March 8th has been observed for decades as International Women’s Day. Across the world women’s achievements are celebrated while continuing the struggle for gender equality. The day is marked by arts performances, lectures conferences, rallies etc. This year among the various programmes being organized – one in which I was invited to, was the release of a book Interrogating Patriarchy - Essays on Contemporary Women Poets of India. I had contributed an Essay on Jameela Nishat, the feminist Urdu Poet from Hyderabad. The programme was organized jointly by the NGO Shaheen and Goethe Zentrum Hyderabad at the Hamburg Hall in Banjara Hill.. A write up on the panel discussion and programme is given in the issue, titled Celebrating Woman.
However while several events took place to mark Women’s Day – many women pondered on the rising tensions and hatred between communities and the increasing polarization marked by divisive politics with restrictions and onslaughts on freedom of speech. In such a highly polarized world where many are fighting for survival and freedom, women’s issues unfortunately tend to take a back seat though the greatest sufferers of world conflict are women and children
In this issue beside my write up on the release of the Book, Interrogating Patriarchy and the Panel discussion, there are articles on
Gender Gap – A Bridge Still Far by Dr Moin Qazi
A Healthy woman for a Healthy Nation by Dr Sheikh Nikhat
Khichdi – The best Comfort Food by Nutritionist Purnima Mahesh
Then in the Creative section there are three contributions:
A very moving poem by a young Poet, Sweha Hazari titled Lost Motherhood
A Poem Let’s Call it a Deal by Dr Rukhsana which is a plea for education and dignity for girls and women.
And a tribute by Samina Barodawalla to her mother on the occasion of Women’s Day titled My Mom.
Hope you enjoy reading this issue.
Ehsas for women
A Healthy Woman for a healthy Nation - Dr Nikhat Shaikh
We all want people everywhere to live healthy, happy, and productive lives. And in the past few years significant progress on global health has been made. Yet millions of women and children around the world still don’t have access to simple solutions to protect their health such as vaccines, adequate nutrition, and skilled midwives. In 2013, an estimated 6.3 million children under the age of 5 died, and 289,000 women died of complications from pregnancy and child birth
On 8th March , Goethe –Zentrum and Shaheen Women ‘s Resource and Welfare Association, the NGO set up by the Urdu Poet and activist Jamila Nishat organized the book release of Interrogating Patriarchy - Essays on Contemporary Women Poets . One of the essays was on Jameela Nishat . The Book containing 11 essays on poets, some lesser known and some whose poetry was read across India, was edited by Rajshree Trivedi and published by Sophia Center for Women’s studies and Development, was dedicated to women who write
KHICHDI -THE BEST COMFORT FOOD – By Purnima Mahesh
Recently our Indian media unofficially declared Khichdi as the national dish of India and it is globally promoted as the queen of all food. The reason being that it is prepared pan India in different forms and is eaten by the rich and poor irrespective of the caste and creed.
LET’S CALL IT A DEAL, OR IS IT JUST A MEAL!!!- Dr Rukhsana
As meek as the weak, as strong as the rock.
As bold as gold, the ever changing woman is ever untold.
Her cry maybe feeble, but from her lap is born a man who is able.
When tender little feet, with laughter & giggles,
Grow up, to go on the streets with torments & struggles.
This is the first issue of Ehsas For Women - a magazine f or empowerment of women and for providing a platform to voice their views ,problems and concerns, as also to inform of the various agencies which are working for improving the condition of women belonging to the disadvantaged sections of society. ....
This issue is released on 10th December which is observed the World over as Human Rights Day , the date being selected by the United nations General Assembly when , in 1950,it adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the common standard of achievement for all people and all nations .In1993 the Vienna Declaration and Programme of action envisaged concrete steps to be taken towards ensuring it .
Despite this ,majority of women who comprise nearly half the world population are denied equal rights and opportunities .In India where equal rights are enshrined in the constitution and where the state has brought about legislation for protection of women as well as formulated a National Policy for Empowerment of Women , a huge gap exists between the goals , policies ,legislations and situational reality in the status of women specially from the disadvantaged /marginalised and weaker sections of society .Women from these sections are denied access to education ,health and other resources .They face discrimination and are often victims of domestic and societal violence .
This issue of the e -Magzaine Ehsas carries the following :
A profile of BMMA a woman’s organisation fighting for equality and justice for Muslim women;
The success story of Saira Arab who despite several impediments has built her life and educated her daughter.
The section on Wellness and Health, has two articles :one on Diabetes by
Hafsa Ahmed and the other on Diet during pregnancy by Nutritionist Saleema Khan
The section on financial literacy has two article :Help yourself Through Self Help Groups by Nandini Kapdi an officer of the Indian Audit And Accounts Service and Micro Credit by Moin Qazi an expert on Micro Credit and Banking
The Literary page carries the story Qudsia Begum by Parveen Talha the Co founder of the magazine from her recently released collection of short stories Fida-e –Lucknow .
Hope You enjoy the issue .
On 8th March , the world observed International Women’s Day .On this occasion the Secretary General of UN Mr Ban KE moon in his message highlighted the importance of achieving equality for women and girls He stated that it was essential “not simply because it is a matter of fairness and fundamental human rights ,but because progress in so many other areas depends on it . Countries with more gender equality have better economic growth …Parliaments with more women enact more legislation on key social issues such as health , education , anti- discrimination and child support ...... Equality for woman is progress for all”. ..
Lets hope that that his message reaches the citizens of the world and life for girls and women improves in the coming year and they are able to get education and equal opportunity and be able to realize their full potential .
