As the biggest festival of the nation grips our soul with the festive fervour, here are the three stories of strong women who have been instrumental in taking the legacy of the Durga Puja years after years. When the Shakti worships the Universal ‘Shakti’ the purity, essence and flavour reaches to a different level.
Yashomati Devi, the Woman who got married at the age of 12 became Widow at the age of 20. She has 2 sons and 4 grandchildren. Despite being faced by lots of hardships and trouble, Yashomati Devi never broke down, she single-handedly organises the Puja and worships Ma Durga in her own petty way. Nobody helps her financially, not even her sons, she lives in a small hut 2-6 ft away from her son’s house in the small village of Altor in West Bengal. She keeps saving for this Durga puja whole round the year in her Small Lakshmi Jhapi, she told me. Durga is the Daughter who somehow manages her own financial fund through Yashomati for her Puja to be done and till her last breath, she will worship Durga, no matter whatever trouble comes her way.
Mishra Ginni is the Alone Strong Woman of this Entire Zamindar Mishra Family who takes the major part in doing this Durga puja. Since times immemorial, rather since the time of a partition or much beyond that, this Pujo of Mishra Zamindar Family is On. The Women of her family also helps her in carrying forward this huge worship festival. Her aura is something that made people believe in her that she is the Durga of their Village and she is the protector. Despite being old, she is always up for everyone, who is in the problem.
The Women of Mondal Family of Birbhum district of West Bengal is no way less than any other Athlete of our nation. Rather you can call them superwomen. Besides maintaining the joint family and its members, the women also do the worship of Goddess Durga. It is the puja which is carried and operated by the women-only and for many generations. This puja is more than 100 years old and since ages, much before independence and swadeshi, the women of this family was always outrageous and took lead in different ways.
The Puja is not just about the rituals and standards but the passion with which it is carried on. When the women come forward for such things it is really ‘women empowerment’.