‘THIS honour makes me happier than any of my awards,” Nawazuddin Siddiqui talks endearingly about his mother. BBC recently announced this year’s 100 Women List, comprising of the most influential women — best in their respective fields. These women will take part in worldwide challenge to fight sexism, illiteracy and harassment. Nawazuddin’s mother, Mehroonisa Siddiqui, is also on the list and to battle female illiteracy.
Well, 65-year-old Mehroonisa is one of the few women from India, and probably the only one listed as “homemake”. The news was received by the family when Nawazuddin was shooting for the Netflix original series Sacred Games in Mumbai and Mehroonisa was pursuing her passion of teaching young kids in her village Burhana, Uttar Pradesh. “She is very happy. I was shooting and was not there to see her reaction, though. At this age, this honour has inspired her more. She wants to help more kids in the villages,” Nawazuddin said.
He reveals that starts off her day by waking up at 5 in the morning, daily. A habit that has rubbed off on him, he reveals. Back in the days she would feed the cattle, milk the cows, and lend a hand on the farm. She still does that, but also spends her days teaching kids in her village.
“Her hard work has paid off. She came from a small village, where there was no electricity, and there she inspired us to get an education. She got us out of that village. She did everything possible to give us a decent education. She wasn’t educated and belonged to a farmer’s family. She learned to read and write, and then imparted her knowledge to a lot of kids. This is the first time she is being honoured for her work. She is on the same list as Peggy Whitson, President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Mithali Raj –women who have done great in their respective fields,” the proud son says.