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ARTICLES

Volume I

Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan

Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) an autonomous, secular and right based mass organisation of Muslim women across the country was formed in January 2007 with the aim to become the alternative progressive voice of the community to raise their social, political and economic concerns

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Help yourselves through Self Help Groups

Geeta, Shireen, Rosy and Simran are all neighbours in the slum colony, that has come up in the open ground near the airport. They all are young, married and have children. Their husbands are employed as skilled labourers. All these four women have one thing in common-acute poverty.

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Microfinance

Access to financial services –whether in the form of savings, credit or insurance— is a fundamental tool for managing a family’s well-being and productive capacity: to smooth expenditure when inflows are erratic, to be able to build up purchasing power when expenditures are lumpy, or to protect against emergencies.

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Profiles in Courage - Taking Her Place in The Sun: Saira Arab.

In the large spacious hall of the office of Aawaze- Niswan –which literally translates as the voice of women –located on the second floor of a building in a congested predominantly Muslim locality on Pipe road Kurla are three women sitting on flower print bed sheets spread on thick mattresses.

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Qudsia Begum - story by Parveen Talha

“Sabiha” Qudsia Begum almost screamed at Vakeel Sahib’s daughter who was so taken aback that she dropped the knitting needles from her hand and took some time to regain her composure.

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Nutrition Requirement During Pregnancy -- By Saleema Khan

Pregnancy causes special nutritional demands which are crucial for both mother and child. An understanding of what a pregnant woman needs to eat is therefore of extreme importance for a healthy and risk free pregnancy

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Diabetes :Diognosis And Care-- By Dr Hafsa Ahmed

Diabetes or Diabetes mellitus (DM) – is a disease that affects almost one in every five people in the world. It means that the level of blood sugar in the individual blood is much higher than the normal levels.

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Volume II

DIET IN ANEMIA

More than 50 % of Indian women suffer from anemia - a condition in which the number of red blood cells (RBCs), and consequently their oxygen-carrying capacity, is insufficient to meet the body’s physiological needs. Anemia due to reduced haemoglobin levels can result from different reasons ranging from defective red cell production and increased red cell destruction or blood loss.

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ASTHMA –CAUSES AND CURES

Asthma is a common condition, usually long term, that can cause a cough, wheezing and breathlessness. It affects a person airways (breathing tubes), making it difficult to breath. When someone has asthma, it means that the airways are extra sensitive, and when there are certain things around you to which you are extra sensitive, the airways react, the become red and swollen, this is called inflammation.

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NATIONAL MISSION FOR EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN

The National Mission For Empowerment Of Women (NMEW) a Government of India initiative under the Ministery of Women And Child Welfare will complete four years of its set up on the International Women’s Day 2014

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Parveen Talha - Padma Shri Awardee

Educated at Loreto Convent High School / College ,Lucknow , securing a first class in MA Economics ,she taught in Lucknow University from 1965 to 69 .In 69 she appeared for the Civil Services exam and was selected to the Indian Revenue Service becoming the first Muslim woman to achieve this distinction .

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SAKINA – A PROFILE IN COURAGE AND FORBEARANCE

When one meets Sakina ,a tall, fair, middle aged woman with smiling eyes one is impressed with her gentle demeanor and her caring and helpful nature . She is very unlike the usual domestic help or maids we normally see . Besides her dignified bearing she is intelligent , resourceful and besides housekeeping and cooking she is knowledgeable about various herbal nature cures and experienced in growing different kinds of herbs and plants .

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ONE STOP RAPE CRISIS CENTERS

While watching the programme Satyamev Jayate by Amir Khan which commenced on Star Plus from 2 nd March 2014 ,I learnt about the proposal of the Usha Mehra Commission for setting up of one stop rape crisis centers in order to provide relief and justice to the rape victims without her being harassed by the three agencies crucial in providing her relief :police , hospitals and judiciary.

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IMPORTANCE OF SAVING By MOIN QAZI

Some 30 years ago, the field of development finance was born from a radical concept: poor people, when lent small amounts of money, pay it back in a timely manner. In the meantime, that money can be put to use in ways that help boost income — goat-farming, or carpet- weaving.

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SAVE THE EARTH –SAVE THE GIRL CHILD Wining entry by Afsari

I LAYED THERE
DEAD AND COLD….

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Volume III

SALMA: TRACKING A PHILANDERING HUSBAND

Salma who works in a corporate hospital in Hyderabad, as an ayah, sometimes comes to help in my friend’s house where she had worked earlier, that is prior to her marriage to Ilyas an auto rickshaw driver. She is in her late twenties. Slim, sallow skinned , an American diamond stud sparkles from the left side of her fine nose highlighting her sad eyes . She has led an unhappy life .She bites her thin lower lip as tears sting her dark eyes.

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BAZAM-E- KHAWATEEN

It’s a hot sultry June afternoon in Hyderabad ;there is no sign of the monsoon .I feel listless and uncomfortable listening to the burqa and hijab clad Muslim women reciting the Quran .It is the daily session in Quran teaching taking place at the AC Guards centre of the Bazam –e Khawateen , (Women’s Association )a society registered in 1973 with the objective of promoting the cause of the cultural , religious and educational welfare of women and contributing towards the growth of strong and healthy citizens

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CAMMO JAFFER SULEIMAN GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL

For the past one year, I have been trying to document the social and economic life in Mohammed Ali Road area, one of the oldest Muslim resident and commercial hub in the city of Bombay / Mumbai. The native area as it was known together with Kalbadevi and Girgaon , was a cultural mosaic of the different Muslim sects ,coexisting peacefully though generally confined to their Mohallas, cantered around mosques or Jamat khanas

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MICRO CREDIT SUCCESS STORY

The Microcredit success story of Godavari has been taken from a recently published book by Moin Qazi titled The Village Diary Of A Heretic Banker in which he describes in an engaging manner his experiences in rural banking as Manager in the State Bank of India in the area of Microcredit and Microfinance.

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THYROID DISORDERS

The thyroid gland is located just below the neck in front of voice box and secretes chemical substance called thyroid hormones. These hormones travels from this gland, through the blood stream to each and every cell of the body.

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The Importance of Mothers Milk

Poor nutrition in children is more often a result of illiteracy, ignorance about the nutritional needs of young infants and children and poor access to health care. Appropriate feeding is crucial for the healthy growth and development of infants and young children. Infant feeding practices including both breastfeeding as well as complementary feeding have a major role to play in determining the nutritional status of children with the link between malnutrition and infant feeding having been well established.

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COMPASSION

A poem by Moin Qazi from his collection A Fistful of Embers published by Writer’s Workshop

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Volume IV

Narjis Khatoon : A Spirited Woman in Purdah

Narjis Khatton lives in Millatnagar in the Lokhandwalla complex with her daughter, son-in-law and two granddaughters. A fair, unwrinkled complexion and a row of fine teeth belie her age: she is 88yearsold and has worked for nearly fifty years teaching girls sewing and embroidery!

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Ramakka: A success story of OMPLIS

Orvakal , about 22km from Kurnool in the Rayelseema region of Andhra Pradesh is known for many things :its rocks mainly of silica and quartz formations amongst pools of water ,its Palaeolithic age rock paintings , the Urs Sharif of the Sufi Saint Hazrat Syed Mahamood Sha Khadiri and the Orvakul Mandal Podhupu Lakshmi Iky Sangam(OMPLIS) a federation of 10,000empowered women who have become the harbingers of successful women empowerment programmes

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Microcredit Case Study

Blindside the narrow turn off the Nagpur–Chandrapur highway, about 100 km from Nagpur, and Wanoja remains a name. Take a hard left and find a village, that doesn’t exist on Chandrapur district’s political and physical map but finds place of pride on Maharashtra’s rural development map.

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JANANI SURAKSHA YOJANA

About 56,000 women in India die every year due to pregnancy related complications. Further, every year more than 13 lakh infants die within the first year of birth and out of these approximately 9 lakhs i.e. 2/3rd of the infant deaths take place within the first four weeks of life. Going further, out of the 9 lakhs approximately 7 lakhs i.e. 75% of the deaths take place within a week of the birth and a majority of these occur in the first two days after birth

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AWAKENING By Nirmala Pillay

Waiting at the traffic signal
I saw her every day a child-woman,
Darting hands out stretched
Between cars halting

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Volume V

Fatima Ansari- Chalking out Her Destiny.

I was keen to meet Fatima Ansari a women in her eighties who lives by herself in the Umerkhadi area of Mohommed Ali Road and who had been the first woman in her family to complete her post graduation nearly sixty years ago! So .I took an appointment and went to meet her in her in her flat in Victoria Building.

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Women Of Pure Wonder - A Book Review

Women Empowerment is recognised today as the surest way of transforming the fortunes not only of the families of the empwered women but also destinies of communities. Now not only governments and nongovernment organisation are recognising the achievements of empowered women , even corporate are lauding their efforts

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GOAT FARMING: A Livelihood for Rural Poor

I spent nearly two years in Himachal Pradesh where I was posted as Chief Postmaster General . During my tours in the mountainous territory it was a familiar sight to see herds of long hairy goats and sheep blocking long stretches of roads while their herdsmen , the Gaddi or Gujjar tribesmen moved from place to place for grazing them . Watching them languidly strolling besides their herds

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Importance of Vitamins in our Diet and their Sources

Vitamins are essential for the normal functioning of our body, as they play a vital role in cell functions, growth, and development. Vitamins can be grouped into two types: water soluble vitamins and fat soluble vitamins. Out of the 13 essential vitamins, four vitamins, namely, vitamins A, D, E and K, are fat soluble vitamins, while the other 9 vitamins, including vitamins C and the B vitamins, are water soluble vitamins. Fat soluble vitamins can be stored in the fatty tissues, whereas water soluble vitamins except B12 are flushed out of the body through and should be replenished regularly

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Dear God!
A poem by Devika Kumar

Dear God, do You listen or would You rather say
This may be put up another day?
Does the clamour below upset Your plans
Or do You turn away without a glance?

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Volume VI

TAYYABA HUSSAIN: A REMARKABLE HOME MAKER AND SOCIAL WORKER

In today’s world of nuclear families and broken homes where children abandon parents in their old age it is indeed heartening when one comes across a family of nearly eight siblings ( five sons and three daughters ), their 25 offspring sand eighteen grandchildren ( till date ) bonding together though they live in different continents.

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What am I to her
And she to me

By Sukrita Paul

Seven moons away is when I met her
On a travel away from home

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On Women's Day

I wave no feminist flags
And yet --
And yet you will provoke me so!

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WOMEN EMPOWERMENT THROUGH SELF HELP GROUPS By Moin Qazi

In India the self-help group (SHG) concept has gone beyond merely financing petty loans to women. It now embraces the concept of space for and inclusion of women in decision-making and in setting the development agenda. Development credit plus is being advocated. Millions of women have stepped out of their courtyards for the first time .They have successfully and admirably handled a pass book and the responsibilities of leadership

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DIET DURING JAUNDICE

Jaundice is a disease that affects the liver, causing a yellow discolouration of the skin, mucous membranes and the white of the eye. Among various causes of jaundice, the infective jaundice is caused by viruses. Hepatitis A and hepatitis E are the main causes of water borne jaundice, commonly called as acute viral hepatitis. These viruses should not be confused with hepatitis B and hepatitis C which are acquired mainly through blood transfusions or using the infected needles or syringes

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VISION PARADISE: TRANSFORMING TRAGEDY INTO HOPE FOR UNDER PRIVILEGED WOMEN

Experiencing cancer at a personal level or watching a near and dear one battling it and eventually succumbing to it is devastating . For Dr Animesh Chander and Sunita Roy their world stopped when they learnt in the December of 2005 that their daughter, Arpita who was working as a Resident Doctor at Chester Hospital was diagnosed with Cervical Cancer, Stage IV B .The doctors gave her only 6months !

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Volume VII

GHAZALA AZAD: AN EXTRAORDINARY ACTIVIST, SOCIAL WORKER, AND HOMEMAKER

On Women’s Day 2015, Ghazala Azad was honoured by the Needs Society with the Asif Khan Memorial Award for her outstanding social work. Mrs  Shareefa Khan ,  wife of  Asif Khan  , the founder of  the NGO  praised Ghazala’s dedication and hard work .

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DESTINY By Humera Ahmed

No! She thought that man being introduced by her friend and hostess Salma couldn’t be Sajjad .Sajjad in Chicago? Impossible! She went a little closer and peered and then froze .The man was indeed Sajjad! Though gray and haggard it was unmistakably him

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Small enterprise-Beginning of Business Nandini Kapdi

Razia was a homemaker. Her husband was a worker in a printing factory. With two growing up children, Razia was finding it difficult to meet the expenditure

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THE INVISIBLE BURDEN CARRIERS By Moin Qazi

It is an image of resilience: women bending over rice fields, women bending over to lift sacks, bending over to tend children, bending over to draw water from wells, bending over a patch of embroidery, bending over all the time. A woman’s work is never done

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ABU MOHAMMED AND KANEEZ FATIMA TRUST

Most people consider their mother to be an inspiration but for Mumtaz Haider, Member Trustee of the Abu Mohammed and Kaneez Fatima Charitable Trust it was her mother in law, the late Kaneez Fatima who was the inspiration .Kaneez Fatima had spent most of her life assisting poor Muslim girls, trying to make them financially. self reliant

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Volume VIII

BANDHAN BANK

Bandhan Financial Services. a Micro Finance Group which has its head quarters at Kolkata has commenced operation as a fully fledged lender from 23rd August with 501 branches across the country

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SAFA INDIA: SOCIO ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN

Just a furlong away from the posh residential buildings ,glass and chrome show rooms and swanky corporate offices of Road no 12 Banjara Hills in Hyderabad , are the lanes and by lanes occupied by the slums (Bastis ) of the lower dregs of the social strata.

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The Shadow of the Tree

Sometimes the leaves appeared green, sometimes silvery. Feet slipped over the sparse, tough grass where leaves had fallen. And the sunlight dappled the shadows below through the high branches. Across this tracery, the silence stretched tight, waiting to be touched into memory. It had been her tree always

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EATING CORRECTLY FOR MAINTAINING A HEART By Saleema Rizvi KHan

The growth of heart diseases is dependent on a number of interlinked factors such as aging, changing lifestyles and food habits, and other rapidly evolving socioeconomic determinants across most developing nations. All these factors together result in an increased incidence of cardiovascular diseases(CVDs).

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NAHEED AQUEEL :DEVELOPING LEADERSHIP AT GRASS ROOT LEVEL

When Naheed came to Lucknow in 1998 with a degree in Commerce and took up the job of a Manager Sales Tax in the Lucknow branch of the Bangalore based firm Electronic and Control Put Ltd , little did she imagine that she would quit the job to become a full time activist

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Volume IX

AFSAR FAROOQUI: BREAKING THE MOULD

Nagpur, the geographical centre of the country - known as its orange city, was in the 70’s , a green , spacious quite town, its citizen’s known for their keen pursuit of academic education , many acquiring a string of degrees like the famous late Shri Shrikant Jichkar .

