Meet Chandrakala Bhargaw Who Is Fighting For Women Welfare And Empowerment For Over 30 years:
“Be A Kind Of Women That Your Feet Hits The Floor Each Morning, The Devil Says Oh Crap She’s Up”.
“An educated women can educate the whole family”. Have you ever experience this proverb in your life? Well, I have experienced this. She’s my Mom. Women are so integrated part of the progression anything in this world. Yes right, behind every great man there is great Women. No matter who she is your wife, mother or sister. They play a crucial part in everyone’s success.
Women not only encourage others to be successful but also they have same ability to move high and become successful. In today’s world, men and women are walking on the same path at the same level. We can also see women working as a professional in the field were men’s involvement is higher. Women like Meena Bindra, Indra Nooyi, Saina Nehwal, Arundhati Bhattacharya, Mithali Raj and many more. These are the women who are equaling with the men caliber. Such are the women who have created history.
These are how women play a crucial role. This also makes us realized how important women are for the nation’s development.
The Ugly Side: –
In some region, women are independent enough that they can manage anything on their own.
While the ugly side is, in some remote region they are still reliant on men, tolerating injustice still kept inside the four walls of the house. Still living with lots of restriction.
In such a remote area and around the restricted mindset of society how can a woman get a chance to go up and think for the development of society? We might even observe such societies have never developed.
It’s true women and men both are an integral part of our society. Both have different capacities to work towards the societies and develop them. But it is important to understand both need to work toe-to-toe, hand-in-hand and I am we will witness the miracle.
Chandrakala Bhargaw – Her Fight Of Women: –
Credit – Adarsha Mahila Griha Udyog (AMGU) / Chandrakala Bhargaw – President Of Adarsha Mahila Griha Udyog (AMGU)
Chandrakala Bhargaw is a co-founder and president of Adarsha Mahila Griha Udyog (AMGU) for 30 years. Chandrakala Bhargaw and her NGO group fight for women rights in Latur.
Latur is a district in the Maharashtra state, India. There are many regions in Latur were right for women is still an issue. People are uneducated, so the level of mediocre thoughts are high. The society never let women level up with men. The condition of women here in some region is still in worst condition. Women never got the chance to be independent. They are still reliant and dependent on men. There should be change is such a condition.
To change this situation, Adarsha Mahila Griha Udyog (AMGU) was established in 1976. And in 1983 Chandrakala Bhargaw become the member of Adarsha Mahila Griha Udyog (AMGU).
Some people experience something which hurts them so badly that they tend to bring change. The change might be anything personal, social or emotional. They make these experience their purpose. The same thing happened with Mrs. Chandrakala Bhargaw.
Once Chandrakala saw a woman burned alive after her marriage within 3 months. She tried hard to get justice for that women. But she didn’t succeed. And this is the main purpose to let her join Adarsha Mahila Griha Udyog (AMGU).
She had shared her experience through numerous books, article, lectures and various seminars. She was one of the main people who had passed legislation by Maharashtra Government supporting women causes.
Chandrakala Bhargaw continues her work helping the various organization in India. She is mainly recognized as President of Adarsha Mahila Graha Udyog, Latur. She Continuously participated in presenting issues faced by Women. AMGU explained people problems of Indian women through plays, music, and discussion groups. The encourage everyone for the growth of women.
This is her purpose. I called it as the x-factor. And her x-factor is so strong that she is fighting for women in Latur for than 30 years.
Achievements Of Chandrakala Bhargaw: –
Her work has covered in diverse fields of women empowerment in all terms like social, Legal, financial and educational. She also fights for the elimination of atrocities against women, gender equality and sustainable rural development.
Mrs. Chandrakala Bhargaw was honored in Maharashtra Foundation, USA for the presentation of AMGU. She was invited by.
1) Indian Development Service, Chicago.
2) Indian Development Coalition America Conference in Chicago, USA as a speaker for a presentation of work done by AMGU. [Link]
3) Indian Development Coalition America Conference in Hyderabad, India as a speaker for the presentation of work done by AMGU.
4) Princeton University NJ.
5) Jaya Kamlani the author from the USA included Chandrakala Bhargaw and achievement of AMGU in her book “India With Tough Love”.
6) Her selfless work for women was observed by a government of Maharashtra. So, Government of Maharashtra has awarded her “Ahilya Devi Holkar Puraskar” and others.
7) She was a member of the official delegation representing Indian NGOs (Non-Profit Organizations) at the Fourth International Women‟s Conference held in Beijing, China in 1995.