Elections were announced on 5th March for the 16th Lok Sabha and it is hoped that it will be in position on 1st June as the term of the present one expires on 31st May. It is hoped that we will be able to see a higher representation of women parliamentarians than the previous Lok Sabha who will provide leadership in obtaining equal rights.
24th January 2014 was observed as National Girl Child day and Mahrashtra Postal Circle had announced a competition to write an essay or poem or paint/draw on the subject: Save The Earth- Save The Girl Child . The wining poem is reproduced in the creative section of the magazine .
In this second issue of the Ehsas for Women we have following articles:
A Profile of an institution; The National Mission for Empowerment of Women
Relief To Victims OF Sexual Crimes: One Stop Rape Crisis Centers .
Profile in Courage and Forbearance ; story of Sakina
Saving For Financial Empowerment: by Moin Qazi
Diet in Anemia : by Saleema Khan
Ms Parveen Talha - a profile of the Padma Shri awardee
Asthama - Causes and Cures :by Hafsa Ahmed
A poem ; The lament of a Throttled girl child by Afsari
Hope you like reading this issue .Do send in your comments ..
This is the 3rd issue of the e-magazine Ehsas For Women .A lot has happened since the last issue .The 16th Lok Sabha elections took place n and the results on May 16 gave a historic win to the NDA .But unfortunately it returned only 61women MPs in a house of 543elected members .Though it is a slight improvement over the previous Lok Sabha of 59Women, percentage wise it amounts to 11.3%, a far cry from the 33% envisaged. However Mr Modi who took charge as the 15th Prime Minister of India appointed 45 Ministers of which 8 are women: 7 being of cabinet rank and one state minister, with Independent charge. This is very encouraging sign and augers well for women .Moreover once again a woman was elected as speaker of Lok Sabha: the amiable and dignified MP from Indore Mrs Sumitra Mahajan.
Another event which is a cause to celebrate is the achievement of Poorna, the 13 year old daughter of farm labourers of Nizamabad district who became the youngest girl to scale the Everest! A detail of the Portfolios of the Women Ministers and other significant events concerning women is covered in the news section. In this issue we have the following articles: 1) Profile in Courage: The Story of Salma 2) Profile of an NGO: Bazm-e -Khawateen 3) Story of an institution: Cammo Jaffer Suleiman Girls High School 4) A Micro-Credit Success Story 5) Health Section: Thyroid Disorders 6) Nutrition: Mothers Milk 7) Creative Section: A Poem titled Compassion Hope you find the issue both informative and interesting. Wishing my Muslim friends a Happy Ramzan, a month for fasting prayer and good deeds .So do remember your disadvantaged sisters while distributing Zakat. Yours faithfully Humera Ahmed Managing Editor
Editorial Dear Reader, This is the fourth issue of Ehsasforwomen .Since the last issue, I have had the opportunity to meet some amazing women: Ramakka from Kurnool district, Narjis Khatoon from Yakub galli of Mohomed Ali Road, Urmila Jhaveri an expatriate from Tanzania and have recorded their remarkable achievements in this issue.
I observed the transformation in the lives of rural women brought about through formation of Self Help Groups specially when it is implemented by sincere and dedicated officers .An example is of OMPLIS which is functioning under the Sate Rural Livelihood Mission in Andhra Pradesh .If similar initiatives are successfully implemented ,and women made financially reliant , rural poverty will be thing of the past .The SHG also have the power to transform a whole village as is indicated in a case study of the village of Wanoja by Moin Qazi , who witnessed the changes while interacting with the villagers in his official capacity as officer of the SBI. Besides the initiatives to eradicate poverty , the Government of India has a number of programmes for ensuring that women get sufficient nourishment during pregnancy and lactation period .The various aspects of this scheme have been detailed by Saleema Khan . The present issue consists of following articles: Narjis Khatoon: A spirited women in Purdah The Wanoja story: Success of SHG Ramakka: A success story of OMPLIS Urmila Jhaveri: Dancing with Destiny .A memoir Janani Suraksha Yojna; A scheme of Government of India. Awakening: A poem by Nirmala Pillay I hope you enjoy reading this issue .Do let us have your comments .Please also send us any articles on the relevant themes of the Ehsas for women. Humera Ahmed Managing Editor
Editorial Dear Reader, Vol-V Editorial Dear Reader, A very happy new year to all of you This is the Vth issue of Ehsas for women and we are happy that the e-magazine has successfully completed a year. This is mainly due to our contributors and the response from our esteemed readers. After the 1Vth issue went on line , we heard the fantastic news of seventeen year old Malala Yusufzai , the Pakistani girl from the Swat valley who managed to survive the gun shots of the Taliban for spearheading the campaign for girl’s education, had been awarded the Nobel Prize for her struggle for the rights of all children for education , together with Kailash Satyarthi from India who has been fighting against child labor.
