By Srikant Mohanty: Although atrocities on women continue unabated, women in India appear fully transformed. Even if, the movement for women’s’ liberation took momentum in the seventies, femininity has at length materialized in its finest version of modernity and maturity. In their amazingly changed roles, women have gone on to become leaders in many fields rather than humble house-wives, busy in the household chores. Be it the fame of immortal Kalpana Chawla or talented Aishwarya Rai, the characters in fair-sex in India is noted for their beauty as well as brain.
The change was rapid in the eighties with the arrival of Information Technology, when parents broke the age-old tradition of not sending their female offspring to technical education. As a matter of fact, the wave of technology abolished to a great extent the prejudices against women in India. The innumerable nuclear families in India opted also to send their girl child for higher education either in technical or professional study. As a result, women in India have come to be recognized as major contributors in every field in India. Within another decade, women will form majority in every technical field.
In this context, the roles of girls in Odisha cannot be marginalized. In almost all branches of technical and professional study, the Odia girls have an outstanding presence. Beginning from martial arts to educational programmes, they are at the forefront of every kind of learning and profession. Before a few years, outshining many candidates in civil services examination, Odia girl Roopa Mishra became the topper in it. She is followed by many others with their distinguished achievements in various fields.
“The fact to be noted in this context is women have not shirked away their traditional roles as home-makers. Coupled with various tasks in their family-lives, they have equally contributed to various fields”-says Mandakini Mishra-the headmistress of a high school at Bhubaneswar.
This rings true as girls are heading more towards unconventional studies and jobs. The other notable thing is, femininity today sharpens its edges to suit the changes brought by time. The girls, who are studying technology and management, are equally prepared for a life-style needed for it. There they shed the age-old inhibitions without slightest compunction.
“Now-a-days, women in Odisha wear whatever makes them comfortable in a work atmosphere. More and more females break the taboos of only wearing traditional dresses during work hours. Be it jeans or tee-shirts or Kurta, the ladies prefer to wear the things that will give them a distinct identity and comforts -says a noted psychologist of Odisha.
In this new avatar, femininity is more practical not whimsical. Women in Odisha understand the complexities of living and therefore they prepare themselves to face the world. The changes are distinct in their language, dressing, attitudes, work and approach.