The spirit of International Women’s Day saw the tiny village of Purushrajyam change its name to Mahilarajyam on Tuesday. Also, village men celebrated the day by sparing their wives from domestic violence, for a whole 24 hours. For the first time, women of the village were allowed to come out of houses in broad daylight, and they were garlanded in a special function organised by the Panchayat. The campaign of Women’s Day awareness has worked better than the campaign against Domestic Violence, said women activists.
The Sarpanch addressed the gathering in Hindi, “The move augurs well for the village. Purushrajyam is known for a huge rate of domestic and sexual violence against women, and we’re proud of our ancestors’ legacy of tortured women. As Mahilarajyam, from tomorrow, we will still continue the tradition, with the hope that our ladies accept it. To all women, who, till now, came out only for morning defecation, welcome to daylight, and a Happy Women’s Day to all of you!” Yesterday was the first time Women’s Day was celebrated here. “Our village is an example to people who ill-treat their women all 365 days of the year. Our appeal to them is, a day’s off won’t do any harm.”
Women in the village were, however, not allowed to talk to the media present on the occasion.