World of Women Bharatiya Streeshakti inaugurates its forum in Delhi ?Gender inequality is unacceptable? – Nirmalatai Apte
Bharatiya Streeshakti, a Maharashtra-based organisation for women opened its chapter in Delhi, recently. The organisation works for women empowerment and organises various activities for women drawn from various strata of the society.
The ceremony began by welcoming the chief guests with deep prajwalan (lighting of the lamp). Nafisa Hussain and Nirmala Sitaraman, both members of the National Commission for Women, were the chief guests on the occasion. The subjects discussed at the meet included ?The World without Women?, ?Women and Politics?, and ?Contribution, of Women in Social Development?. Dr Mridula Sinha, Chairperson, Central Social Welfare Board released a booklet on the Bharatiya Streeshakti. ?Every other day cases of female foeticide are reported and in today’sworld, it is the woman who is the greater culprit than man in inflicting torture upon girl child and women. This could be in the education field, or as dowry death cases or female foeticide,? she said on the occasion.
Nirmalatai Apte, Organising Secretary, Bharatiya Streeshakti talked to Organiser about the working of the organisation. Excerpts:
What is the aim of your organisation?
Women and their problems constitute our chief interest area. We consider women issues as social issues. We deal with their problems and provide a suitable solution to them. The organisation believes that the problems of women are not related to them only; these are problems of the entire society. We are working for all-round development of women and in turn, the whole nation. Still there is lot to be done. There are many questions. All the work women organisations do?it is just a drop in the ocean. We should not expect instant results. The society takes time to change and we should give it the necessary time. At present, the society is in the transitory phase?in the process of a change.
What kind of an organisation is it? Do you believe in organising mass agitations or in debating indoors?
We work in three diffrent ways. We organise demonstra-tions, family counselling centres, personality development camps, legal awareness camps, health camps, pre-marital counselling workshops, and entrepreneurship development workshops. Bharatiya Streeshakti allows the people to express their views and invites them for debates on current women-related issues.
Is your work cofined to white-collar workers or to the farm labour segment?
Bharatiya Streeshakti receives women from all sections of the society. The victimised women, no matter whether they belong to the lower class of the society or to the upper class or whether they are working or housewives, they come to us to seek solace. We have done different studies on the various issues of women. Our organisation has brought out some publications too. Recently, we organised a jansunvayee (open forum) in Nagpur for the sake of dalit women. Women come to us with hope and I?m sure they all return from us contented. Otherwise, we couldn’tthink of working on this big scale.
who are the people associated with your organisation?
We do not work in a particular state or for some special women. We go to all those areas where the victimised women need us and we try to work for them.
What do you think about the recent ?anti-women? Bill passed by the Jammu and Kashmir Legislature?
This is not a healthy practice. Gender inequality is the major issue against which we should work right from the roots of our family. The situation in Jammu and Kashmir can be seen different as compared to the rest of the nation. One cannot think of settling down in the state and now a Bill has been passed to encourage this. When Jammu & Kashmir is part of the country, in the real sense, then why should we be forced to face these things? As women enjoy rights in other states of the country, likewise it should be in Kashmir too.
What can be done to make Delhi more secure for women?
The law and order situation in Delhi calls for improvement. The society should change its attitude towards women in general. They look at a woman as a commodity, not as a person. Women should be organised and work in groups. Only then can she raise her voice forcefully against the atrocities committed against her.
Tell us more about Bharatiya Streeshakti.
Bharatiya Streeshakti is an organisation working for women since 1988. It basically belongs to Maharashtra, where we have 19 branches at present. We are also working in some places of Madhya Pradesh and Goa. Gradually, we want to spread our organisation to the All-India level. We are now launching it in Delhi, from where we will soon be able to showcase its All-India image.