The award to Malala is indeed a great inspiration to girls from suppressed cultures and it demonstrates that moral courage and fortitude will ultimately succeed against dogmatism and fanaticism. Though the Nobel Prize is the highest recognition of an individual’s achievement , there are some awards which are nearly its equivalent such as the Fields Medal ,the most prestigious prize in mathematics which was recently awarded to Iranian born Maryam Mirzakhan . Gradually many corporate and institutions are instituting awards for recognizing the achievements of women. Some examples are: the Muse award for Women in Film and Television, La Oreal Femina Award for Women of Worth and the Trail Blazers Award. The Trail Blazers Award honors conservative women who have allowed other women to follow their path with greater ease .This year’s award went to Barbara Lyons, Executive Director, Right to Life . The La Oreal Femina Award has identified 14 categories to recognize the achievements of women viz Social Impact ,Community Causes ,Science and Innovation and Education .One of the awardees is 23 year old Kashmiri girl Mehrish Mushtaq for the category Online Influence .Mehrish has developed an Android application that will help the Valley and its people by providing essential information of various government and private departments to resolve everyday problems Corporates such as Vodafone have also taken the lead in highlighting the achievements of women .Vodafone has sponsered a coffee-table book titled Women of Pure Wonder, highlighting the achievemnts of sixty remarkable Indian women , a review of which has been included in this issue On December 5th, I was present at the key note address of the 4th Times Literary Festival delivered by Arianna Huffington , the Greek- American Founder and CEO of Huffington Post, the largest news website which also has a Women’s edition titled Huff Post Women which includes sections on Women Empowerment ,Women in Tech ,My Story , Women’s Health etc . This issue of Ehsas For women carries the story of Fatima Ansari, a woman from a conservative family who did her Masters in History more than sixty years ago and now resides alone in Umerkhadi area of Muhammad Ali Road Mumbai .Her story is path breaking and an inspiration to many girls from suppressed and conservative cultures. Dear God is a prayer written by Devika Kumar for our Creative section .It is a Poem addressed to God sans ritual and form: a silent appeal to God straight from the heart. In the financial section is a small write up on goat farming which can be taken up by small and marginal farmers to earn a decent living .Many banks provide finances but training and veterinary services are also necessary for making the venture viable . The article includes a successful case study from Moin Qazi’s book Village Diary of a Heretic Banker. In our Health and Wellness section, Saleema Khan, enlightens the reader on the Importance of Vitamins and Their Sources. I am sure our readers will find the issue informative and interesting. Looking forward to your response Humera Ahmed Managing Editor Ehsas for women
Editorial Dear Reader,
The VI th issue Ehsas for Women is a special issue as world over 8 th March is celebrated as
International Women’s day .The day provides an opportunity not only to celebrate the
achievements of women but also exploring new paradigms for achieving equality ..The onus for
creating a more equal world is also on women. It is befitting that the theme for Women’s Day 2015
is :Make It Happen.
And in our Country, a lot seems to have happened since the Vth issue went on line .Women power
was on the fore in the month of January. It was a lady officer Puja Thakur who led the ceremonial
Guard of Honour for the US president Barack Obama .And we were delighted to see the awe
inspiring spectacle of all women contingents from each of the three armed services , viz Army, Navy
and Air Force at the Republic day parade .Then there was the float of Government of India on the
theme Beti Bachao Beti Padhao. It was under this slogan that on 22 nd January 2015 the Prime
Minister launched from Haryana the Sukanya Samridhi Yojna .Under this Yojna an account can be
opened in Post offices and select banks for the girl child below the age of 10 by her parents or
guardian .In the Budget of 2015 the Finance Minister has made the amount so deposited eligible for
tax deduction under 80C and the interest is tax free.
Besides the all women’s contingent, there was another first for women officers from the Border
Security force. Women officers participated in the Beating the Retreat ceremony at the Wagah
Does all this showcasing of women power in the forces indicate a greater sense of security for
women .Can’t say. Rapes continue to happen though the Nirbhaya F und ( Nirbhaya or fearless was
the pseudonym given to the 2012 Delhi gang rape victim) was set up in 2013 -14 by the then UPA
government which had made a provision of a 1000crores to support initiatives by the government
and NGO’s working towards protecting safety of women in India . In the present budget, the FM
has doubled the outlay .Hope some good comes from it especially in the transport system and street lighting
But a major transformation can come only happen if there is an attitudinal change , a change in the
feudal mind set in society which needs to begin from the home itself . Hence in the right up-
bringing of children the role of parents ,specially of the homemaker continues to be of great
importance .In this issue ,in the section under Profiles of Courage I have therefore focussed on a
remarkable woman home maker : Tayyaba Hussein .
The other articles in the issue are:
Profile of an NGO -Vision Paradise: Transforming Tragedy into Hope for Underprivileged Women.
Literary Section – What am I to her a poem by SukritaPaul -scholar, poet, teacher, critic
And she to me
On Women’s day: A poem by Devika Kumar celebrating women every day.
Financial Section: Women Empowerment through Self Help Groups by Moin Qazi
Health and Wellness: Diet in Jaundice by Saleema Khan
Hope you will enjoy reading the issue and will oblige with your views and comments.
Editorial Dear Reader,
We are in the VIIth issue of our e-magazine and we are looking forward to a good monsoon so that farmers may get some respite from the havoc caused by unseasonal rain in Northern India and the Eastern Deccan plateau during March and April . The suicide rate of farmers keeps rising in Maharashtra
And the biggest victims of this disaster will be the wives and children, for the men would have left behind huge debts. Moreover when crops are destroyed, the men folk leave for the towns in search of work and the women are left behind to fend or to accompany them and live on the footpath. It is a sad scene for women in the rural areas and Moin Qazi has poignantly described in his article The Invisible Burden Carriers , the resilience with which these women work day and night , in the fields , in the house while bearing children and looking after the family .And cooking for them is an ordeal as they have to fetch water from afar and hew wood to light their choolas Many a time they are the bread earners of the households .It is their gruelling work which is the back bone of the country’s economy but very little is done to involve them in decisions regarding environmental and energy issues such as setting up of biogas plants which if properly implanted would lighten their burden . However dismal the conditions may be there is always a hope for a better tomorrow and a silver lining was provided in the hot morning of 25th May when the 12th CBSE results were out and M.Gayatri of New Green Fields school ,Noida topped with 99.2% and the overall pass percentage of the girls was nearly 10%higher than the boys :the girls were87.56 and the boys77.77! This issues Profile of Courage is Ghazala Azad whose enthusiasm and dedication to improve the conditions of the disadvanged sections of society is remarkable. So also the work done by Mumtaz Haider of the Abu Mohammed and Kaneez Fatima trust, The issue carries an inspiring article by Nandini Kapdi on starting Small Enterprises and a short story written by me years ago titled Destiny which was published in Savvy. Hope you enjoy this issue. Humera Ahmed Managing Editor Ehsas for women
Editorial Dear Readers, The VIIIth issue of Ehsas For Women was due in September but due to unavoidable circumstances it has been slightly delayed since we were trying to cover two NGOs’ set up by two inspiring personalities ,located in two different cities : SAFA in Hyderabad and Prayatna Foundation in Lucknow.
