Phenomenal Woman

Phenomenal Woman-gaura-devi-bali-chipko-movement-moment-india-teamdevasthali-uttarakhand

Phenomenal Woman

Chipko movement- I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.”
—Maya Angelou, “Phenomenal Woman”
These lines by Maya Angelou stated in her poem “Phenomenal Woman” shows how even though someone is not beautiful on the outside compared to society’s standards, there is an inner beauty that makes a woman even more beautiful.

Keeping these lines in mind, I would like to share about Chipko movement.Many of us would not appreciate the women of this movement as they were not well educated nor had any high society profile.But we shouldn’t forget the fact that inner beauty is what matters the most and these women protecting their forests is something we all should follow to protect our environment.Almost everyone is aware of the story and how some women hugged the trees to save them from being cut by the officials.Today, I would like to throw some light on the life of Gaura devi’s companion- Bali devi rana.

She was one of the girls who was with Gaura devi and she is still giving her services being an old yet courageous lady to protect her village and its habitat. The most inspiring thing beside all her achievements and immense courage is that even after getting multiple awards and being felicitated in foreign lands,she still lives in her own village- Raini (रैनी).

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Once she was called for The United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) first Global Women’s Assembly on Environment: Women as the Voice for the Environment (WAVE) convened from 11-13 October 2004, in Nairobi, Kenya. at such an international level,she still chose to speak that too in her local dialect, not even Hindi. She spoke in Tolchha (तोलछा)dialect and everyone was given a translated copy of her speech.She addressed saying, “भाईयों और बहनों, स्यामन्या” which means greetings to all brothers and sisters.

This way of addressing at an international level really should be imbibed by each one of us that an ordinary woman who was invited for such a global event and instead of speaking in English which is used by many to show elite status or Hindi,she chose in her local dialect.At that point,she did not feel ashamed to show her true self.

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If she belonged to a particular society then she is proud to showcase it in every way.She even did not dress up in a saree or other graceful attire.She was seen in her local traditional outfit and she was totally carrying it out with complete ease.She usually wears her ordinary ghagra (inner skirt),angadi (blouse)and the outer drape known as pakhi in the local area.She lives a simple and humble life and never in her life tried to follow the western trends.She is a living example to every single person as to how women can fight for their rights and not only bring powerful laws into action but also help in curbing the evils of the society.
What I want to show is that no matter where you go,whatever you do or you become, never forget your roots. If a tree is cut off the root then it won’t survive. Being from whatever backgrounds,one should be proud of his/her culture, traditions and customs.

Jai Uttarakhand.
Jai bharat.



Deepali Martolia