Contrary to the common belief that women don’t support women, when you hear a woman from a small village standing against the societal pressure to get her widowed daughter-in-law married, you couldn’t feel prouder.
A mother-in-law in Odisha performed the marriage of her 20-year-old widowed daughter-in-law against society’s will.
The woman, Pratima Behera, who was a former sarpanch, set a really great example for the rest of the society by helping her daughter-in-law Lily Behere get remarried on September 11, 2019. Pratima’s younger son Rashmiranjan married Lily in February 2019. But, unfortunately, within only 4 months of marriage, Rashmiranjan died in a coal mine mishap in Bharatpur.
While talking about the unfortunate incident, Pratima shared, “Lily was in deep grief and turned speechless following the death of her husband” However, realizing the unbearable pain that her daughter-in-law was undergoing, Pratima counselled Lily and convinced her to re-marry.
As she wanted her daughter-in-law to look forward in life, she started searching for a groom as Lily agreed to remarry. What makes Pratima such an inspiring role model for women across the country is her forward thinking. She shares why she decided to get her daughter-in-law to remarry:
I know my son will not return. The loss is irreplaceable. I could not stand the miseries of my daughter-in-law who is only 20-years-old. She has the right to be happy in life. Therefore, I decided to get my daughter-in-law married.” It’s not only Pratima who supported her daughter-in-law to restart her life, but also her newly married husband Sangram Behera:
“My father and other family members have accepted Lily as their daughter-in-law. Why should I have any objection? Rather I am happy.”Many activists, as well as women around the country, have praised Pratima for her decision to motivate and inspire her widowed daughter-in-law to lead a new life after her son’s death.
Such true-life events from the remotest parts of our country, bring us to hope that all is not lost. Even the most cliched thoughts are not correct and women definitely can help other women!
At IFORHER, we are celebrating this inspiring act of change. Are you? If you are a CHANGEMAKER and working to make our society a better place for women, please share your story with us and we would share it with our community.