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Mayaa SH | Smashing Stereotypes.

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Mayaa SH is a pioneering feminist icon of women’s rights, a poetess,a secularist and an authoress. Mayaa has been actively engaged in gender equality , peace ,human rights and others.Making time in her life for women, and acknowledging the contribution of men who have furthered the cause of equality, embracing secularism as the life-breath of democracy,Mayaa SH gets candid on the notion of feminism and smashing stereotypes.

Mayaa SH rejected the notion that feminism is a western concept. She has emphasised that Indian feminism has its roots in its own struggles and tribulations. She has tabulated that she didn’t become a feminist by reading other feminists, she became one as a part of a larger natural evolution from a cou girl to a bold and fiercely independent decision maker.Home makers (housewives) who demand dignity and rights for themselves, treat their sons and daughters equally, do not spoil their sons, are therefore feminists. You do not have to join an organization to be a feminist but joining groups and campaigns helps strengthen feminism and women’s movement.

Mayaa SH’s books penned down by her and writings that revolve around her understanding of the power of self belief have garnered huge accolades and thereby giving her the titles of “Devi” and “Lady Gandhi”.

Her idea of feminism transcends class, borders and other binary social divisions and that reflects in her writings.

Mayaa SH’s greatest contribution to women related issues is her determination to be uncompromising with her ideals, and fearless about stating them in a world that behaved so differently.She has  contributed to the existing vision of feminism and its world view, which is distilled beyond sexuality and gender specificity to see coercion and hate as patriarchy. This became a part of her developing discourse of her powerful writings in contemporary literature .Her bold assertions and narratives  on her perspective on projecting feminism with innovative novelty has made her gain the respect of academics and feminist theoreticians.

Mayaa has managed to impart to take mainstream slogans that perpetuated stereotypes, and turn them around to emphasise a point. She says, “ Karamveeras are Super Achievers”, emphasising that women needed to evolve a new vocabulary based on familiar words.She has broken down masculinity with the same humour and wit, hitting the target of her argument, seldom leaving broken hearts, but definitely dismantling egos. Her concepts and strategies of saving lives have always brought in a new method, or another perception. Pornography and cosmetics are billion dollar industries and both reduce women to bodies and commodify them. Guns and other violent toys and games for boys and Barbie dolls for girls spread stereotypes and harm both girls and boys. For profit doctors and medical laboratories are partners in killing millions of female fetuses in India and other countries.

It is important to look at some myths and rumors about feminism which make even women reject or be afraid of feminism. Patriarchy spells out the structures, the institutions and the way both men and women are trapped in the socially defined roles. It is a clear-cut way to gender truths. Mayaa SH is amongst the most dynamic and vocal critiques of patriarchy and gender-based violence of our times,she is inspired much by the likes of Maya Angelou and Gloria Steinem. One of her most prominent arguments is how constant disbelief in anybody can lead to  dehumanizing a human being and violates his or her dignity of living life gracefully .

In a world threatened to be overwhelmed by the propagation of hate, prejudice, and privilege; it is crusaders like Mayaa SH who help instill and  sustain faith with compassion, humour and hope, in unwavering struggles for equality, diversity, and peace to make world a better place to live in .Because feminism is a response to patriarchy, it is both local and global; it has similarities and differences.

Mayaa became famous with her powerful writings on contemporary issues and absolute realism in her works .

She has always endeavoured to reflect on the meaning of freedom in a world of “growing nonsense karmic times”. Her work includes meditations on language, public as well as private, and on the role of fiction and alternative imaginations in current times.The India based author’s works, includes the national level award winning  “The Candle In The Wind “Feminism : A Modern Viewpoint” that garnered her national and international acclaim.

Conclusion

Mayaa SH’s continuous and unwavering dedication to the cause of finding any girl or woman who is planning to commit suicide and instilling the hope of a gift called life in many women  has not only transformed lives but has also set a powerful example for others to follow. Her vision ensuring that may all live a life of dignity first , coupled with the numerous accolades and awards, highlights the importance of collective action in addressing the pervasive issue of violence against women,high crime and suicide rate and how few marriages become a trap both mentally and financially for many women . Mayaa SH stands as a torch bearer of Courage and Determination inspiring change and contributing significantly to the ongoing global fight against gender inequality and violence against women .

About The Author

With a long history of service and advocacy for abused women and their children and over the years, Mayaa SH has evolved as a developmental feminist in response to changing needs, focusing on client-based services that are both trauma-informed and trauma-sensitive. She has counselled several girls and women across the country with no fees as her social responsibility towards uplifting women to rekindle hope and find a purpose in life .Mayaa SH is universally described as an unflagging feminist and one of the most original voices to have emerged in the course of the modern feminist women’s movement , who has had the ability to rip through ideas of patriarchy with rapier sharp wit or laughter.

Mayaa SH is not only set out to be a feminist activist. In Pune she also post graduated into Industrial Economics as one of her degrees to  study the consequences of economic change in societies. In the words of Mayaa “I increasingly found that amongst the condemned, women were left far behind,” she said in one of her interviews . Referring to people plagued with the evils of casteism “Amongst the poorer, women were more economically exploited section of the society. Amongst the excluded, women were more excluded. So even though I was not meant to be aligned to the field of women empowerment and feminism ,I slowly became one without even knowing the word ‘feminist’ at that time.”

Amongst the most famous ideology of “Vichaar”(reflect) in which Mayaa has insisted on the power of self belief and inner reflection first to reinvent and rediscover one’s purpose in life ,here is an excerpt :

“To fight any sort of violence, I must reflect.

To end my suffering, I must reflect.

To challenge the doctrine of patriarchal  norms, I must reflect.

To demolish all the structural norms of orthodox thinking , I must  reflect.

Because I’m a girl, I must reflect.

To mould a faith I can trust, I must reflect.”

I must reflect to Awake from the deep slumber of bondage of mindset ,Rise and Keep Moving Forward as Sky is not the Limit and the Will to Succeed Invigorates Strength to Combat Fear in Life .

Mayaa SH who has lived by the slogan of “Vichaar” decodes the concept of Feminism. An activist, poet and author, she has spent most of her adult life raising voice against injustice and patriarchy and building a strong foundation of solidarity with women across borders. The unflagging feminist and communicator par excellence, Mayaa SH has left a unique imprint on the women’s movement across India. Her feminism is a nurturing one; even those who thought differently were touched by it.

Mayaa SH is committed to ending domestic violence. Using a self-help, empowerment approach, she has provided a shelter for adults and children, counseling, advocacy, and a 24-hour hotline for people affected by domestic violence free of cost with attending calls even at 2 am . Mayaa’s vision is dedicated to social change through education, service collaboration, and institutional advocacy.

Mayaa believes that all people have a right to violence-free lives. She believes that abusive acts are acts of power and control that the victim does not provoke, enjoy or deserve. This  is in holding perpetrators of abuse accountable for their actions.Thus,  all people have the right to be treated with dignity and respect. Mayaa SH believes  that victims of abuse can regain control of their lives through appropriate support services, information and referral to community services.

Mayaa is an avid motivator and mentor who believes in “Rebuilding Lives, Renewing Hope“, thereby, empowering adults and their children with the skills they need to live a life that is free of fear and to move forward on their healing journey.

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