8) At Disaster Management Workshop, she presented a paper on the problems of women affected by the disastrous earthquake of Latur.
Adarsha Mahila Griha Udyog (AMGU) – Appeal
Here are the Q/A With AMGU President Mrs. Chandrakala Bhargaw On Her Inspirational Work Of Selfless Help For Women: –
1) Can the organization clearly explain the reasons behind the work it is doing? Also, Explain your purpose
The violence against women is increasing day by day Every third woman in India is beaten. Her secondary status in society does not treat her equally though our constitution gives equal status to her.
In our town, Latur, Marathwada region, a woman is burnt after her marriage without any reason. She is either burnt or poisoned or thrown-in a well for many reasons. She is tortured for money, for her character or for some other reason. And it is difficult to get justice for her. Our organization started working for their economic self–reliance. These will give them the confidence to lead the life with of self-respect and face the problems with balanced mind without committing suicide. So we started Family counseling centers to solve her problems – her personal problems, emotional and physical too.
AMGU dreams to build a society with zero violence zone. For that purpose, AMGU strives to run Family counseling centers. Vocational training and self-help groups of women. Training them in all fields such as Legal, social, economic, educational, health etc.
We try to achieve holistic empowerment of women which will create a society free of any kind of violence. As the preparatory work for future society, we focus on the awareness of Adolescent girls and boys too. We have planned their awareness programme in such a way that we expect an attitudinal change in boys towards girls. We make the boys understand that girls or women are not commodities.
They are human beings with emotions and feelings. As UNICEF and UNDP had done the survey and proved that if women are educated and progressed, there will be development and progress of any society. That is the main purpose of our organization. We want a rural area to be focusing on the development of women and adolescents.
2) Your Inspirational Journey?
From 1983, I am actively involved in women’s liberation movement and awareness of gender equality. I saw one daughter of Latur, burned after her marriage within 3 months. We organized a protest march, tried to get justice for the injustice, but we could not get success. That moved me deeply.
We started preventive work. We started family counseling center, organized different Legal and social awareness camps for women. Melavas (Melavas means gatherings) for women, especially in the rural area of Latur district, helped in registering cases of atrocity. We try to solve them with the meetings with other parties, counseling them and make them lead a happy life.
I watched the street play “Mulgi zali Ho” written by Jyoti Mhapsekar, president of Stree Mukti Sanghatana Mumbai. I started presenting it in our area with our group of 11 girls. We direct our play and actively took part in presenting it. With our group, we gave 150 performances and out of that, I presented 41 performances as one woman show. I presented 7 performances in the USA too.
The discussion after the presentation is more important which made people think about the problems of women, gender equality and the solutions for the problems.
With its presentation, we started family counseling center which registered cases of atrocity and tried to find solutions for them. If any deserted woman is reunited with her husband due to our counseling, we felt satisfied. Generally, 50% of the cases are settled and others are filed in the court.
For their health issues, we organized
1) awareness training for preparing nutritious food.
2) Health camps.
3) Cancer Detection Camp.
4) TB awareness programmes, etc.
I observed that in a rural area, women do not buy vegetables as they cannot afford it.
So, we trained them for
2) Distributed Seeds Of 13 Vegetables
3) 4500 women are now involved in growing vegetables, including them in their meals and improving the health of their family. Now they grow vegetables, share them with their neighbors and sell too.
353 SHGs of women in Latur and Chakur Taluka are run by Adarsha Mahila Griha Udyog(AMGU) reaching 4500 women. 70% of them are from below poverty line. They are linked with banks, trained in different vocations and standing on their feet. Their economic self-reliance has changed the whole scenario of the society. AMGU also helped to change their status in family and community better. Their loan from banks and AMGU which is 4,60,98,585/- Rs is paid back 100%. There is no DEFAULT at all. The most satisfying factor is that the money is used for the development of their family. By establishing any business, for the education of their children and for some health issues. The confidence they have gained is tremendous.
The women who had to take their Chappals (slippers ) in their hands while passing the main Chawadi (Grampanchayat Building) as a symbol of showing respect are now coming on the stage and delivering lectures.
Some have been elected as Gram Panchayat member and some are Sarpanch too. They are realizing their rights and implementing their rights in life. Their social mindset too has changed.
1) The attendance of girls in schools increased to 90%.
2) The age of marriage of girls is now 18 and not 14 or 15 as before.
3) The SHG women’s literacy rate has increased to 70%.
4) The anemia cases are reduced to 5%.
