Jamshedpur, Jharkhand. Holding her six-year-old daughter in her arms, the proud mother gazes as the nameplate on the door and smiles. The reason for her smile – the nameplate reads Roopa and Lakhimni Munda, her own name. Now, if anyone has to look for her house, they will ask for it by her name – not that of her husband.
Tiring is the first tribal village in Jharkhand where the nameplates bear the names of the women of the family. Lakhimni is 35. Her pride and joy are evident when she says, "I have lived here for so many years but only a few people here knew my name. But now, everyone knows my name and Roopa's name." For Roopa, who probably does not comprehend this deeper sense of empowerment her mother feels on seeing her identity so literally established and acknowledged, just seeing her name on the door of her house is enough. "Whenever anyone asks her name, she just points to the nameplate," her mother says.
Tiring is about 30 kilometers from East Singhbhum district. And today, it is in the news because of its girls. While the whole country is trying to implement the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao campaign, the District Collection of the CM's camp office in 2016, Sanjay Kumar, took it a step further with the Meri Beti, Meri Pehchan (My Daughter, My Identity) campaign. This campaign was launched from Tiring.
Presently posted as Special Officer Jamshedpur Notified Area Committee, Sanjay Kumar told Gaon Connection, "This campaign was launched on an experimental basis in Tiring. The idea behind this was to ensure that every woman – wife or daughter – gets her identity. Any girl, coming home – from anywhere market, school – sees her name on the door – how happy she will feel. It is also important to give the wife/ mother her due because women generally do not have any independent identity of their own after they come to their marital homes. Seeing their name on the nameplate gives the women a strong sense of self-confidence."
"Efforts are on to take this campaign further. In Potka block we have named five streets on the names of the most highly educated girls living there – daughters or daughters-in-law. The idea behind this being that more and more girls will be sent for higher education," he adds.
According to the 2011 census data, Tiring has a sex ratio of 768 girls to 100 boys and the literacy rate among women was only 50 percent. The female literacy in the district was 67 percent. The aim of this campaign was to improve the sex ration and increase literacy among women.
The head of the panchayat, Savitri Sardar says,"At present, we have completed the work of putting up nameplates with the names of the mothers and daughters in two tolas of the village. We will put them i[ in the entire village. In fact, this should be done all over India."
Dayawanti Munda, 17, a daughter of the village, says, "Earlier people would look for our house asking for it by my father's name. Now when anyone asks, my friends point to the house with my name on it. When someone asks me also, I tell them to look for the house with their daughter's name written on it."
The most satisfied resident of Tiring is Panchayat Samiti member Urmila Samad (30), who was instrumental in the success of the My Daughter, My Identity campaign. She says, "I am very happy to see that a village that was once known as Tiring, is now known by its daughters."