Women’s Day: Meet Inspiring Women Who Made Odisha Proud
God’s most beautiful creation, women, have a special day dedicated to them every year. Though no specific day can be enough to express gratitude for the role women play in our society, March 8 – Women’s Day, can serve as a reminder of the wonderful women we are surrounded with in our lives.
On the occasion of women’s day, Mudhi Mixture brings you the story of three such inspiring women from Odisha.
Chhayarani Sahu, Farmer
Women and agriculture have long played a big role in society. Women form a considerable part of the workforce in the agrarian business. One such farmer is Chhayarani Sahu from Basudevpur block in Odisha’s Bhadrak district. She along with her husband Sarbeswar takes care of the seven-acre fields. During the lockdown, Chhayarani started distributing vegetables for free to those in need in 15 neighbouring villages. Despite the produce being her primary source of income, she decided to give away free vegetables, instead of selling in the market for profit. Once the lockdown was over, she continued with her philanthropy work and started highlighting the stories of distress on her social media profile. Through this, she has been able to reach out to donors to help many distressed families.
This is a story of sheer grit and bravery. The 19-year old from Odisha’s Balangir district, who worked in a brick kiln in Tamil Nadu, helped rescue over 6000 labourers. Manasi and her younger sister went to Tamil Nadu to work in a brick kiln and pay off the debt that their father had taken to pay for the medical expenses of their late mother. But, upon their arrival, Manasi realised she had been cheated upon and given lesser wages than promised. The working hours were cruel too and the labourers often had to skip their meals. When the pandemic struck, the labourers tried to return to their villages but were refused by the owner. When they protested, they were beaten up mercilessly. Manasi gathered courage and somehow managed to film the brutality on her phone. She sent it to the local people who alerted the police. Her act saved over 6000 labourers working in different brick kilns in the area.
Forest officer from Odisha Sasmita Lenka is the first woman from India to receive the prestigious United Nations Asia Environmental Enforcement Award. She received the award under the ‘Great Leadership and Impact’ category. She has busted several pangolin rackets including an international one in which 28 smugglers were arrested. She has also launched several awareness programmes for the villagers and included them in helping bust these rackets.
Mudhi Mixture salutes all women achievers.