The Warrior- Seema Kushwaha
Issue 18 | October 18, 2020
With Marie Curie being the only person to ever win a Nobel Prize in two different sciences, and Indira Gandhi taking on the world as first female prime minister of a present-day G20 country, and Ella Fitzgerald quashing the stereotypes to become the first woman to win multiple Grammy awards; women have time and again proved, in every possible field, that no gender, in particular, is superior to another in this competitive world of today.
However, on the one hand, where our country worships Goddesses and refers to the girl child as an inevitable form of the same; the steep dip in the Child Sex Ratio (CSR), on the other hand, tells an altogether different story.
The CSR, defined as the number of girls per 1000 of boys between 0-6 years of age, has only gotten worse over time. The latest (2011) census numbers show that there are 918 girls per 1000 boys which is significantly lower than 927 in 2001. “The decreasing sex ratio in this age group (0-6) has a cascading effect on the population over a period of time leading to diminishing sex ratio in the country,” explains the Census of India website. “The magnitude of the decline can be seen by the fact that 31 States / UTs have registered a decline in Child Sex Ratio during 2001. One thing is clear – the imbalance that has set in at this early age group is difficult to be removed and will remain to haunt the population for a long time to come.”
Keeping this alarming issue in mind, the Government of India –in 2015– launched BetiBachao, BetiPadhao (Save the girl child, educate the girl child) Yojana. And with this campaign, the Government aims to improve the efficiency of welfare services intended for girls in India and to eradicate the evil of gender bias.
However, this does not mean that women at the microlevel have not been acting as a catalyst for the same cause- women empowerment. Seema Kushwaha is one of many such modern-day women who have subdued the prejudices against women with their unparalleled actions and beautiful ethos.
Seema Kushwaha, brought up in a small village Ugrapur in Etawah district of Uttar Pradesh, was born to Baladin Kushwaha and Ramkuanri Kushwaha. On completing her graduation in LL.B. from Kanpur University in 2005, Seema also received her Bachelor of Journalism degree in 2006 from Uttar Pradesh Rajarshi Tandon Open University. Being a dreamer and achiever since her young days, Seema did her M.A. in Political Science and started legal practicing at the Supreme Court of India in 2014.
Seema is widely known for her immense contribution to the Singh family’s fight against the culprits involved in the awful Nirbhaya gang-rape case as the victim’s legal representative. In 2014, besides actively participating in numerous protests demanding justice, Seema (also) officially took the role of Nirbhaya’s lawyer demanding capital punishment for all the convicts involved. In January of the same year, Seema also became a legal adviser of an institution –Nirbhaya Jyoti Trust– founded by Nirbhaya’s parents to aid women who have experienced violence in any form.
Apart from her widely-known fight for justice for Nirbhaya, Seema has also been involved in other notable works. She is also a legal adviser of Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Foundation- a national organization working towards enhancing and strengthening educational fields. Also, according to reports, Seema will also be representing the family of the Hathras gang-rape victim (a 19-year-old Dalit woman). This move, on the part of the reliable legal representative, reassures the fact that justice will inevitably be served to the innocent girl falling victim to the nerve of some people!
It is women like Seema who force people prejudiced against women to crush their restricted thinking and give respect to women which they rightfully deserve. Also, with innumerable independent women –across the nation– just like Seema, our country is bound to become greater with absolutely no place for gender bias in its heart.