Influence of Naga women in society should not be undermined — Along
Eastern Mirror Desk
Dimapur, Sep. 13: The Minister of Higher and Technical Education and Tribal Affairs Temjen Imna Along on Friday contended that men could never comprehend the power of women; and that the ‘greatest power’ is to be a mother.
Addressing the 28th Freshers’ social and annual function of Pranabananda Women’s College (PWC) in Dimapur on Friday, Along said that women are the cradle from which society begins.
The influence of women in the society, especially in Nagaland, is behind closed doors but this should not be undermined, Along asserted. “There was a time when men worked hard and women took care of homes; but today we see women are not left behind anywhere,” he said.
The legislator remarked that it is “difficult to fight with a woman” especially academic women, who he claimed have “dangerously powerful minds”.
“This powerhouse of Naga women who are educated needs to be the next strength of our people and may women take their rightful place,” he added.
“What you do will create that environment and what style you follow, others will follow. The way you work hard is your strength. Women of Nagaland are stronger than men”, the minister told the students.
According to him, Naga society is yet to arrive at a point ‘where we can define our love and respect for our women.’
“We cannot create conflict to emphasise our strength; we cannot create situations to grow stronger; we need to create strength through hard work, social engineering which should start from you, from homes, from families and society,” he exhorted.
Along cited that the literacy rate of women in Nagaland is comparatively higher than men. He further stated that although, statistically, Nagaland has the highest employees in government sector in the country in terms of ‘population, economy and education’, it still has the highest number of unemployed persons.
He said that this was due to the fact that ‘we have become a government service and economic -oriented society’.
“Why are we afraid to work hard and give sincere efforts; why are we afraid to be entrepreneurs? Are we ashamed of hard work and sincere effort?” he wondered.
The legislator challenged the students to be ‘social entrepreneurs and engineers’. “You will not know your own influence but you are all influential people. You will have to be the cradle of incubation,” he said.
Jesmina Zeliang feted
Jesmina Zeliang, ‘a textile specialist and an entrepreneur who showcases and promotes the culture and heritage of the Nagas and the northeast globally’, was felicitated by the Pranabananda Women’s College (PWC) in recognition of her works.
A recipient of the Kamla Devi Award for Crafts by the Crafts Council of India in 2004, Zeliang is also the convenor of North East India Export Promotion Council of Handicrafts.
Zeliang, while receiving the award, expressed hope that the PWC’s education would strengthen women to enable their voices to be heard.
Zeliang shared that running business in the Northeast as a woman has its own share of challenges, and encouraged the students to be their own role model, and not emulate others. She remarked that the present generation has replaced the word ‘influencer’ with ‘blogger’ and the supposed influencer is superficial.