FROM A CORRESPONDENT
BONGAIGAON, March 18: Overcoming fear and differences, around 300 women from the Bodo, Adivasi, Nepali and Rajbongshi communities celebrated Women’s Day together at Aie Powali LP School premises near the Indo-Bhutan border in Chirang district, recently to convey the message of peace and unity to the society.
‘Kopila Mahila Federation’, a women’s group which had been formed by the ANT, an NGO working for development of villages in the Deosri area in the district, organised the celebration in which invited persons from different apolitical organisations spoke on the theme – ‘Empowerment of Women is Progress of Humanity’.
All the speakers said that they were really touched and thanked the efforts made by the women to overcome differences and take the first step for peace. They called on women to play an even more active role for keeping peace as women and children are the biggest sufferers during conflicts and displacement.
It was also a joy to see women excitedly taking part in games and sports events – forgetting their differences and laughing and having fun together.
In the tug-of-war game, it was touching to see Bodo and Adivasi women in the same team, pulling the rope together, and not pulling apart from each other. It was perhaps for the first time after the conflict, that people have had an occasion to laugh and let go of their sorrows.
The communities then dressed in their traditiol attire, showcased their traditiol dances very beautifully.
Aie Powali village is surrounded by both Bodo and Adivasi villages and as such the location of the function was well-chosen for spreading the message of joy, love, respect and humanity.
The women not only planned and maged the programme but each self-help group member contributed rice, vegetables and some money for the event.
“After a conflict, relationships are broken and at most times they do not automatically become normal again. They need mending. Hence, many more people need to come forward to invest in and create events like these as safe spaces for communities in conflict to come together again”, said Jennifer Liang, Trustee of the ant which is committed to build such safe spaces for the sake of peace.