The other day I was going through different inspirational videos on you tube, when this video of Ruma Roka caught my attention.
This video is so inspirational that I couldn’t stop visiting their website to find out more about them.
The stats presented by her in her speech is heart wrecking. around 67 million people is India are deaf and mute. When we find our child differently abled like this as so called normal people we get scared. When doctors and temples can’t give us enough solace probably then people like Ruma comes to our life as an angel.
She doesn’t have anyone in her family who is deaf and mute, yet she was moved by the suffering of these people so much that she has learnt their language to make a big difference in all these 67 million people’s life. She tried to prove that these people may be differently abled but not disabled at all. With her dedication to change their lives, she has opened an NGO Noida Deaf Society (NDS) that trains these people for employment.
Her story of initial failures only tells us that we need to try different ways to succeed in life especially when we are trying for a bigger change, when we are aiming high; And rightly so, today we find more than 1500 of her deaf students employed in prestigious companies from different sectors. The success stories of these differently able students make us realize that they may be deaf but they are definitely not dumb as popularly referred to as ‘deaf and dumb’.
These success stories also forces us to think about various methods of empowerment programs our govt is running in the name of women empowerment. Under various empowerment programs, we have only been creating gender biased laws that ensures that women are empowered only in the form of a wife not as Mother-in-Law or Sister-in-Law. Instead of focusing on secondary education for women we are trying to create reservation in IITs and IIMs. Instead of arranging for proper vocational training and enabling women to participate in workforce, we are trying to provide for husband’s property through IrBM, simply on marriage.
In India, where we have women like Ruma, who consistently try to add value to our life by her hard work, and teach such differently able people (who needed to be provided more govt. help rather than able bodied, educated wives) to work in a competitive world and prove their abilities, we also have a lifelong maintenance system that encourages divorced women to get lifelong maintenance and be dependant on someone else, rather than doing anything of their own.
When I look at these two different forms of empowerment, I wonder when will the women in India realize the politics of women empowerment. Will they take lessons from Ruma’s inspirational stories? Will they understand what is true empowerment? Will they understand that empowerment is not about filing false cases on a man and getting away with his money / property. Rather empowerment is like what Ruma had been doing to the deaf of India. Creating job opportunity for them, making them employable, proving their worth.
I am sure many women in India will agree with me. Many would want a respectable life independent of someone and truly empowered. Hope our politicians hear us right and take the right strategies to empower people.