I went to meet Sudha Verghese, a social activist working for upliftment of Mmahadalit girls in Bihar through her organization called Naari gunjan for last 21 years and when I saw this opportunity to write about #MadeOfGreat , I remembered Sudha didi.
She arrived from Kerala to Bihar in her twenties as a teacher way back in 1965. She came across a community called Musahar community ,the most backward of all where the men folk worked daily as labors and then drank in evening, women were abused ,girls were married off at the age of 7-8 years , dirt and filth occupied their colonies, poverty has taken such an ugly form that they started eating “Rats” and to her utter shock, rapes of the girls by dominant caste groups were a common occurrence, never reported.
She then started working for their cause selflessly from their small needs like constructing nalas to demanding equal pay for work for the women,educating their children to making aware of their rights, Sudha Didi was everywhere on her cycle, at their call.Though there are endless stories of service and humanity by this lady what really made me salute her was when she decided to fight against the rape of the dalit girls .It all started when she persuaded the family of a Gang rape victim in 1997 to file an FIR against the rapists assuring them that their prevails a justice of land and the accusers just can’t walk away. The dominant caste from which the rapists belonged came to their colony and threatened them. They could have never imagined that a frail looking Sudha didi was the strength behind women standing against them .After Thana gheraos, Road blocks, petitions , dhamki,years of legal fight and attempts to even shoot her she managed to put the rapists behind the bars .It lits up her eyes when she tells me that within two years of that incident ,9 rape cases were reported which brought down the incidences of rape as a tool to suppress women of lower caste.
And after 21 years of self less work this woman has pulled hundreds of girls out of the trap of poverty ,rape and oppression through her Nari Gunjan which has 250 hostels, 550 self help groups and now giving training to thousands of girls for making them self dependent.
I herself asked her what drives her to work tirelessly for these girls?
You know why do I strongly believe she is #madeofgreat ,because to my question she replied : “ I found meaningfulness in life by dedicating my life to them , to the people who were left with no choices. I have seen many deaths, multiple struggles which gives me hope to carry forward this journey with people. It’s a blessing of God that I chose to work for them and without their support ,their generosity , their love and care I could not have done what ever has been achieved .Its these people who drive me , they eat a chapati less but they never forget to feed me ,they catch fish and rats and gift it to me as a matter of gratitude. what more can I ask for?
What impact she made on my life – She taught me the meaning of Service, meaning of true strength, trustworthiness and the larger cause of life.
She is a woman #madeofgreat just like Tata motors the name which symbolizes “Trust, Excellence &Self belief .With the Lionel Messi joining this team isn’t it cool that the most trusted brand is associated with someone #madeofgreat just like Sudha didi , her courage, her Naari Gunjan and belief in her work.
Watch this video for the rocking union of Tata and Messi as two brands #madeofgreat unite: