“Where women are honoured, there dwell the devatas, where they are dishonoured, all deeds become fruitless”
– Manusmriti Vs 3
Among the first batch of female priests who graduated were two members of the Arya Stree Samaj, viz. Pta. P. Nanackchand and Pta. Chandrawathie Debipersad. Pta. Saroj Ramawtar and Pta. P. Nanackchand were the first Hindu women marriage officers. The Stree Samaj is also proud that its long–standing President, Swami Vidyawathi Saraswati took the order of Sanyasin. The Arya Samaj has been an ardent advocate of the emancipation of women. It has given encouragement to the education of women and equality in religious matters. It has also encourages the establishment of Stree Samajs run solely by women but which still subscribe to the Ten Principles of the Arya Samaj. The intention is to allow women to play a meaningful role in the furtherance of the cause of the Arya Samaj and also enable them to develop their organisational and leadership skills. Over the decades, the Samaj has boasted many Stree Samajs with much charitable work being done by these ladies organisations, such as distribution of food hampers to the poor, feeding of the indigent, preparation of candidates for the Veda Niketan examinations, handling the catering for the major Arya Samaj functions, holding cottage services etc.