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PROVIDING A NUTRITIOUS LOW COST MEAL by Saleema Rizvi

India has some of the highest levels of malnutrition among women and children in the world with about 30% of the world’s malnourished children living in the country. Despite economic growth child malnutrition remains largely unchanged.

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Mumbai Art Festival

Pre and post Festival of light Mumbai is sprinkled with festivals Of theatre, music, dance, art, lit Transforming the city into a carnival.

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RUKSHANA: INDIA'S GIRL RISING STORY

Girl Rising is a star powered documentary film by Academy Award nominated Director Richard E Robbins comprising the inspiring profiles of nine extraordinary girls from nine developing countries whose stories have been written for the screen by famous writer and narrated by some of the most renowned actors in the world such as Meryl Streep Ann Hathway,Cate Blanche Salma Hayek, Priyanka Chopra .

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REDEFINING MICRO FINANCE By Moin Qazi

Finance is one field where we have witnessed significant innovations in recent decades. Earlier, we could only visualize social change in rural India because villages were so deeply mired in caste conflicts. These conflicts had engendered local tyrannies and subverted the social order, resulting in bondage and servitude for significant portions of the population for generations.

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Volume X

PARCHAM COLLECTIVE: Reclaiming Public Spaces for Girls and Women

The first Fatima Bi –Savitri Bai Foot ball Tournament for Girls took place in Mumbra on 8th March , International Women’s Day .It was organised by Thana Municipal Corporation and Parcham Collective .The tournament is named after two pioneering women in the field of education ,who together despite all odds followed their conviction to educate those to whom education was denied .

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HE FOR HER –THE MOVEMENT FOR GENDER PARITY

On the occasion of International Women’s Day on 8th march 2016 the Dept of Posts and UN postal Administration released a set of two stamps and a miniature sheet on the India-UN Women He For She campaign .The stamp which depicts a face which is half male and half female illustrates the fact that the female gender is half of humanity and indicates gender equality and parity .

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Paradise beneath her feet: Why Muslim Women Matter By Moin Qazi,

A mother is a school. Empower her and you empower a great nation. —Hafez Ibrahim, Egyptian poet (1872-1932) Money, says the proverb, makes money. When you have got a little, it is often easy to get more.The great difficulty is to get that little Adam Smith, the Wealth of Nations

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BANANAS – A HEALTHY OPTION

Bananas are a staple fruit of India. They are one of the healthiest fruit options as well as among the cheapest. Another huge advantage is that they are available throughout the year unlike most other fruits. Bananas are often ignored in favour of other more fancy fruit but one cannot ignore the fact that they are healthy, wholesome and high in nutritional content. They are a caloric dense and nutrient dense food which is useful for patients with extreme weight loss.

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Freedom

Life gets pigeon-holed
Into neat, social compartments,
With appropriate labels for each activity –
A name for the birth,
The place, the belonging,
Seeking definitions:
Marital status, religion, a job –
Setting boundaries to Infinity –
A lifetime is spent

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Volume XI

In Memory of Zakia Khatib - Social Worker, Educationist and Activist(1930- 2016)

Zakia Khatib or Zakia aunty as I called her, as she had been my late mother’s friend passed away on 30th May 2016. Her death seemed like an end of an era of those pioneering and courageous Muslim women, who not only broke traditional barriers of a patriarchal society but were also committed to improve the lot of women and children from their community by endeavoring to educate and train girls and women from the under privileged sections of their community to become self-reliant.

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Yoga for control of Diabetes

On 21st June, the world celebrated the 2nd International Yoga day with great enthusiasm. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the huge Yoga performance at the capitol Complex Chandigarh - a picture of which is reproduced below. On 20th itself Baba Ramdev had led a Yoga session on Rajpath which transformed it into Yog path.

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JUST A WORD.....

Words affect me. Always. For better and for worse. They matter. So I thought I would write these....

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Making NGOs Accountable and Transparent

A Non Governmental oOganisation (NGO) is a not for profit organisation committed to work for the welfare if the people , independent of the state and international bodies .The may get grants from the government but are usually funded through donations .NGOs play a crucial role in developing society ,improving community and promoting citizens participation to safe guard and raise environmental , social and human rights issues .

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Facets of a woman

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Volume XII

NILOFER AKHTER

Nilofer Akhter President of the Mumbai Family Court Bar Association has been practicing Family law since 1996 and has been able to get Landmark Judgements in favour of Muslim women within the ambit of the Quranic Ayats She believes the Quran is Fair and Just to women . The problem is that most Muslims are not aware of the Ayats or do not understand the Quran as very few good translations are available.