Vol-VIII Editorial Dear Readers, The VIIIth issue of Ehsas For Women was due in September but due to unavoidable circumstances it has been slightly delayed since we were trying to cover two NGOs’ set up by two inspiring personalities ,located in two different cities : SAFA in Hyderabad and Prayatna Foundation in Lucknow. This year has seen Indian women scale new heights. The top four achievers in the IAS exam were girls and the topper Ira Singhal became the first physically challenged to top the Civil Services Exam. Ira is a great inspiration for the handicapped and we wish her success in her resolve to improve the life of handicapped persons. Sania Mirza world’s leading women’s double player, became the second tennis player after Leander Paes to receive the country’s highest sports honor :the Rajiv Khel Ratna. In this issue l we have covered the following articles: 1)The success story of Bandhan Financial Services , a Microfinance Financial Group which started operations as a fully fledged Bank namely Bandhan Bank from 23rd August .Moin Qazi highlights the difference in Bandhan’s microfinance and the microcredit system through the SHG .The setting up of the Bank will definitely go a long way in financing many small and Medium scale industries .Besides microfinance and microcredit the country needs soft educational loans as many from the low income group specially Muslims cannot afford to pay the steep fee not only s for Technological and Medical education but also for coaching for High and Secondary school examinations . 2) Saleema Rizvi Khan writes on Nutrition for A Healthy heart in our Health section. 3) SAFA Hyderabad; A Profile of an NGO working for the social and economic empowerment of women and education of girls from marginalized sections 4) The Prayatna Foundation is trying to transform the lives of women from marginalized groups in with special focus on single woman through literacy and skill building classes in the rural areas of Lucknow and Barabankhi 5) In our creative section the is a short story by Devika Kumar titled The Shadow of the Tree Hope you ‘all enjoy reading the articles and share it with friends and various social organizations. Wishing a Happy Dassera Humera Ahmed
This is our 1Xth issue and with it Ehsasfor women completes two years. I take this opportunity to thank our readers and well wishers .I also thank our contributors Saleema Rizvi , noted nutritionist for her contribution on Health and Wellness ,Moin Qazi Microfinance expert and ex banker for his enlightening articles on Microcredit and Financial inclusion and of course Devika , for her inspiring poems.
Last month, the poll results in Bihar clearly demonstrated that empowering women and educating girls benefits societal and economic development and also transforms into votes .The Nitish Kumar’s Government had given 50% reservation to women in Civic and Panchayat Bodies and also taken positive steps to decrease the dropout rate from 12% to 1.5% and all this was reflected in the women voters outnumbering men at the voting booths. I hope this momentum will continue and Bihar will make steady progress towards sustainable development.
This month ,I had the opportunity to be at the screening of Girl Rising , a star powered film portraying inspiring stories of 9 extra ordinary girls from 9developing countries .In this issue I have given a synopsis of Ruskhsana –the protagonist of the India story .
Microfinance is today considered a buzz word for assisting development and empowerment of women .Moin Qazi, Micro finance expert however is of the view that it is necessary to redefine Micro finance as the interest rates on loan remain quite high.
In this issue in the Profiles in Courage section, is the story Dr Afsar Farooqui who is able to handle career, home, academics ,NCC duties and creative activities with rare poise and calm.
Malnutrition statistic is one of the most damning features of the country , mainly due to low income Saleema Rizvi , well known nutritionist describes a low cost nutritious meal for just Rs 20 in the Health and Wellness section.
In the creative section is a poem penned by me on the Mumbai Art festival where myriad vivid images transported me to a different world.
Hope you enjoy reading the articles.
We are in the Xth issue of Ehsas For Women .This issue is significant since it marks the third year of the e-magazine and commemorates the International Women’s Day which was observed on 8th March 2016.On this occasion the Department of Post Government of India and United nations Postal Administration released a set of two stamps and a miniature sheet on India UN-women He For She a solidarity movement for gender equality initiated by UN Women , the goal of which is to engage men and boys as agents of change for achieving gender equality .The movement was formerly launched on20th September by the UN Secretary General Mr Ban Ki Moon and UN women Global Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson .An article He For She in the magazine gives further details .
In accordance with the movement He for She, the 2016 theme for International Women’s year is Planet -50-50 by 2030: step up for Gender equality. The UN Women executive Director Madam Phumzile Mlambo -Ngouke stated: Each one of us is needed –in our countries ,communities ,organisations ,governments and in the United Nations –to ensure decisive, visible and measurable actions are taken under the banner :Planet 50-50:step up for gender equality . Keeping in view the spirit of the occasion , television channels broadcast various initiatives being taken to bring about gender equality .CNN-IBN in its programme Women On March depicted the recent initiatives : the fight for equal access to religious places be it temples or Dargas , the BMMA’s fight for justice for Muslim women in the implementation of the Muslim Personal law and efforts of NGOs’ to bridge the digital gap between the genders , by organising special computer training programmes for girls and Women. A significant step in the direction of gender equality is reclaiming access to public spaces for play and recreation .An NGO Parcham Collective organised a girl’s football tournament in Mumbra a Muslim majority locality in Thana district of Maharashtra. An article titled Parcham Collective in the issue highlights this successful venture. Though Muslim Women are identified by the head to toe covered Burqa their contribution is immense and can be read in Moin Qazi‘s article Why Muslim Women Matter. Saleema Rizvi highlights the nutritive value of Bananas in the Health and Wellness Section In the Creative Section Devika Kumar’s Poem Freedom gives a new dimension to this Universal yearning.
