‘Inspiring Women’ Writing Competition entries

For International Women’s Day this year, the Sustainability Service created a writing competition looking for stories to celebrate women and their achievements.  The competition was open to staff, students and the general public.

Hamda Arab (19, Bhopal, M.P., India):


Since my childhood days I have been looked after by many women, my mother, my grandmother, my aunts and my teachers. They have all played a major role in making me what I am today. Little did I know that the ones who looked after me when I didn’t even know how to walk will become the ones I look up to as I step out and find a place for myself in this whole wide world.

They don’t have super powers, they can’t turn things gold, they can’t fly or run faster than the speed of light and neither they can fight super villains but yes what they can do is pretty amazing too and to be true some of these are pretty hard jobs to do. Things like they fed me when I was hungry, stayed up all night when I was sick to look after me, taught me how to walk when laying in bed was the only thing I knew humans could do. They made me laugh when I cried. Knew what I wanted before I spoke. These things might not be cool enough to be a part of science fiction books or comics but in my opinion they are some pretty cool things.

These women around me have taught me things without actually making me realise that I am being taught lessons for life and as far as I remember this is what modern teaching system is all about, isn’t it?

They might not have taught me big words, technical terms or mathematical equations but what they taught me are the things no institution can teach me. They taught me about those little things that we strive for and struggle with each and everyday. Things like love, care, hope, faith……basically everything about happiness. They made me confident enough to be myself, humble enough to accept my mistake, polite enough to listen, brave enough to face my fears and strong enough to overcome my weaknesses.

They are my inspiration. I look up to them as they not only give me hope for a better tomorrow but they give me motivation and strength to make one for myself and for others.”

Anjuli Thawait (20, Bhopal, M.P., India):

“There are several faces that you come across each and every day, every other person has something or the other to offer, what do you pick up from these people? Is it their positivity? Is it their strength? Or is it the entirety of that person that you wish to adorn.

Women have always been an epitome of selfless care and affection, they portray the countenance of a sister, a friend, a mother, she is the one who nurtures the family, without her the pothole seems to widen.

I have always had a fair share of the good and the bad people around me, tried to pick up the best out of every outcome. The women around me be it my mother, my sisters, my friends, they have always brought in a lot of positivity and sanity in my belief system. Their teachings, their struggles have taught me how to live a placid, calm and a life full of unconditional love.

I have been friends with a certain group of people ever since the college started, been fortunate enough to get those vibrant souls from the very beginning. It wasn’t until recently that I found out about what one of my friend had gone through when she was at her very tender age, she lost her younger sibling at the age of 10 while they were playing,due to some unfortunate circumstances, and that should have torn her and her family apart, but she picked up her shattered pieces and mended herself and her family back to what they always were, the gap could not get filled because the society that we live in, never allows you to forget. There are always two things that you can do, you can either brood and cry for sympathy, or you can refuse to give up, bring out all the strength and move on. My friend was of the second type, she refused to succumb to this pernicious society, she has always worked very hard to get all the happiness that she could plausibly bring for her family. She never allowed her academics to suffer nor her career, she never talks about it because she does not want anybody to sympathize with her, nor does she want the people to serve her with the golden platter.

I have never known anyone more stronger than her, how can someone confide this kind of pain for so long and still be like a breath of fresh air. She is a person who will go to the ends of the world to make things happen for the ones she loves, she treats her friends like family, and there is not anything that she wouldn’t do to make her parents happy, to feel okay about having just her as their child, to fill up for the daughter they lost.

We have been friends for several years now, and all the others mentioned their bad friendships or their bad relationships, deaths of their uncles, aunts, grandparents. But losing a sibling who is younger to you, is our pain anywhere compared to hers? We gave her advice to be strong when she cried, never knowing why she really cried. We could not even hear her pain, let alone facing it. And that girl has been keeping herself strong ever since she was 10 years old. If that does not motivate you to be strong, positive and hard working in life, I don’t know what else will.”