( Woman's Day Special )
On March 8th, an all women crew will take off its flight! The historic team will consist, Captain Meena Pandey � Event Manager, Captain Sudha Bengari � Instructor, Captain Geetanjali Kudaria � Assistant Instructor, Madhu Sood � Engineer, Kanchan Singh � Technician along with all female flying crew!
What should be the role and the image of a female in 21st century and beyond?
Researchers say that the first female had made the transition from an ape to a human erectus who stood on her 2 feet and they named her 'Lucy' and she is the first female.
Judeo, Christian and Islamic religions teach us that Adam & Eve were the first from whom we all emerged.
Hinduism's Devi-Geeta has this - as Devi tells Himvan," Life begins with Ishwar. (Ahamvesha Purvim) I'm Para-Brahma in which Maya resides. I'm Chitta, Sam-vitta and Atma-swaroopini." Akash � Space is the male to the Earth as Female symbol.
Ancient Vedic lore fascinates us as we get 'wired' through the web in 2001!
Nari, the female remains as alluring, as mysterious and fascinating as she was in the pre dawn of civilization. The veil of culture only enhances her age-old mystique as she resides in her own personal 'Shangri-La'.
Women have taken great strides, on all the seven continents. Their achievements have been staggering in spite of obstacles and pitfalls.
Female's always had the additional task of 'child bearing' and 'nurturing' of family to solidify the unit in the parameter of yet another institution, which is Marriage. Civilizations, nations and cultures rest upon it.
Family values the much touted buzz word of politicians is powerful institution indeed!
Women who choose careers do an amazing balancing act by taking care of their own motherhoods, babies and mid career decisions within matrimony.
India is perhaps the fastest 'wired' nation where 60% Indian females, still remain illiterate.Those fortunate few who reach dazzling heights of pinnacles seem like beacons for future growth and potential.
Indra Nooyi, the management executive of Pepsi Co. has shattered glass ceiling for all females of all races.
Vani Kola, started her career in Sunnyvale public library in California, with an engineering degree, setting up the Right works Pioneer web based computing system.
Both of them have strong religious roots, balanced family life and values and thus carve the perfect role model as Nari-2001!
The perfection of Womanhood! The nurturing and conquering aspects of career success combined with motherhood is simply awe inspiring and awesome!
Looking at their glorious achievements we shudder when we look at the depths, far below the valley when we are faced with ICCW � Indian Council of Child Welfare which runs an orphanage for abandoned girl-child. Due to the gruesome practice of female infanticide practiced in Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Gujarat and Rajasthan, Bihar etc., the absent ratio of female birth, stops us in our tracks and makes us ask 'why?'
What is the answer to this social problem? A female is a burden to her parents and her marriage an expanse. So many dowry deaths, abuse and neglect, lack of proper nutrition and food, inadequate education, improper emphasis on a male child and desire for the same are all culprits in the unfair treatment and handling of a girl-child in modern India.
Western world has made much more progress in giving women their freedom and status but even then the comparison is still like that of an apple to an orange. Second class citizenship of females is a silent feature of society. Sad examples of injustices, perpetuated by females on younger females remains a by product of an orthodox mind set where bride burning can follow if she did not bring enough wealth to her in-laws and now her new home as she enters as a bahu, a daughter-in-law and the mother-in-law ill treats her.
To change this scene, women needs to be nurtured, given equal love and care as her brother in a family and given education so she can be self-reliant and confident about her future and has a say in her destiny with her choices and decisions. She should be taught to take pride in her femininity otherwise a lack of self esteem leads her into vulnerable and manipulative situations.
Every woman's liberation attempt, the world over, has had its own backlash. Patriarchal, male dominated societies have somehow deluded us all into believing that female is the weaker and an inferior sex. Even Mr. Freud is guilty of that. Gandhiji made a wise decision by assimilating women in freedom struggle, which made it feasible for India to have a female prime minister in Indira Gandhi whereas America still has not achieved it.
New theories are coming to light due to the research initiated by female scientists who are setting the records straight. Anthropologist Adrienne Zihlman's article in TIME magazine states that in the survival struggle of human species, 30 % food was gathered by males from hunting but females were gatherers from plants etc of 70% food source which enabled our survival.
The child birth discomforts and its associated difficulties actually provides mothers tremendous physical boosters as high Estrogen levels in the blood stream prevents many dreaded disease like Alzheimer's and even Dementia. The Fetal cells from a mother's off spring, survive in her blood stream, decades after child birth and provides resistance to many diseases and still we call women the weaker sex! Female as perhaps the 'less understood' species would be a more accurate assumption.
Aphrodite or Venus or a Laxmi emerging from an ocean along with wealth and breath taking sublime beauty is a picture for all art at all times. The female form has enchanted the eye since millennium and reached at the threshold of 21st century.
Nari, of 2001 is reshaping the world around her by entering all fields & endeavors. Along with men, she has emerged as a doctor, engineer, lawyer, astronaut, aviator, soldier, political leader, humanitarian, teacher, nurse, beauty queen, actress, singer, musician, poet, thinker and writer, painter etc.
Nari is the first teacher of an infant in most cases. A female plays many roles. She's a loving, daughter, sister, wife and a mother then an elder of a family as Nani Ma and Dadi ji fulfilling not only herself but also the society.
May the Nari of 2001, continue her struggle as she supports the male, in their role as their loving, nurturing and worthy counterpart. The two wheels of life are male and female which move the flow of time as it becomes, History, Civilization and Culture for us to glimpse and to learn from, in order to evolve as better human beings.
The opportunities for achievements accomplishments are manifold as we all come closer through faster mode of telecommunication medias and Internet, which is taking us at an alarming speed ahead! Fast-forward is here to stay! As we catch a glimpse of the emerging, beguiling swaroop of Nari 2001!
� Lavanya Shah
March 8, 2001