We are in the eleventh issue of Ehsas for Women .June is a time of hope as it marks the onset of the much awaited monsoon which will ameliorate the misery of the draught hit farmers and cool the clime for easing the Ramzan fast of the faithful .
The good news is that this year to the CBEC topper was a girl from Delhi, Sukriti Gupta, an IAS officer’s daughter and a student of Montfort School Ashok Vihar who scored 99.04 %!
The topper in the All India Civil Services exam was Tina Dabi, a Dalit girl whose parents are in the Indian Engineering services and their lifestyle and support system is indicative of India’s changing social fabric.
And it’s not only girls from privileged backgrounds who are achieving spectacular success: girls working as child labourers , girls from slums and rural areas to a are making a mark .Meer Khoya a child labourer since the age of eight cleared her matriculation exams .Sunita Kumar a footballer from a village in Jharkand was the youngest speaker in a women’s empowerment conference in Denmark .A group of girls in Dhararvi ,Asia’s largest slum have developed a mobile app to take care of security , health and education concerns of adolescent girls in the slum .
However despite these achievements, there are many women who are still fighting for their rights in a patriarchal society and a case in point is the movement against triple Talaak and Polygamy by the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan. But I think the real need of the hour is to get Muslim girls and women educated and financially independent, an initiative which many women’s organisations are pursuing for the past 60 years .One of the pioneering women in this field was Mrs Zakia Khatib who passed away on May30th and in this issue, I have paid tribute to her contribution towards the education and employment of girls in Bombay and Konkan region of Maharashtra.
Since June 21st was celebrated as Yoga Day, the issue carries an article on Yoga for Control of Diabetes.
In the creative section is Devika Kumar’s poetical musings on certain emotive words such as Fear, Jealousy and Trust and a line drawing by Nirmala on the different facets of women.
Moin Qazi writes on the role played by NGOs in development of Society and the need to make these more accountable and transparent.
Hope you enjoy this issue
Wishing a happy Eid and a good Monsoon
This is the 12th issue of Ehsas For Women and an occasion to celebrate Girl Power .Shuttler PV Sindhu , with a silver medal and wrestler Sakshi have done India proud at the Rio Olympics .PV Sindhu , the first woman to enter the badminton finals gave a hard fight to Spain’s Caroline Marine and Sakshi Malik became the first Indian women wrestler to win a medal .The celebrations in their home states of Haryana ,Telangana /Andhra capitulated them to Super sports star status and an inspiration to girls all over the country .With the crores awarded to them from Centre and State, and other gifts and cash that was showered on them overnight has raised the status of the girl child who hopefully will be seen as assets .and families will welcome the births of girl child and not plan to kill them or sell them as is described in a short story in this issue titled Right of Womb.
It was heartening to hear the PM in his monthly Mann Ki Baat hail their win .Congratulations Sakshi and Sindhu .You have done India and it’s women proud.
On 15th August the Prime Minister also reiterated the promise made in the Budget to put in place a Health Protection Scheme of Rs 1.lac for BPL families with an additional top up of 30,000. for Senior citizens Though the insurance coverage will help in reducing the Out of Pocket expenditure of the poor, it will by itself not improve the health of BPL families .In the article An Integrated Approach to Health Care of the Poor an integrated approach has been suggested.
One of the main reasons for Poor health of the Poor is malnutrition. Nutritional need of an individual should be taken care of from childhood and special care in the adolescent period especially of the adolescent girls .Nutritionists Saleema has given some suggestions regarding the diet adolescents should take.
For reduction of poverty, Moin Qazi suggests bringing the Poor on the dialogue table thereby taking the end user into account in his article titled Bringing the Poor on to the dialogue table.
In the profiles of courage we have Nilofer Akhter, president of the Mumbai Family Court Bar Association who has been able to get landmark judgments for Muslim women within the ambit of the Quran.
In the creative section is a short story titled Right of Womb by Chadana Khan, and a Book Review of the English translation of her short stories Shadow Women and other stories.There is also a poem by Devika kumar titled In God’s Hell.
Ehsas for women
As I was writing the editorial for the 13th issue of Ehsas for women ,emphasizing the significance of November 25th the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women , the TV channels flashed the news :J. Jayalalitha , Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu was critical!The screen filled with images of women wailing ,howling ,breast beating ,praying .Security was tightened - army and paramilitary forces put on alert .A team of Specialists and the best medical treatment were made available at the Apollo hospital . But despite it all , she passed away at 11.30p.m on 5th December plunging millions in grief .
I hadn’t been following Jaylalitha political trajectory ,as most of the media reporting highlighted her autocratic style , the sycophancy of the party cadres, publically prostrating, corruption charges indicating disproportionate assets and populist measures of distributing freebies from the government exchequer. But a few days before, during a panel discussion at the Tata Literature Alive Festival on the subject of Women Politicians ,I was surprised to hear the difference Jayalalitha’s so called “populist” schemes had made in the improvement of women’s financial and health condition in Tamil Nadu .
