HIMMATPURA (BATHINDA): A tiny village in Punjab‘s Bathinda district, which has the fifth lowest sex ratio in the state, has started empowering women by displaying their names prominently outside their houses.
Himmatpura village, home to just 350 people, has reversed the state-wide trend of displaying names of male members outside homes and instead has prominently put up names of women in front of each house along with their mobile numbers and a slogan about social awakening.
Himmatpura may be the first village in Punjab to honour women in such a unique manner, but the practice was started in Haryana‘s Bibipur village in July 2015. According to Punjab health department data for 2016-17, the Bathinda district’s sex ratio is 888.
Himmatpura is home to small and marginal farmers with landholdings between nearly 4 and 20 acres.
A woman heads the six-member panchayat that has two more female members. Interestingly, 55% of the villagers are women.
The village gram sabha decided to prominently display the names of all women outside their homes a fortnight ago.
Its effort got a boost from a panchayat member, Roop Singh, who contributed Rs 10,000 to prepare 62 nameplates — one for each house in the village. The panchayat has created a corpus fund for females — it will start giving shagun of Rs 5,100 on marriage to all female villagers and Rs 1,100 on the birth of a girlchild in the village from this Lohri. Apart from this scheme, local girls excelling in any field, especially education or sports will also be honoured from Saturday.
“Not only by displaying names of females, we also try to promote female education and help our daughters get higher education in various colleges. We want our daughters to be independent. Apart from thinking big for females, the village has another first to its credit as elections have never been held to elect the village panchayat ever since the village was carved out of Mehraj in 1997. On all four occasions, the panchayat has been chosen unanimously — two males and two women have been at the helm of affairs twice each, including the ongoing term,” said Malkit Kaur.
Local villagers, Charanjit Kaur and Mohinder Kaur, said they were excited by the changes. “We feel elated over women being given so much importance in an otherwise maledominated society. It all happened with complete support of males, who happily supported the move rather than putting up stumbling blocks,” the two pensioners said.
There is no use finding fault with the EVMs now when the party leadership committed a historic blunder with regard to the overall strategy in the elections. First, it should look within to find out reasons that stopped AAP’s march to power,” Chandigarh-based The Tribune quoted Mann as saying.
19 Feb 2019
20 Feb 2019