Manasi Pradhan, The Unsung Force Driving Women Towards A Brighter Future

She was born and brought up in Odisha in utter poverty and lacked the most basic of resources. Her entire childhood she struggled due to poor condition of her family. The area she belonged to was so backward that it didn’t even have proper infrastructure. She had to travel 15 km daily just to reach her school. Yet she became the first female matriculate of her school and was so determined to make a difference that she crossed every obstacle to become the light that not just enlightened her family but paved the way for a lot of women who were deprived just like she once was.

Not all legends are told

Mansai Pradhan (62), an internationally acclaimed poet and author didn’t get everything on a silver platter. She had to cut through the mountains to become what she is. The troubles she faced during her childhood made her realize why women empowerment is an unanswered question. It was the not just poverty but lack of education and no knowledge about basic rights was the reason for the downtrodden condition of women in backward areas. She spread the words of awareness through her powerful writings like Urmi-O-Uchchwas, Akasha Deepa and Swagatika which were later converted into regional languages. This started a revolution with the intent of women empowerment.

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Foundations for deprived women

She started her own printing business and literary journal, Jasodhara Global Media in 1983 and within few years its exponential growth put her in the league of very successful entrepreneurs of her time. Her first major step towards women empowerment was founding the OYSS Women in 1987. Its purpose was to motivate the young girls for higher education and nurture them as future leaders through training them in their chosen fields. She herself was the student union leader in her college days. 

She put in every possible effort for the welfare of women of her state and became an example for the nation and the rest of the world. She also founded Nirbhaya Samaroh and Nirbhaya Vahini organisation which are volunteered by over 10,000 people working actively across the nation to keep violence against women in check. 

Honor comes to those who serve

In 2009, Honor for women national campaign by Manasi released a four point charted of demands that were accepted by the state governments. It was to clamp down liquor trade, training self defense to women, appointing special protection force for women security and provision of fast track courts for women. Her outstanding work led her to prestigious awards like Outstanding women award in 2011 and Rani Laxmibai Stree shakti puraskar in 2013 which is the highest honor to any women for extraordinary work in this field.  

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She has also served on the panel of Central Board of Film Certification for India and Inquiry Committee of the National Commission for Women. She was also invited by Oxford University to address the union. Her work has given hope to a lot of women around the nation to seek a better future and work towards it. She is the rising flame that will lighten the upcoming generation with her selfless effort.

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