Sanjana is a B.Sc. third year student in Maharani Lakshmibai College, located in Bhiwani Rohila in Haryana. Very recently, she painted the name of her mother, Bhanwati Devi, above her father’s name on the wall of their house. She wanted the villagers to know that the home belongs to her mother too, because the current practice in Haryana is that only names of male members of households are written or inscribed on nameplates outside homes.
Sanjana is not alone in her efforts to get villagers to acknowledge the equal status of women.
Picture for representation purposes only. Source: YouTube.com
Women in three villages of Hisar district in Haryana, a state known for its skewed ratio of boys to girls, are doing the same — painting their own names alongside those of their husbands, outside their homes.
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The campaign was launched on February 7 from Bhiwani Rohila, where villagers had recently elected an all woman panchayat. Sarsana and Bandaheri are the two other villages that are part of this campaign.
“In rural areas, women are known only as daughter, wife or mother of male members of the family. Because of this thinking and practice, women sometimes even forget their name. We want to change this status of women in society,” Sanjana told The Times Of India.
In 2015, Bibipur panchayat, also in Haryana, had run a similar campaign to replace names of family-heads on nameplates with those of their daughters.