FYUNLI KAUTHIG – A Celebration Of Womanhood
Women have a history that has been systematically suppressed. Their collective spirituality has been tainted to fit the needs of men and those in power. This has a profound effect on the self-esteem of girls and the women they become. And as ironic as it is, we belong to a culture that celebrates the divine feminine, the goddess, as the web weaver of the life force-the Shakti. Despite this, we have rendered half the human population so helpless, vulnerable and victimized that we now have to find ways and means to empower the Shakti herself.
SEWA’S EFFORTS IN UTTARAKHAND
Sewa International’s project in Uttarakhand is a scintillating example of how an economy and society revolving around women has changed the face of development in these regions of Rudraprayag and Chamoli. A matriarchal or feminine world does not mean that one queen shall rule the world. It simply means a world in which a Mother’s Heart leads all social institutions, corporations, and governments. A heart that chooses cooperation over competition, harmony over aggression, nurturing over annihilation. It is this spirit of womanhood that we celebrate on the eve of Fyunli Kauthig every year on 8th March, since last 3 years. Fyunli, a beautiful yellow flower marking the onset of spring is a native to the beautiful land of Uttarakhand The day is also celebrated as the International Women’s Day throughout the world, since it’s adaption by the UN in 1975.
As part of our post 2013 relief and rehab work in Uttarakhand, the SHG model of development was incorporated, whereby women were mobilised to form self help groups, saving money and interloaning the same to attain a level of financial security and also to start their own small businesses. With each year passing by, and the SHG network spreading across 6 clusters of Chandrapuri, Pokhari, Tapovan, Simli, Narayankoti and Ukhimath, with a total of 200 groups and about —- women, we started involving them in skill development initiatives like knitting, ringal weaving, computer training , floriculture etc with an aim to diversify and enhance the livelihood opportunities for them.
The inclusion of PMKK has roped in new frontiers opening for these trained and skilled young women in various job roles such as Organic growers, mobile technicians, general duty nursing assistants, food processing technicians, apparel creators, beauty professionals, travel consultants etc.
PAST GLIMPSES OF THE EVENT
The last 3 years saw a plethora of activities being carried out throughout the day by the women from various parts of Rudraprayag and Chamoli. Our team would go from door to door, traveling hundreds of kms, making the women aware of the event, inviting them and encouraging their participation. From cultural dances presented by women and young girls, belonging to the region and the skits performed by the various verticals of SKVK project, the event also saw a camaraderie and bonhomie amongst women when they enthusiastically participated in sports activities like Tug-Of-War. The women from Bhutia tribes in their traditional attires and majestic dance moves lit up the entire stage. The 2017 event saw rains lashing since morning and yet the women of the area turned up in large numbers to attend the event.
The event also recognizes the women achievers of the region. Felicitation of various women achievers is done on the day. Smt. Bali Devi, a prominent environmentalist and the last remaining Hero of revolutionary Chipko Movement, Smt. Hema Negi Karasi a Garhwali Folk Singer,Ms. Ranjana Rawat, a Mushroom entrepreneur, Ms. Anjali Rana, President Awardee young artist, Smt. Sunita Vasishth and Smt. Urmila Devi both educationalists were some of the women who have been felicitated, apart from other women who have brought about changes in their respective fields. In 2018, the event was graced by Dr Rajni Sarain, International Coordinator of Indian Medical Association, who inspired the women to chase their dreams.
What started as a gathering of the women of Sewa family amounting to 600-800 has now risen to an impressive number of 4000 women, who share their stories, traditions and a sense of sisterhood towards the common goal of development.
We hope that the coming, 4th edition of the event sees women join together as a true force of strength and perseverance in order to build a better society .
Highlights of this year
- Folk dances and music performances by the local women
- Skits highlighting social issues
- Felicitation of women achievers and entrepreneurs from the state
- Kaushal mela showcasing skills of our PMKK trainees