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AN INTEGRATED APPROACH TO HEALTH CARE OF THE POOR

An article in the News& Blog section of the website of the Centre For Disease Dynamics ,Economics &Policy (CDEP),written by Jordon Lewinson , a Senior Research Analyst dated 4th June 2016 brought out some startling facts .In it was stated that each year nearly 150 million people across the globe face financial catastrophe due to spending on health .And according to a study in 2010 ,more than 1/3 of these are in India .Thus the number of Indians fallen below the poverty line (BPL) due to health spending may be as high as 63million ,nearly 7%of the population .The article quotes a 2015Government of India (GoI) report stating that “Incidence of catastrophic expenditure due to health care costs is growing and is now being estimated to be one of the major contribution to poverty. The drain on family incomes due to healthcare costs can neutralise the gain of income increase and every government scheme aimed to reduce poverty.”

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Bringing the poor on the dialogue table

The poor have skills, are politically conscious, and are aware of the need for schooling for the children and taking care of their health and also planning a future for their families. However, their lack of income makes it impossible for them to monetize their skills and thereby improve the quality of their life. Providing investment capital for additional income generation can unlock their potential to solve many, if not all, of the manifestations of poverty. This has to be supplemented by skill development, proper marketing support and appropriate monetary compensation for their skills and produce.

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NUTRITIONAL ISSUES IN ADOLESCENT CHILDREN

Approximately 20% of the population of India consists of adolescents. Adolescents are the future generation of any country and their nutritional needs are critical for the well being of society. The phenomenal growth that occurs in adolescence, second only to that in the first year of life, creates increased demands for energy and nutrients.

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RIGHT OF WOMB – Garver odhikar

Translated by Jhama Sanyal from Bengali from the Collection Chayanaira, The Shadow Women.

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THE SHADOW WOMEN AND OTHER STORIES

Very rarely do we meet individuals who combine several roles successfully and Chandana Khan an IAS officer of Andhra Pradesh/Telangana cadre and author of The Shadow Women and other stories is one such unique person .An able administrator , an ardent exponent of folk culture and heritage a social activist concerned with safeguarding the rights of women and the girl child she is also an artist ,poet , a home maker and a caring mother who was able to nurture her family despite her hectic work and social life.

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Volume XIII

Ruchika Mahadik – A Profile of an Aspirational Indian Girl

I saw Ruchika Mahadik at my friend Bhargavi Menon a Retired Lecturer’s place . The girls about 20 years old , slightly plumpish , with short hair ,boyish in her demeanor, strode in , her head d held high , her eyes bright and intelligent , with two mugs of tea .

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MUMBRA - A Muslim Ghetto

For the past twenty years or so ,I had been hearing about Mumbra - the largest Muslim Ghetto in the country .Located in Thana , the Mumbra –Kausa stretch of 10km ,once a fishing village at the confluence of the Ulhas River and the Thana creek- the area witnessed an upsurge in its population in 1992/1993 in the wake of the Mumbai riots when thousands of Muslims fled here from majority dominated areas ,seeking a haven here . An area in this Mumbra Kausa was allocated by the Wakf board for the settlements of these families .But many more families from North India migrated and as per 2011 census , the population is nearly 9lacs as against 44000 in 1991 .Nearly 80% of the population is Muslim .

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A Slice Of Rainbow

Slice a piece of rainbow for me
and make sure the edge is smooth --
I want to colour some part of life
and match the colours right --

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BELIEF IN CHOICE, NOT CHARITY- By Moin Qazi

Money, says the proverb, makes money. When you have got a little, it is often easy to get more. The great difficulty is to get that little.
Adam Smith, the Wealth of Nations.

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Controlling High Blood Pressure- By Saleema Rizvi

High blood pressure is one of the biggest health risks that India faces. Almost 30 % of the Indian population is suffering from hypertension which can be of two types. Primary hypertension, where there is no discernible cause of high blood pressure, tends to develop slowly and gradually over many years.

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Volume XIV

DEFYING TRADITION, TASTING SUCCESS By Moin Qazi

Blindside the narrow turn off the Nagpur–Chandrapur highway, about 100 km from Nagpur, and Wanoja remains a name. Take a hard left and find a village, that doesn’t exist on Chandrapur district’s political and physical map but finds place of pride on Maharashtra’s rural development map. Wanoja, with a population of little over 1,500, has propelled into the limelight by emerging top dog in several social programmes. The moving force behind the turnaround of fortunes, chorus villagers and the administration, are women from the self help groups (SHGs) locally called bachat gats, which have pulled Wanoja out of the sludge of local politicking.

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MAKING WOMEN SELF RELIANT

The Ladies Wing of Islamic Gymkhana, located at Marine Drive celebrated Women’s day in a unique way by organising a Fashion Fiesta and a Fete. The Fete was from 4pm to 11pm in the night on the lawns facing the blue shimmering waters of the Arabian Sea .It show cased the work and the products (crafts, clothes, food items) of various Women’s groups and NGO’s

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HE UNDAUNTED GIRLS

Muslim girls in Hijab are seen everywhere: in trains, bazaars and mostly in colleges . Many say that they if they wear hijab their parents and community permit them to study further – as they are seen as conforming to their culture and will not go astray. They also feel safe. What so ever may be the reason; more and more girls from traditional and conservative families are going in for higher studies and excelling themselves. In the recent past –three hijab wearing Muslim girls made headlines .They are Raushan Jawaad, Neda Fatima Sheikh and Aamera Khan.