With her death , as usually happens ,her good deeds and contributions were highlighted. The same media praised Jayalalitha as an iconic leader , a trail blazer , business friendly ,dynamic re-inventor of welfarism , the brand Amma which empowered women and left Tamil Nadu a better state than she found it . It was this aspect which made C.Vidyasagar Rao , the Governor of Tamil Nadu hail her as the embodiment of Women empowerment .Tributes poured in from all over the country .
Why and how did Jayalalitha become the focus of such public adulation. A few interviews given by her were aired on television –the one to Simi Garewal gave a rare insight into her character and personal life , the challenges she overcame to break into the male bastion of Politics .She came across as an extraordinary leader : strong willed, independent minded,caring , compassionate whose charm and wit endeared her to all –across generations .Ehsas for women pays tribute to this wonderful charismatic leader.
This issue carries: an inspiring story of an enterprising and gutsy Ruchika Mahadik who does domestic chores to pay her through college to realize her dream of becoming a teacher:Moin Qazi pays Tribute to the Labor rendered by Rural women; the Creative Section has a poem by Devika Kumar; the Health section by Saleema Rizvi is on Blood Pressure and Diet .An interesting read is a Profile of Mumbra -a Muslim Ghetto near Mumbai .
Hope you like reading the issue
Ehsas for women
The XIV issue of Ehsas for Women, is a Women’s day special issue .On 8th March, the world over, International Women’s Day is celebrated. The event commemorates the movement for women’s rights. The campaign theme for 2017 is Be Bold for Change.
On Women’s International Day Mumtaz Kazi, a Muslim woman from a conservative family and Asia’s first diesel engine driver was awarded the Nari Shakti Puruskar by the President of India ; so was 18 year old Anoyra Khatun, a survivor of trafficking, now an activist who works to rescue child labourers and victims of human trade and domestic abuse .Significantly and co-incident to the campaign theme were success stories reported in the newspapers of three wonderful and bold Muslim girls like Raushan Jawad who despite 88% disability realized her dream to become a doctor and acquired a Bachelors degree in Medicine in first class; Neda Fathima from the Muslim ghetto of Bhendi Bazaar ,who topped the Bachelor for Dentistry exam in Maharashtra and Aamera Saman Khan from Akola town topped in Bachelor of Science exam with Mathematics and Physics, winning three gold medals ,3 bronze, and two cash awards. A profile of these three girls is given in the article:THE UNDAUNTED GIRLS.
A number of programmes were organised on Women’s Day and through the week. Muslim women in Mumbai held an Urdu Mashaira and the Islam Gymkhana organised a fashion show and a fete. The fete was to showcase and sell various products made by women and girls from and for the underprivileged sections. A report on the yeomen services of some of these institutions in uplifting women by imparting training and honing their skills to attain financial self-sufficiency is highlighted in this issue, titled: MAKING WOMAN SELF RELIANT.
The BMC elections of 2017, brought cheer to Muslim women .Nearly 50% of the Muslims elected in Mumbai were women. Moreover so was the youngest Corporator, Ayesha Sheikh, the 21 year old house wife, elected from Govandi. The other young women are Ayesha Bano Khan -23, Shaera Khan -29, Nadia Sheikh -25, and Sofia Nazia Bano 29.
This issue also carries the success story of Wanoj a small village in Vidarbha which was scripted by its women’s Self Help Group, written by Dr Moin Qazi titled DEFYING TRADITION TASTING SUCCESS.
The Creative Section has a bold short story titled THE STORM by Parveen Talha and a poem titled REFLECTIONS by Monica B on what Women’s Day means to her.
Hope you like reading the issue
Ehsas for women
This is the XVth issue of Ehsas for women. June is an important month – the monsoons begin and so doadmissions in schools and colleges. This year too the results established that girls were doing better than boys in the board exams and in the Civil Services
In the Civil services when Nandini K.R. a Civil engineering graduate from Karnataka, topped the list,it was the third year in row when women achieved this distinction– beginning with Ira Shingli and followed by Tina Dabi.
Raksha Gopal from Amity International School Noida with 99.6% topped CBSE 12th and Mridula Subramanyam from Mumbai topped the 10th list with 99.6%.Even in the ISC stream –girls ruled the roost : Muskan Abdullah Pathan from Hutching School Pune with 99.4 % in ICSE and Ananya Maity from Heritage School Kolkata with 99.50 in ISC.
While newspapers and TV channels have been rife with the Triple Talaq hearing in the Supreme Court awith many Muslim women anxiously awaiting the judgment, several Muslim women have ,become active, spreading awareness regarding their rights , trying to promote health , hygiene , prevent drug abuse etc . They are introducing skill development, English and Marathi speaking classes to empower women financially and socially, enabling them to live a life of dignity. Some of the activities carried out by various women NGO’s for under privileged Muslims are highlighted in the article:MUSLIM WOMEN AND COMMUNITY WORK. It is a brief write-up on the activities of3 women achievers I met when Sewa Mumbai launched its Ladies wing .An article on the Launch is also in the issue.
The issue also has an article – MAKING MICRO FINANCE RELEVANT TO POOR AGAIN by Moin Qazi and in the Wellness section is a write-up on TIME TESTED HOME REMEDIES by Nirmala Pillay.
In the Creative section is a lovely story from Devika Kumar titled –MADE TO ORDER!
Hope you enjoy reading this issue and will favor us with your feed back
Wishing a happy Eid
Ehsas for women
In the XVIth issue of Ehsas,we have some wonderful news from the women's front.
