As enshrined in our holy epics and scriptures the 'Woman' - an embodiment of affection, benevolence and compassion has been, since the times immemorial, extolled as an angel. By virtue of being endowed with striking attributes of love, patience, generosity and submissive dedication, she brings completeness in man's life as also the integral transformation to keep pace with the changing times despite some mysterious denials to her contribution.
Provision of an ideal education for her is of paramount importance which would empower her to rediscover her individual self and regain her status in society quintessence to 'Shakti' as in the vedic era.
As a realized person does not live up in clouds, Her Holiness Anandmurti Gurumaa, living amidst the realities of life observed and analyzed the dilemma of woman grudgingly given a secondary status in the contemporary society. To provide solace of faith, succour and the volcanic courage to women, Anandmurti Gurumaa spearheaded to set up 'Shakti' in 1999, which has now blossomed as a project of multidimensional excellence; besides empowering the girls through education.
Shakti has emerged as a wake up call to combat the heinous practices of female foeticide, infanticide, dowry menace and the brutalities afflicted on the girl child who is regarded as a harbinger of curse by many foolish and preposterous people and patriarchs of society.
Ascribing to the belief that ideal education is the best and only powerful instrument for woman empowerment, self reliance and life resurrection which would make them masters of their destiny, Gurumaa , through her unique 'Shakti' project has provided career opportunities for the girl child- the woman of tomorrow.
Besides providing the ethical and spiritual knowledge, Mission Shakti provides financial support to under-privileged girls up to the 12th standard irrespective of their cast, colour or creed. So far, more than eight hundred girls have been provided scholarships since the inception of the Shakti program.
The support has also been extended to students of B-Pharmacy, Sonepat, and forty-five girl students of SGTB Institute of Nursing education, Ludhiana, to complete their education. Up till now, three batches of 45 girls have passed from the college and are now earning well.
In the last 10 years, around 100 million rupees have been raised and distributed amongst deserving girl students in various schools. Heralding the crowning success of the 'Shakti' welfare project, once the lone crusader, Anandmurti Gurumaa, today expresses her gratitude for the overwhelming support with an invitation to put all our energies in promotion of this humanitarian cause.
According to a recent report by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), up to 50 million girls and women are missing from India' s population as a result of systematic gender discrimination in India. In most countries in the world, there are approximately 105 female births for every 100 males.
In India, there are less than 93 women for every 100 men in the population. The accepted reason for such a disparity is the practice of female infanticide in India, prompted by the existence of a dowry system, which requires the family to pay out a great deal of money when a female child is married. For a poor family, the birth of a girl child can signal the beginning of financial ruin and extreme hardship.
"A tradition of infanticide and abandonment, especially of females, existed in China before the foundation of the People's Republic in 1949," note Zeng et al. ("Causes and Implications," p. 294.) According to Ansley J. Coale and Judith Banister, "A missionary (and naturalist) observer in [China in] the late nineteenth century interviewed 40 women over age 50 who reported having borne 183 sons and 175 daughters, of whom 126 sons but only 53 daughters survived to age 10; by their account, the women had destroyed 78 of their daughters." (Coale and Banister, "Five Decades of Missing Females in China," Demography, 31: 3 [August 1994], p. 472.)
Empowering the girl child through education is an indispensable tool to curb the growing menace of gender inequality, declining sex ratio, and discriminatory treatment given to women in India. Empowered woman is strong enough to stand as a support for her family and community at large. She further contributes to the prospects of next generation.
The Project Shakti is an initiative by Anandmurti Gurumaa, against female infanticide and the brutalities afflicted on the girl child. Shakti - An initiative to empower the girl child, is the voice of truth against this crude reality.
Mission Shakti is an initiative whose aim is to educate the world on infanticide. Virtually unheard of in many parts of the world, the phenomenon of female infanticide is as old as many cultures, and has likely accounted for millions of gender-selective deaths throughout history.
In all cases, specifically female infanticide reflects the low status accorded to women in most parts of the world; it is arguably the most brutal and destructive manifestation of the anti-female bias that pervades "patriarchal" societies. It is closely linked to the phenomena of sex-selective abortion, which targets female fetuses almost exclusively.
There are records of older girls being fed dry, unshelled rice that punctured their windpipes, or were forced to swallow poisonous powders. Others were smothered with a wet towel, strangled, or allowed to starve to death."
By bringing light to this crime against humanity and educating the world on "truths" and not beliefs, Gurumaa believes we can usher in a new era of empowerment. Looking beyond creed, color, beliefs, or caste systems, the Shakti program will deliver the education and support needed to bring change to a world where murder called by another name becomes acceptable.
Mission Shakti works to provide financial support to the daughters of widows, handicapped parents, war veterans, and many others to complete their basic education - changing the old beliefs and showing the world that girls with support can contribute to her family, community, and generations to come.
Sponsoring the education of a girl child is less than spending on your fast food per month! It is just a matter of understanding and priority. We urge you to consider the education of needy girls as your responsibility as much as your own children. Let your contribution be a beautiful celebration and not just donation. You can donate for Mission Shakti here.
Celebrating 10 years of Mission Shakti - Empowering Girls. Want to know more about the recent activities and last 10 years of Mission Shakti? Click here.