5) The non-cooperation of their husbands and family members for SGH dealing is no more.
They are now allowed to attend meetings of SHGs in district place as compared to before. 50% of the women are now giving promise to AMGU for not taking and giving Dowry which is one of the main causes of atrocity against women.
They have started considering their health as important as boys or men. They are now so confident that they will handle any adverse situation without committing suicide. The positive attitude towards life is now seen in everyone’s mind and behavior.
AMGU has given vocational training of
2) Jute Bag Making.
3) Machine Embroidery etc to 12880 women who are now self-reliant.
12990 adolescent girls and boys are given guidance in Lifeskills. AMGU has reached 35 schools from Latur for this guidance. Out of 152 villages, where AMGU works, in 112 villages AMGU worked as a partner of UNICEF for Rural development. For adolescent girls, the programme of Deepshikha was implemented with UNICEF for their life skills. The Deepshikha programme and Jidnyasa programme for adolescents have a great impact on adolescents.
The rural development includes more than 10000 tree-plantation, soak-pits, medicinal-plantation, vermicomposting, organic farming, farm tanks, kitchen-gardens for ecological balance.
HIV/AIDS awareness is also done to make the young generation away from the disease.
Still my journey is continuing now focusing on the draught support programme which is the emergency of the time and place. I get more inspiration by the smile of the suffering women and youth. I hope my dream of zero violence zone will come true in near future in the villages where AMGU is actively working.
3) How does the oorganizationcoordinate its work with others, and how does it ensure that the organisation’s beneficiaries have a say in its decision-making?
AMGU coordinates its work with
- Government Officers.
- Police Inspectors.
- District Police Superintendent.
- District judges.
- Taluka BDOs.
- Gram Vikas Adhikari.
- Rojgar Vikas Adhikari.
- Chairman of ZP.
- Member of Maharashtra women commission.
- All other village level officers for the development of villages. And for the solutions of the cases of an atrocity of women.
I myself and my NGO coordinator are the members of District Dakshata Committee which help AMGU in solving the problems of women.
On the village level, we have trained women from SHGs for counseling and they try to solve the problems of women in emergency and day to day problems. The elected members ( women and men too ) have realized the change and the rights of women.
We meet women one to one, in the meetings of SHG at least twice a month, meet in a big rally and coordinate and cooperate the for the work for women.
They all are involved in the work of the Organisation. Though they are not taking major decisions of the organization, the policy of the organization is decided as per the need of the women. As for the problems of women, they are given all the different ways of solutions and their decision is final. All the options are open before them.
4) Does the organization overly simplify complex issues?
AMGU does simplify the complicated problems of women. With the help of the police, lawyer, social worker and the members of AMGU –all are involved in simplifying and solving the problems of women.
5) Does your organization have stakeholder or is there any people who are willing to help?
AMGU does not have any stakeholder. People donate money to holistic women empowerment. Sometimes funding organization like
2) Indian Development Services.
3) Chicago, USA.
4) Maharashtra Foundation USA supports AMGU for the cause.
6) Is there any risk you’re facing?
We face the risk of short of funds to continue our work. Another risk is about the threats we receive from the culprits. Whenever there is any protest march organized for the sufferer of domestic violence. We receive threats from the culprits for our life. But we continue our work taking help of police, and social workers to continue the work.
7) Your Advice to other leaders and direction to achieve what they want to be?
We motivate, supports and make extra efforts to make SHG women as a successful entrepreneur. Many of our SHG women are dealing with and handling successful business and they have become entrepreneurs.
I would like to say that though the SHG women are not highly educated, they have handled their business successfully and showed other women the path of a successful businessman. If decided and given opportunity, women can become a successful businessman with confidence. Their journey from illiteracy to successful entrepreneurs is inspiring.
Our work primarily focuses on improving women’s lives through social, economic, political, Legal, and health education, along with literacy. We also run many programs focusing on improving different aspects of the rural lives. All these programs have had a great impact on eradicating poverty in those villages.
You can see, the more powerful your purpose is the more dedicated you are. We can learn a number of things from Chandrakala Bhargaw.
1) The most important thing is they are not fear of what they are doing. Gandhiji always says, “Fear Is A Disease”. If we are living in fear we are spreading the disease. They also receive a threat from Culprits. But still, they continue to work for society. They never let fear overcome them. They are above fear so they have achieved so much for society.
2) The second most important thing we can learn is unity. When you read the whole format of the article. You will understand that when you unite you can achieve your purpose. In the case of Chandrakala Bhargaw, her Purpose is empowering women.