseries. Thousands of Kashmiri women are still waiting for justice. She also said that women are the worst victims of the political discourse in Kashmir.
The sit-in was organized to highlight the miseries of Kashmiri women.
The day was full of activities, one was quite frustrated and messed up which function to attend and to take a pie from each. Although, it was impossible but fortunately there was minimum time clash and the duration of the different functions was not lengthy. So, it was not impossible to attend majority of the events.
A resolution was adopted on this day through the special convention of working women under the title of J&K Co-ordination Committee of Trade Unions (JKCCTU) to emphasize on the growing demands of working women and also to work in unison in order to fight against the “anti- working class policies” both at the State and Centre level.
The meet was attended by more than 300 workers from different sections of the society who highlighted the role of working women in shaping and development of the society which free of exploitation, domestic violence and dowry.
The government also took full opportunity to mark their presence on this day and Traffic Police Kashmir launched a special drive for reservation of eight seats for women commuters. They also conducted special checking of vehicles in the Srinagar city and also on the outskirts. Incidentally, almost 150 passenger vehicles were challaned under the law for not adhering to the Traffic department special instructions regarding reservation for women.
Incidentally, this was the first drive to monitor where the reservation is actually functional in the valley and that too on women’s day added to the flavour, much to the comfort of women commuters who enjoyed the drive on this day happily and wished this privilege of respect to be a routine affair. Traffic police were also briefed men about the rights of women at public places and transport and the need of encouragement of men to support the womenfolk. It was a real treat that most of the women enjoyed at the best.
For the Religious lovers, a seminar was held in the premise of S.P College under the name of, “Hazrat Fatima-tu –Zahra (RA)–Multidimensional Contribution”, where different speakers presented their papers. The life history of the pious and greatest lady of Islam and her role in the emancipation of the society was discussed threadbare. The rich tributes were paid to the great personality by reciting special verses from Quran to celebrate the women’s day.
These were some of the enlightening events which marked the day with full of energy and charisma which I had hardly experienced before. So this year International Women’s Day 2012 was special in every way in which both men and women celebrated the day in their own special and unforgettable ways. It was full of experiences and unforgettable moments.
I hope that the next year women’s day would be more beautiful than this one. But, on this day all women in Kashmir acknowledged the social, economic and political accomplishments of women in different walks of life and also reminded the heroic struggle waged by women for restoration of right and dignity of women at large.
Fear writ large on every face,
Air was filled with shrieks and cries,
Death in the pursuit of every being,
Women were maimed, raped and killed like poor flies,
But, as women (koeshur koer) was blessed with power and grit,
Beholding the bounty of merciful God,
Instead of succumbing to despair, she guarded the treasure (Kashmir) through her faith, for a new dawn of freedom…
These couplets are dedicated to all those women who have suffered through the thick and thin of life for themselves as well as others.