Dressed for Bathukamma

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Sujatha Surepally is a known champion for women empowerment. From much before Covid-19 struck, she has been helping young girls across the state get an education and become self-reliant. When the pandemic pushed everything online, she ensured that these girls could continue their studies through mobile phones – some donated, some bought by Sujatha. So, when she realised that the 80 teenaged tribal girls from Mulugu forest area would have to spend the Bathukamma festival in their old, ordinary clothes, Sujatha immediately placed an order for new dresses. “It is a festival for women and an excuse for everybody to wear new clothes. It adds charm to the celebrations. Why should these girls be deprived of it?,” said Sujatha. But she didn’t stop just here. Along with other members of her group she also took the Bathukamma celebrations to a women’s home in the city for a day, where the women were given goodies including sanitary napkins – something they have limited access to. “These gestures, I personally feel, give hope to people about there being somebody who is looking out for them. Everybody must have this hope,” Sujatha said.

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