No more ghoonghat: These Faridabad sisters are fighting to end the age-old tradition

Anju and Manju Yadav declared before government officials in April this year that they would not put on ghoonghat to cover their faces anymore.

Several women from a village in Haryana’s Faridabad district have bid adieu to veil, popularly known as ghoonghat. Add to this, they are also carrying out a campaign to create awareness on the evils of purdah system. The movement is a brainchild of two sisters, Anju and Manju Yadav, who spoke up against the custom before their family members around 5-6 months ago.

In April this year, the deputy commissioner during a visit to the village told the female government officials to stop putting on a veil as it hampered conducting official work. The two sisters then spoke up against the tradition and made sure that they stop wearing a veil.

“On this occasion, I and my sister requested the deputy commissioner to convince the elders of the village that we are not comfortable with covering our head,” Yadav told BBC Hindi. She also adds that it’s not just a hindrance while walking, women in ghooghat are also expected to speak less. Fortunately, Anju had a supportive family. But the women of the village opposed their decision to remove ghoonghat and also harassed Anju’s mother-in-law.

Meanwhile, Manju, who is a teacher by profession, said that when a woman can accord the same respect to her in-laws as she gives to her parents, why can’t they treat the newly-wed girl as their daughter.

“Men will not be able to cover their heads even for a day,” she added further.

The two sisters, along with six other women, had in April vowed to work against the tradition. Remaining true to their promise, the two sisters launched a campaign in August and are still going strong.