Akhil Bharatiya Prachar Pramukh of Rashtra Sevika Samiti (RSS) Sunila Sohwani stated that the need of the hour is man-woman cooperation, not equality. Women’s Empowerment should not depend on external forces.
Sunila Sohwani was speaking at an event Amritha Shatham lecture series, organised by Kesari Malayalam Weekly, in connection with the centenary celebrations of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). The lecture was on the role of Rashtra Sevika Samiti in Women’s Empowerment.
“Equality and gender equality among men and women are foreign concepts; equal power leads to disputes; on the other hand, we need cooperation,” said Sohwani. She also said that a man and woman should have a sense of responsibility and duty consciousness.
Referring to Rashtra Sevika Samiti, Sohwani said it was founded in 1936 by Lakshmibai Kelkarji. It resulted from her personal life experiences and guidelines from RSS founder and Sarsanghchalak Dr Keshav Baliram Hedgewar. Women’s Empowerment was one of the major aims. During the freedom struggle, 1800 women participated in the satyagraha in 1942 in connection with the Quit India movement. Post-independence, women did not get deserving positions.
The Lok Sabha has passed the Women’s Reservation Bill, which seeks to reserve 33 per cent of all seats in the Lok Sabha and State legislative assemblies. Now, 81 MPs belong to the families of the leaders of one political party. Hereafter, 181 women MPs are expected to enter Lok Sabha.
Women should be empowered, then only excellent women lawmakers will come up. The term’ women empowerment’ is in wide currency now. But, it is not possible through any vaccination. Women do have that inherent force. Sevika Samiti has been awakening it for the last 90 years. The term’ women empowerment’ is in wide currency now. But, it is not possible through any vaccination. Women do have that inherent force. Sevika Samiti has been awakening it for the last 90 years.
Lakshmibai Kelkar established that Women’s Empowerment is not to be achieved through men’s protection or legislation but through self-reliance and power.
Sohwani said Sevika Samiti has 3,500 sakhas; and 1200 pracharikas working for the organisation. Crores of women are linked with the organisation. Even though they are fewer, their quality is superb, and they work as lighthouses throughout the country. Thousands of NGOs work for the betterment of the women. Their sphere of activities are education, employment, protection of health and so on. Several people talk, on top of their voices, about Women’s Empowerment but not about the national interest or the country’s glory. But Samiti believes women’s power should be utilised for the nation’s sake. Women should gain strength and be able to lead the family in the right direction. Then, only they will be capable of leading the society and the country. NGOs do have several interests, and they maintain foreign attitudes. During the early days of Sevika Samiti, Lakshmibai Kelkar was engaged in real women empowerment. The community kitchen, run by women, was the brainchild of Kelkar. She introduced a novel educational system and programmes for women. She created a role model by working for the women in danger zones during the country’s participation. Recently, Samiti workers came to the rescue of their compatriots during times of natural calamities and social issues. Suneela Sovaniji said that Samiti workers were busy cremating the COVID-19 victims in Bhuj, Gujarat.
The Durga is inherent in the women should be awakened to converting them to personalities of exemplary character, courage, dynamism and acceptance. This way, man and woman can coexist as the two wings of Garuda, as Swami Vivekananda presented, leading the nation together. Sovaniji called on the women to join the ranks of Sevika Samiti in its aforementioned activities.
Prof. Dr P Priya of Kozhikode Government Arts & Science College presided. Dr Priya pointed out that several schemes of union government are helpful for the uplift of women. She opined that the characters in our epics are role models for women. She quoted Geeta that wisdom and sense would vanish if sentimental vigilance is missing, whatever the quantum of one’s wisdom and talents may be.
Karnika Sundar, Kozhikode Zilla Karyavahika of Rashtra Sevika Samiti welcomed the gathering. Shaima Ponnath, state secretary of Bharatiya Mahila Morcha, proposed a vote of thanks.