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Punam Rai: A Lady Of Strong Determination and Inspiration

Dowry-related crimes are increasing day by day. Why do girls give up their lives? The number of dowry-related crimes rises as human greed for wealth does. Today we are dealing with the life story of Punam Rai, a 48-year-old lady, who was shattered by her husband and in-laws. The way she came back was an inspiration to all ladies who are still suffering silently.

Heart touching story

Punam was born to a PWD engineer and a housewife in the Vaishali district of Bihar. She had two brothers. When the family moved to Varanasi, she continued her studies and earned a degree in Painting from Banaras Hindu University. After graduation, her parents fixed her marriage to an Engineer in 1997.

But the groom’s educational status was a big lie to extort dowry from her family. He even does not possess an intermediate graduation. Her parents gave whatever they asked as dowry. But these things can’t ensure their girl’s happiness in the new home. There she was welcomed by terrible insults and frequent violent confrontations. At the end of all, she was thrown from the third floor of a building after giving birth to a girl child. Her in-laws along with her husband had the plan of remarriage if she was no more.

Punam, the powerful survivor

Dowry the Villain

She was a real victim of a dowry crisis. The practice of giving dowry is still common in many Indian States, though it has been illegal for more than half a century. Its rise is extremely worrying. According to surveys, about one Indian woman dies of dowry-related violence every hour. In India, getting married is still the ultimate objective, regardless of academic or professional success. A woman who decides against getting married or marrying late is most likely to experience criticism and rejection.

Parents in India are constantly concerned with finding their daughters a “good groom” and are even willing to spend a huge dowry to acquire the above-mentioned “groom.” There is no realistic chance that these relationships will be sustained. Generally speaking, it relies on the attitude of the groom’s party. If they demand additional dowry from the bride’s family, the relationship will end in complete chaos. We have seen numerous incidents that have recently been reported in India.

The Survivor

What makes Punam different from others is her courage and determination. She was in a coma for six months. The medical experts gave up hope that she would be able to walk again in her life. With ardent support and care from her family, she slowly recovered from being paralysed through tedious physiotherapy sessions. She made a strong return when she got a second chance in life after the long fifteen years of bedridden life.

She is the prime inspiration for kids to train Taekwondo

Huge Loss In Her Life That Marked a New Beginning

In 2014, she met a huge loss. Her father was a wall of strength for her, and his death left her feeling hopeless once more. However, she was never let down by the spark within her. She opened Bindeshwar Rai Foundation, an NGO in his name to keep his memory alive.

Rising Through Painting And Taekwondo

Punam, a graduate of BHU, has been emancipating hundreds of kids via painting and taekwondo. She has taekwondo trainers as staff, but she teaches painting herself without any profit. Punam acquired self-defence skills in 2016. Her desire to enhance the value of self-defence led her to start teaching students taekwondo, a type of martial arts. Over 3,000 pupils have been trained by her NGO.

Enlarging Canvas

She also did paintings to support funding to the NGO. She started working on her first painting on a six-foot canvas in 2017. Punam painted 648 faces on a single canvas in 2017 over 17 days, representing a girl’s life from conception to death and named it ‘Phases of Faces.

It was her masterpiece which was included in the World Records India. PM Modi’s mission of Beti Bachao Beti Padhao was an inspiration for her ‘Phases of Faces’. Punam met the prime minister in February 2019 and gave him a painting of his own.

Words, Her Motivators

About her journey she says, “The words ‘no’, ‘can’t’ and ‘impossible’ are my biggest motivators. Whenever people discourage me from doing something, I am all the more determined to accomplish it. No person is weak; if an ant can climb a mountain we can do much more.”

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