What do an IAS officer working the front lines during the coronavirus pandemic, a virologist successfully developing India’s first coronavirus testing kit, and a woman travelling 1400 km in the span of three days during the lockdown, all have in common? The answer – A tremendous passion for duty, unrivalled capacity for persevering, and most saliently – motherhood.
G Srijana Brings One-Month-Old Baby to Work
G Srijana, an IAS officer and Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation Commissioner (GVMC), decided to forego her statutory six-month maternity leave, and instead returned to her work at the front lines, after a mere 22-days of giving birth to her baby. Unable to leave the baby at home, she even brought her barely one-month-old baby with her to work.
According to Srijana, she realised she needed to be at work considering the importance of her responsibilities during this difficult emergency period.
Srijana has been hailed a hero unanimously on the Internet, with even the IAS Association publicly praising her extraordinary efforts.
Minal Bhosale Delivers Testing Kit Hours Before Delivering Baby
A few weeks into the pandemic panic, the headline “Virologist delivers kit, then baby” was all over the Internet. Minal Dakhave Bhosale headed the R&D team that managed to develop India’s first coronavirus testing kit within six weeks.
Bhosale asserts that her team worked extremely hard, given the emergency situation. According to her, this was a “challenge” she had to take on to “serve” her nation. Bhosale worked on the kit till the very day before her delivery, submitting the testing kit just hours before giving birth to her baby.
Razia Begum Travels 1400 Kms to Bring Home Stranded Son
A single mother of two boys undertook a 1400 km journey on a scooter, from Telangana to Nellore, over three days. Why? To bring her youngest, who was stranded in Nellore, back home.
Not wanting to risk her elder son being detained, she decided to travel the distance herself, after receiving permission from the local police. With no traffic or people on the roads, and limited sustenance, she admits to the journey on the two-wheeler being quite difficult and daunting.
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Celebration Of Women As Mothers Who Go The Extra Mile.
There is no denying that these incredible women’s actions deserve massive recognition and respect. They have worked tirelessly and selflessly with the aim to help others during an exceedingly frightening time.
However, even as we celebrate them, let us be mindful that we do not create and uphold unrealistic benchmarks of ‘womanhood’ and ‘motherhood’, that will be impossible for most women to meet.
The benchmark to celebrate women and their actions cannot be stuck in the vacuum of their being mothers. Srijana and Bhosale’s work, and Razia Begum’s brave determination, deserve to be recognised and commended, irrespective of how they were done in opposition to, or because of, their maternal instincts and motherhood.
Women are expected to meet unrealistic standards; they’re pressured into trying to be “superwomen” who tackle it all, if they want to receive even a tiny portion of their dues.
Mothers can be celebrated without romanticising their maternity; and regardless of motherhood, all women can, and should, be celebrated unconditionally, always.
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