The Supreme Court on 22nd August delivered a historical 395-page judgment which declared the practice of talaq-e-biddat as unconstitutional by 3:2majority. Chief Justice Khahar and Justice Abdul Nazeer dissented. An extract of the Judgment is in the article titled : The Supreme Court Judgment- A step toward gender justice
In the Civil services when Nandini K.R. a Civil engineering graduate from Karnataka, topped the list,it was the third year in row when women achieved this distinction– beginning with Ira Shingli and followed by Tina Dabi.
It is ironical that Muslim women, have to struggle for equality and justice when the Quran has given so many rights to them. Moin Qazi highlights this aspect in his article: Men Deny Women Equality, Not The Quran.
Nirmala Sethuraman on 3rd September became the first women to hold independent charge of Defense. A few days later, the first Naval All Women Expedition across the Globe set sail in the newly inducted INSV Tarini, an ocean-going sailing boat led by Lieutenant Commander Vartika Joshi.
Indian Women won laurels in Badminton and cricket. Though the team lost the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup to England by 9 runs, Captain Mithila Raj created a world record by becoming the first player to cross 6000 runs in the history of women's cricket. P.V Sandhu won her 3rd Super series beating Japan's Nazami Okuhara in the Korean badminton Open
On the international scene, the affluent State of Singapore elected Halimah Yacob as the first women President. A brief write-up on her is in the article titled resident. Halimah Yakob –Lady of Substance.
In the creative section is a short story The New Horizon, centering around the struggle of a widow to fulfill her late husband's dream of making their son a doctor.
Since we just celebrated Onam, Bhargavi Menon has sent recipes of two dishes, which are an essential part of the Sadya- the vegetarian Onam feast Both are high on nutrition and taste –Do try them out..
Nutrition Counselor Purnima Mahesh highlights the importance of nutrition for women who are the backbone of our society in her article The Invisible Indian Woman
Ehsas for women
We are witnessing a revolution which can transform gender and social relations world over. Yes ,I am referring to the #Me Too campaign started, in October 15 by Alyssa Milano, Hollywood actress and social activist when she through her Twitter account posted a message encouraging survivors of sexual harassment and assault to use the hash tag as a status update to sexual misconduct experienced in the wake of Harry Weinstein’s expulsion from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Science for alleged sexual misconduct against women in the film industry. The expulsion was a fallout of two reports published in New York Times and The New Yorker alleging that Weinstein ,co-founder of Miramax and a powerful executive of Hollywood entertainment industry had in the past thirty years used his position to sexually abuse and harass women promising future success .The horrendous casting couch revelation didn’t just shock but also elicited praise for the Silence Breakers –the title given by Times Magazine for their “Person of the Year”.
The #Me Too campaign which was originally started in2007 by Tarana Burke to support the survivors of sexual violence has through Alyssa’s Milano become a new solidarity movement among millions who found a platform to share their devastating experiences of sexual violence and harassment. The #Me Too social media has enabled the silent millions to speak on sexual harassment in schools , colleges , workplaces , courts, streets etc. It has demonstrated the power of the digital media of one and the many to change the discourse in public life.
In this issue we have following articles:
A Profile of Dr Muneerah Kuraishi who through the net and E –Books is reaching out to a global audience benefitting them from her experience and knowledge of Naturopathy.
Dr Shaikh Nikhat’s article on Leucorrhoea –its prevention and cure using Unani and home remedies.
Purnima Mahesh’s article on Mental Health titled Respected Mrs. CM and Dearest Miss G.
Moin Qazi’s enlightening article Bridging the Gender Gap
A charming story titled A Rose for Miss Lall by Devika Kumar, which glimpses into an enigmatic teacher student ,relationship
A write-up on the 10th All India Educational Conference of the Muslim Education Society (MES) which took place in Hyderabad on4th and 5th November2017.
Wishing you all a very happy new year
Ehsas for women
Welcome to this special Women’s Day issue of Ehsas for Women .We have completed another year of our existence and have been able to showcase numerable success stories of courageous women who have been able to transcend social problems ,physical handicaps and financial constraints and find a place in the sun.
The Oscar awards on 5thMarch set the tone for the Women’s Day by Frances McDormand in her Oscar acceptance speech for the best actress for her role in Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri. The movie is about the protest and demand for justice by a grieving mother whose teenaged daughter has been raped and murdered and no action has been taken by the authorities for nearly seven months! Sounds familiar doesn’t it? It has inspired similar modes of protest by groups against various crimes and violence such as the shoot-out at Stoneman Douglas High School, the delay in justice in the Grenfell Tower fire and the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizea, and UN apathy towards the war in Syria which has claimed 500,000 lives..
Frances put the spotlight on woman empowerment and gender justice and equality. She requested all the women nominees (which were only 15) to stand up to show their solidarity.
“Look around, everybody, look around, ladies and gentlemen, because we all have stories to tell and projects we need to finance.” She said.
Yes. Everywoman has a story – and that is what we endeavor to tell at Ehsas.
In this issue very appropriately Purnima Mahesh has a letter for Eve – to believe in herself.
Moin Qazi writes about women Islamic Scholars through the ages in the article: The Lost Legacy of the Queens of Islam.
In the Health and Wellness section Dr. Shaikh Nikhat writes about the importance of Vitamin D and Dr. Muneerah on Diabetes Management.
Making a Mark in Media World is about a young, attractive and brave Saman Qureshi from a traditional conservative family working as a Radio Jockey and Production Assistant at AIR, aspiring to become a TV news anchor.
Service to Society is the journey of an NGO Access Foundation lyrically described by its Founder President Ayesha Anees.
In our Creative section we have Devika Kumar’s poem-In God’s Hell.
Happy Reading and happy Women’s Day
Ehsas for women
The XIXth issue is a special issue focusing on saving our Environment.