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The STORM-By Praveen Talha

It all started when Ganga Din came home drunk and was welcomed with a tight slap by his wife chunni. Before Ganga Din could react, Chunni was pulled to the ground by Ganga Din’s father Sarju and his two wives and their innumerable progeny. All of them combined to give Chunni what she deserved for her unforgivable behaviour. The incident was an unprecedented one; it took no time to reach the ears of everyone who mattered in the mohalla. A crowd gathered outside Sarju’s jhuggi to sympathize with him and his son and to advise them as to what action should be taken to nip the evil in the bud. Some suggested that Chunni should be sent back to her parents and Ganga Din should get a farkhati (Divorce). Such a girl should not be allowed to stay in the mohalla for, after all, bad habits spread like fire. There were other young girls and daughters-in-law, who could pick up these devilish traits.

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REFLECTIONS

Before the night wraps me in deep sleep,
Let me live another day in peace.


The world is celebrating womanhood to day
When can I celebrate the me in me every day?

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Volume XV

SEWA MUMBAI LAUNCHES THE LADIES WING

On 24thMay,I was invited by Ghazala Azad , social activist and Karate Instructor – whose objective is to make girls self reliant by being able to defend themselves – to a launch of the Ladies Wing of SEWA a Voluntary organization in Mumbai, where the Chief Guest was the social activist , Shabnam Hashmi , sister of the famous Safdar Hashmi. Never a one to miss , the assemblage of women for a good cause –specially Muslim women which is indicative that they had the backing of their men folk, –I attended the function at Islam Gymkhana.

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MUSLIM WOMEN AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

On 24th May SEWA a Mumbai Based Social and welfare organization, launched its ladies wing at the Islam Gymkhana. During the function, I met many Muslim women from all walks of life –education, medicine, dentistry, administration, law, media Finance, Social Work, Civil Defense, eager to work for the welfare of Muslim Women and also for other underprivileged sections of society.

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MAKING MICROFINANCE RELEVANT TO POOR AGAIN

Microfinance – the widely popular system of provision of financial services tailored to fit the needs of low income people - is facing trouble because the purity of its mission has been diluted. When it started, microfinance was a financial tool being used for social good. Now it has increasingly become a social tool used as a way to generate money which is why it has lost a lot of its original sheen. This is one reason why microfinance often runs into heavy weather and hits periodic roadblocks and default crisis. A number of rigorous field studies have shown that even when lending programs successfully reach borrowers, there is only a limited increase in entrepreneurial activity -- and no measurable decrease in poverty rates.

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Made To Order!

It was their new apartment and the Bhatnagars were settling in happily. There was a lot of work, buying, cleaning, unpacking and getting to know the neighbourhood. But the most important, and undoubtedly the most delicate and tricky, task was to find a Maid. And finding one made-to-order was near impossible!

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HOME TESTED REMEDIES

There is no place like home, even if it is a small hut. Home is where your heart is. And home remedies are always good remedies. A few remedies given below are time tested .I have tried these out with success.

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Volume XVI

MEN DENY WOMEN EQUALITY, NOT THE QURAN

A mother is a school. Empower her and you empower a great nation.

– Hafez Ibrahim, Egyptian poet

The portrayal of Muslim women in the media is grim and somber. The public perception of them is one of stubborn stereotypes: supposedly powerless and oppressed, behind walls and veils, demure, voiceless and silent figures, discriminated and bereft of even basic rights.

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THE SUPREME COURT JUDGEMENT

A Step towards Gender Justice

The Supreme Court five member bench gave a historic judgment :it decided by a 3;2 majority the practice of unilateral ,instant Talaq also known as Triple Talaq or talaq-e-biddat) unconstitutional. It established that the practice was contrary to principles of equality enshrined in the Constitution as well as the Quran. It clearly stated that the instant triple talaq was not prescribed in the Quran Nor is it fundamental to the religion of Islam in India

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Halimah Yacob: Lady of Substanc

On 14th September 2017, Halima bint Yacob(born 23 August 1954) became the first woman president of the Republic of Singapore.

Halima is of paternal Indian and maternal Malay descent. Her life trajectory proves that with courage, grit, the right attitude, and humility one can overcome adversity and deprivation to achieve the highest office ‘ Her father watchmen in a government job died when she, the youngest of five children was only eight years old. Her mother to make two ends meet started selling snacks on a pushcart and Halimah used to help her in preparing the ingredients. Things got worse when the family was thrown out of the government quarter, and they had to stay with relatives. In the early years of school, Halimah recalls that she hardly paid attention to studies as she was exhausted and sleepy and also prone to daydreaming. But soon the realization dawned that if she wanted to help lessen her mother's burden, she would have to pay attention to her studies. After her schooling at Singapore Chinese Girls school and Tanjong Katong Girls school, she proceeded to the then University of Singapore on a Macquarie University International scholarship graduating with a law degree in 1978. She was called to the bar in 1981 and conferred a Masters of law degree at National University of Singapore (NUS) 2001.

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The Invisible Indian Woman

As we say health is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity (WHO).

