Khusi Ka Ek Din (KKED)

Celebrating the women of Kumaon

Life in the remote, mountainous areas of India is not a party. Getting from one place to another is not easy. Public transport is unreliable and scanty and often the villagers have to trudge by foot for long distances to reach places. The hilly terrain doesn’t help matters or your knees as you negotiate ups and downs and huff and puff your way through.

Imagine doing the same with a huge and back-breaking load of wooden logs picked from the forest to cook and keep the fires burning on a regular basis. Yet this is the time that the womenfolk in the hills look forward to as it is time where they can be with themselves and nature, a short break from the daily drudgery of their lives.

 There is a same-ness to their days, almost through the year. Barring illness or any other untoward event, a woman wakes up, gets the fires going and cooks the day’s meals, washes utensils and clothes and tends to the any animals the family own. She is the primary caregiver – looking after her family elders, in-laws, husband and children and all that entails before herself. Creases line her face well before age dictates it.

It is with the idea of offering the local women – young and old – a day’s respite from the mundane that Udhyam – a unique initiative to breed and grow entrepreneurs in the Kumaon hills, the Metores Trust and the Happy Children’s Library in Seem came together on February 15th, 2020 to celebrate Khushi Ka Ek Din.

Over 350 women from 6 villages around Seem in district Nainital came together to see a movie – a Digiplex experience for the first time. Exciting games,  makeovers, a performance by stand up comic Pawan Pahadi, live music, food and shopping stalls culminated in a memorable day. There were special prizes for ‘saas-bahu’ who came together and a lucky draw with a large TV as the prize.

A ‘Khushi meter’ was used to evaluate the program. The games, the saas-bahu event and Pawan Pahadi emerged as the top three experiences. There were several highlights of the day.

  • First time seeing an event like this one.
  • First time playing games that they have seen men do.
  • First time seeing a movie in a theatre with ac and chairs.
  • First time going out only with mother in law/daughter in law.
  • First time getting a platform to speak.

If adequate funds are raised, the intent is to take this event across kumaon.