But first let me wish you all on behalf of team Ehsas, a belated happy Eid-ul Fitr.
And also congratulate all the students who passed the 10th and 12th standard of the CBSE and the ISC and ICSE exams 2018 .It is heartening to note that girls fared better than boys
India was the host country for the World Environment Day Meet on 5th June which took place in Delhi on the theme “Beat Plastic Pollution”. On this occasion, India announced an ambitious programme of elimination of single –use plastic in the country by 2022.
On World Ocean’s Day, 8th June - the focus was again on Preventing Plastic Pollution and encouraging solutions for a healthy ocean
25 Indian states/UT in India have already passed legislation banning use of polythene bags .Yet 600 Truckloads of Plastic is discarded every day.Jammu and Kashmir and Maharashtra, became the latest states to ban the use of single use plastic bags. The Maharashtra State notification came into effect from 23rdJune and the State government is taking steps to tackle the Plastic problem on a war footing. This issue carries an article titled Maharashtra’s War on Plastic detailing the state’s efforts and measures to implement the ban on use of plastics.
The article Caring For the Environment is on Seema Pardeshi, an environmental activist who through her NGO Ashay is recycling old used saris and clothes to make bags and promoting use of Menstrual cups and cloth pads.
Furthering the Going Green theme for better health and environment is an article Go Green –An Insight by Renuka Joshi who describes the benefits of a vegetarian diet in improving health and wellbeing.
Good manners and consideration for others are necessary to improve the quality of life and Devika Kumar’s heartwarming article In Praise of Good Manners amply demonstrates it
In the article titled TAMASHA. Purnima Mahesh critiques the Media and Cinema‘s depiction of crimes against women – especially rape and sexual abuse.
Financial Literacy is essential with so many investment companies luring the gullible public with dream schemes .Moin Qazi alerts and suggests ways of guarding against such fraudsters, in his article Reining Ponzi Kingpins and Phony Agents.
Do read and share your views
Ehsas for women
5th September, the birth anniversary of Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan is celebrated since 1962 as Teachers Day. It is a day when we honor our teachers who are the back bone of the education system. This issue is dedicated to Teachers and Educators and the transformation education brings in an individual’s life. For demonstrating this aspect two institutions have been covered: one is the Dr Harun Solkar High School in Sai in Raigad district and the other is Shaheen Education society in Bidar. Both institutions emphasize that a successful education system is based not only on the facilities and infrastructure but mainly on the quality of teaching and dedication of the teachers. In both these institutions the percentage of girls is very high and their achievements laudable.
In recognition of the achievement of girls / women from the Muslim community , Inquilab and Midday group of publications have instituted a Women Achievers award which were presented by Shabana Azmi at a glittering function at the Grand Hyatt at Mumbai on 20th September . This issue has a write-up on Ayesha Aziz who was awarded for her achievement as India’s youngest pilot
This issue of Ehsas has following articles:
A Profile in Courage – Born To Fly- Ayesha Aziz by Humera Ahmed
A Madrasa which Promises Both Heaven and Earth- by Moin Qazi. It is a study of the phenomenal contribution of a Madrasa in Bidar which has reinvented the traditional Madrasa to meet the challenges of modern times.
Mirror by Purnima Mahesh, examines the unhealthy obsession for a fair complexion and its adverse psychological impact on society.
Managing Painful Mensuration- The Natural Way by Dr Sheikh Nikhat emphasizes on a healthy life style and diet.
Destiny Maze – is a delightful poem by Devika Kumar
A Model Village School – The Sai story by Humera Ahmed, demonstrates the change committed individuals can bring about in transforming rural India.
Hope you enjoy reading the issue. Wishing you a very happy Dassera
Ehsas for women
10th December 2018 was Human Rights Day. On this day 70 years ago the Universal Declarations of Human Rights was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly . The Declaration proclaimed the rights entitled for all human beings- irrespective of color, race,religion ,gender language ,political or other opinion, status nationality , etc. It empowers every human beings. The declaration document has been translated in 501 languages. Many Nations have enacted human right laws to eliminate all forms of Racial and Gender discrimination, and to protect the rights of the Child and those with Disabilities.. The Government of India set up the Human Rights Commission to protect the human rights. A number of institutions and colleges conduct diploma and Post graduate courses in Human Rights to sensitize people and spread awareness .In Mumbai an NGO- HURT Foundation was started in 1992 to create awareness regarding Human rights .It has instituted a certificate course on Human rights and the present issue has an article on the HURT Foundation and its activities
Combating patriarchy is the objective of Almas Shafi a feminist who has been able to overcome the restricting influence of the patriarchal social structure she grew up in. Her study of Islam has given her strength to overcome the hurdles in life and she wants to bring up her son to be a caring and sensitive human being who will choose what he wants and not be conditioned by a Patriarchal society. Her life’s journey has been described in her own words in the article My tryst with Patriarchy.
Purnima Mahesh while commemorating Men’s’ International Day on November 19 sympathizes with boys and men since they are under great pressure to be strong and macho and advises that they can let go of this pseudo masculinity and be caring and sensitive in her article Boys to Men
Moin Qazi our esteemed contributor and Micro Credit Expert has been appointed as Member Niti Aayog Committee on Financial inclusion of Women. Congrats Moin
In the Health and Wellness section Dr Nikhat - a Unani physician gives a number of home remedies to combat Dandruff.
In the creative section are two poems: Natures Gift of Learning by Samina Barodawalla (Prof of English) and Save the Girl Child…Extended Support by Dr Rukhsana ( a medical Professional).
Wishing the readers a very happy New Year
Ehsas for women