I live in a country which is known to have deep rooted religious faiths and beliefs .Food and its juices or Rasas are perceived to be a divine nectar be it any religion or community .Food the way it should be eaten or served have a deep importance in our culture and tradition .Fasting & feasting have been synchronized to seasons, lunar and solar cycles

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The New Horizon By Humera Ahmed

WITH A START SAIRA AWOKE TO THE CALL OF THE MUEZZIN..

Today of all days, she must not forget her prayers. She thanked the Almighty in Sijda for having realized her dream to make Arshad a doctor

It had been Asad's wish. His last letter from Dubai had been full of it. He felt the life of a doctor in the villages of India –serving the poor and needy –was more worthwhile than the materialistic existence in Dubai. At least his son would be able to live the life he had visualized but which the constraints of fortune had not allowed him.

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Avial and Inji Curry – Two essential parts of the Sadya Onam feast By Bhargavi Menon

Though both the dishes are regularly made in Kerala households ,they are essential for the Onam Sadya feast . As far as Avial is concerned it is also linked to Mythology. It is believed that Bhīma during the exile of the Pandavas took up duties in the court of King Virat as a cook. Not knowing how to cook, he cut all the available vegetables in the kitchen, boiled these and topped them with grated coconut .This with some modifications became Avial. Another variant of this legend is that once King Virat had a unexpected guests and there were no ingredients to make a side dish .So Bhīma took the left over vegetables to make Avial

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VOLUME XVII

Muneerah Kuraishi :First graduate and career woman in her family

The first time I met Muneerah was on 27th September at the Caferati @Writers ‘Forum – an event organized by Giant Group Mumbai One at the Giant Internationals headquarter office Orient Club 9, Chow patty Sea Face. The session was from 3-5pm on a bright dazzling afternoon with sunlight shimmering on the sea .

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BRIDGING THE GENDER GAP
By Moin Qazi

We know that women and girls have a unique power to reshape societies. When you invest in a woman’s health and empowerment, it has a ripple effect, helping families, communities, and countries achieve long-lasting benefits
-Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

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Respected Mrs. C.M & Dearest Miss G
By Purnima Mahesh

I choose this title and this article today to emphasize the importance of mental health especially for women.

According to the WHO Depression and anxiety disorders are common mental disorders that have an impact on our ability to work, and to work productively. Globally, more than 300 million people suffer from depression, the leading cause of disability. More than 260 million are living with anxiety disorders. Many of these people live with both. Mental health in the workplace is the theme of World Mental Health Day 2017. World Mental Health Day is observed on 10 October every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues and mobilizing efforts in support of better mental health.

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THE 10TH AIMES CONFERENCE IN HYDERABAD

The Muslim Educational Society based in Calicut Kerala is an organization which has transformed the lives of the Muslim community in the last fifty years . MES has a membership of 20,000 and manages a massive network of 150 institutions in the country (mainly in Kerala and neighboring states) as well as in the Gulf and Saudi Arabia . With more than 85000 students and 15000 teachers across a vast network of educational institutions comprising more than 50 schools, 10 Professional colleges, 21 Arts and Science Colleges,7 women’s colleges, a large number of hostels ( men as well as women ) , hospitals, vocational institutes, cultural complexes and units in every district of the state, its impact on the educational, social and cultural life of Kerala is impressive.

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SAYALAN-AL-RAHIM (LEUCORRHOEA) & ITS CURE THROUGH UNANI MEDICINE
Dr. Shaikh Nikhat

Leucorrhoea is excessive vaginal discharge. It is a frequent gynecological complaint that accounts for more than 1/4th of visits to a gynecologist. The vaginal discharge may be caused by excess of humors with a whitish, yellowish, reddish and blackish discharge accompanied sometimes with foul smelling and itchy sensation or pain in the infected area. If the disease is not treated in the initial stage then it may become chronic and leads to Pelvic inflammatory diseases (PID).

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A Rose for Miss Lall
By Devika Kumar

The girls of Class 6 looked with the besotted devotion of a single-minded beagle at their class teacher. The whole school recognised that Miss Lall was undoubtedly the prettiest teacher on the staff. Not just pretty. She was gorgeous. Her eyes were large and brown, with impossibly long lashes, and the peaches and cream complexion was envied widely. Her lips owed nothing to botox, and the delicate lipstick seemed to glow with the chiffons she wore! She taught them English and when she spoke, the girls would watch those beautiful lips shape each word and try to imitate her.

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VOLUME XVIII

MAKING A MARK IN THE MEDIA WORLD By Humera Ahmed

Remember the movie Munna Bhai Laage Raho, in which Munna Bhai (Sanjay Dutt) is smitten by the voice of Jahnvi (Vidya Balan) - a radio jockey and is hooked to her programme “Hello Mumbai”. Having grown up listening to Ameen Sayani’s Binaca Geet Mala , and giving talks on Radio , I became fascinated by the possibilities the Radio offered in its new Avatar of FM Radio in communicating and connecting to a wider audience. I was therefore keen to meet a Radio Jockey and learn about the profession. But tied down to my 24/7 schedule of a Public servant with onerous domestic responsibilities I didn’t pursue it and was content in listening to Radio Mirchi 98.3 FM on way to office and back and of course giving an occasional talks on A.I.R.

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SERVICE TO SOCIETY
Ayesha Anees

ACCESS Foundation was set up two years ago by a small group of women committed to improve the lot of girls and women from marginalized sections of society. During the past two years the Foundation has been doing great service, by organizing health camps and setting up skill development centers as well as providing warm clothes, windcheaters to school children and also made arrangements for fixing water purifiers in schools.

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A letter to Eve
By Purnima Mahesh

Dear Eve,

Today I want to write something to you, about you. Have you ever pondered Eve why for products like shaving cream or razor blade or worse, male briefs and vest you are being used?

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In God's Hell By Devika Kumar

Let my silence write
into the sand, not stone,
the tired disgust of being Man -
Of sharing this Earth
with you and you,

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THE LOST LEGACY OF THE QUEENS OF ISLAM
By Moin Qazi

When Imam Zuhri, a famous scholar of Sunna (Prophet Muhammad’s prescriptions), indicated to Qasim ibn Muhammad (a scholar of the Qur’an), a desire to seek knowledge, Qasim advised him to join the assembly of a well-known woman jurist of the day, Amara bin Al-Rahman. Imam Zuhri attended her assembly and later described her as “a boundless ocean of knowledge.”

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Kayakalp Diabetes Management
By Dr. MUNEERAH KURAISHI

Dr.Muneerah is a naturopath who has been practicing Naturopathy for the last 17 years. She believes in Holistic healing – treating both the mind and body. Below are important action required for Diabetes Management

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VITAMIN D (A SUNSHINE VITAMIN) - HEALTH BENEFITS AND RIGHT WAY TO TAKE IT
BY Dr. Shaikh Nikhat

Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, is produced by the body as a response to sun exposure; it can also be consumed in food or supplements.

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VOLUME XIX

GO GREEN REVOLUTION:AN INSIGHT By Renuka Joshi

The advent of vegetarianism is rampant. The “go green” epidemic is at large. More and more number of people are opting for a vegan diet. We are all inquisitive to know the mystery behind the new trend on the anvil. Let us take a quick look at the perks of going green.

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Seema Pardeshi:Caring for the Environment
By Humera Ahmed

The Ban on Plastics by the State Government of Maharashtra came into force on 23rd June 2018. But Seema Pardeshi Khandale has been working on a 3R Project, which is essentially, Recycle, Reuse and Reduce of Plastic bags since 2015 through her NGO Ashay Social Group.

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In Praise of Good Manners
By Devika Kumar

It was sometime in 1958 that I first came to Delhi with Dad and Mum on one of my father’s official tours from what was at the time, small town Jaipur. I was all of six years old and considered myself an extremely knowledgeable person. Till Dad took us to Standard restaurant.

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Maharashtra’s War on Plastics to Save the Environment
By Humera Ahmed

On 5th June World Environment Day, India was the host nation and the theme “Beat Plastic Pollution.” The World Environment day was a culmination of the yearlong UN campaign to raise awareness and inspire action against Plastic.

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REINING PONZI KINGPINS AND PHONEY AGENTS
By Moin Qazi

In 1919 Charles (Carlo) Ponzi, a clerk in Boston , who later earned notoriety as a financial con artist, duped Americans with a scheme that now bears his name. Ponzi didn’t invent this eponymous scheme — but he lent star power to one of the oldest scams known to us and pioneered its more subtle variation .At a time when interest rates stood at 5 percent, Ponzi made an amazing promise of doubling investors’ money in 90 days. The pitch was to buy postal coupons—used for buying foreign stamps- in a particular country, and then capitalize on exchange rate differences by redeeming them at a profit in the US. Ponzi only bought a handful of stamps. But he kept the scam going by robbing from Peter to pay Paul; old investors were paid back with money from new investors, and thus, he formed a cycle. The Italian immigrant, who had tremendous charisma, coaxed thousands of people into sinking millions before his scheme finally crashed in 1920. Ponzi scams keep coming back because they are so lucrative and so easy to do in many variations of them.

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Tamasha
By Purnima Mahesh

Hi !!! …….. No ,No my article has nothing to do with the Imtiaz Ali movie at all ………………..Recently I was very surprised when I saw friends and acquaintances on the messaging app WA having a black DP on further probing it was found out that the reason being a protest against the recent rape incident .It is a very disturbing and alarming thought more alarming is the fact that the news channels milking this opportunity to increase TRPs by politicizing and sensationalizing this issue .People putting black DPs and celebrities holding placards are not doing anything substantial but making a Tamasha of the whole issue hence taking away the seriousness it truly deserves .I am not going into the matter or touching the sensitive topic of religion, the politics etc. as I have no knowledge or access to the facts like all common people my source is also the media but the reactions that I am seeing in front of my eyes can be commented on .

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VITAMIN D (A SUNSHINE VITAMIN) - HEALTH BENEFITS AND RIGHT WAY TO TAKE IT
BY Dr. Shaikh Nikhat

Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, is produced by the body as a response to sun exposure; it can also be consumed in food or supplements.

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