Roshni July to September 2021

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July To September 2021

Members and Staff of Head Office at the Flag Hoisting Ceremony on Independence day

AIWC Pathankot Branch celebrates Independence Day

Independence Day 2021

AIWC ECC Laketown Branch celebrated Independence Day in association with Bidhannagar Rotary Club and Laketown Rotary Club. Rotary Club Bidhannagar handed over a digital weighing machine and sealing machine to Draupadi Powder Spices of our association. Rotary Club Laketown gave packets of milk powder to 25 children at the Child Welfare Center in our Nehru Colony and 2 packets of sanitary napkins to 15 women. On behalf of our association, the children were given packets of rice, pulses and milkshake. President Shikha Mitra spoke on women’s menstrual hygiene. Printed at : I G Printers Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi-110020

All India Women’s Conference


AIWC Vrindavan Branch

Greater Noida Branch and Human Touch Foundation for Women celebrated India’s 75th Independence Day at the Sakipur Village centre, Greater Noida.

Sanjeevni Mahila Sanstha Meerut


Head Office staff with President, Smt. Sheela Kakde and Secretary General Smt. Kuljit Kaur

Jabalpur Branch

Mhow Branch

Rewari Branch

Ashok Nagar Ranchi Jharkhand Branch

Rajkot Branch celebrated Independence Day with the children of Ramnathpara Creché and Street School

Kalyan Niketan, Kadma, Jamshedpur Branch, planted 1200 saplings on the outskirts of Jamshedpur. More will be planted later.

Roshni July - September 2021 Contents


 Editorial.............................................................................................................2

Journal of the All India Women's Conference

July - September 2021

 Rani Lakshmibai Rajwade Thirteenth President of AIWC (1939-40) ..............................................................................................3 -by Smt. Rekha Rajwade

Editorial Board

 Begum Shareefa Hamid Ali (1883 – 1971) Fourteenth President of AIWC ..........................................................................................8 -by Smt. Hema Sheth

Editor Assistant Editor Advisor Editorial Assistants

: : : : :

President Secretary General Treasurer

: Smt. Sheela Kakde : Smt. Kuljit Kaur : Smt. Rehana Begum


: : : : :

Smt. Chitra Sarkar Smt. Meenakshi Kumar Smt. Supriya Bhalerao Smt. Ranjana Gupta Smt. Sujata Shivya

 Smt. Rameshwari Nehru Fifteenth President of AIWC (1941-42) ........ 11 -by Smt. Shevata Rai Talwar  Smt. Vijayalakshmi Pandit Sixteenth President of AIWC ...................... 14 -by Smt. Chitra Sarkar  Smt. Hansa Mehta - Eighteenth President of AIWC ............................... 17 -by Dr. Bhavna Joshipura  Bangalore Branch ......................................................................................... 20

Smt. Kunti Paul Smt. Gomathi Nair Smt. Bina Jain Smt. Veena Kohli Smt. Rakesh Dhawan

 Bihar State Branch, Patna ............................................................................ 20 -by Smt. Kumkum Narain  Darjeeling Main Branch............................................................................... 22  Kakinada Main Branch ................................................................................ 23 -by Smt. N. Bhanumati  Harishri Women’s Association, Kerala....................................................... 24

AIWC has Consultative Status with UN Observer's Status with UNFCCC Permanent Representatives : Smt. Sudha Acharya and Smt. Seema Upleker (ECOSOC) (UNICEF) AIWC has affiliation with International Alliance of Women Pan Pacific and S.E.A. Women's Association CONGO Global Water Partnership World Renewable Energy Network

 Kalimpong Branch........................................................................................ 25  Sanju Women’s Welfare Association, Chennai ......................................... 25 -by Smt. Shanthi Socrates  Komaragiri Branch Durgabai Deshmukh Adopted Village, Komaragiri ...................................................................................... 26 -by Smt. M Bhanu Seshu  RPM Women’s Welfare Association, Chennai [Affiliated to  The Women’s Indian Association] .............................................................. 27 -by Smt. Preetha Raj

ROSHNI Editorial and Business Office All India Womens Conference 6, Bhagwan Dass Road, New Delhi-110 001 Phone : 011-43389100, 011-43389101 E-mail : Website :

 Shree Sarvajanik Mahila Mandal, Bardoli, Gujarat ................................. 28 -by Smt. Arti Joshi  Ujjawal Women’s Association, East Delhi ................................................. 29 -by Smt. Sheela Satyanarayan  Garia Mahamayatala Jadavpur Constituent Branch, Kolkata ................ 31 -by Smt. Basudha Ganguly  J&K Women Society, Jammu, (J&K) ......................................................... 32 -by Smt. Nirmal Padha

The views expressed in the articles published in Roshni are those of the authors only and not of All India Women's Conference. Subscription Rates Domestic Yearly Quarterly

 SUVARNA Celebrates Founder’s Day and Onam .................................... 33 -by Smt. Bhuvaneswari Ravindran  Trivandrum Branch “Teachers’ Voices” - A Webinar on the occasion of  Teachers’ Day ................................................................................................ 35 -by Kum. Anjana Unni

Rs. 250.00 Rs. 70.00

 Teachers Day.................................................................................................. 37  Women & Gender Constituency Gender Just Climate Solutions

Printed at : I G Printers Pvt. Ltd., 104, DSIDC, Okhla Phase - I, New Delhi - 110 020

Awards.“Mention-of-Honor” Award ......................................................... 39 -by Smt. Shikha Mitra  AIWC Public Charitable Trust For Education ......................................... 41 -by Smt. Bina Jain and Shri S.S. Hotchandani

Regd No. 26969/74

 Hindi Section................................................................................................. 43



July - September 2021

From the Editor's Desktop From: Editor, Roshni To: Members, AIWC The Delta variant raged over the previous quarter, robbing us of more than 240,000 of our fellow Indians, according to the latest WHO estimates. July-September brought some slight respite, but we were warned against complacency. True to our founding spirit, AIWC members immediately stepped out into the field, with measures to revive our neighbourhoods. Roshni is happy to bring you the records of these efforts. As an organisation, we became more digitally savvy, because we had to. It is time for us to consider what that implies. One of the areas that digital access has impacted most severely is in the field of Education. Education was India’s superpower. Educated Indians lead the First World today – Satya Nadella and Sunder Pichai are only the leading edge of the phalanx that follows them. The entirely homegrown Leena Nair, who went to XLRI, commands the French haute couture industry from her top perch at Chanel. During the pandemic, school closure was necessary in order to observe covid protocols. How has the lack of access to a physical classroom affected our education system? The digital divide has deepened the disadvantage that our most vulnerable students face in their battle to acquire an education. Online learning requires mobile phones, laptops, electricity and internet access. Most crippling of all, it requires knowledge of the principal languages in which it is taught. It is not readily available in the mother tongues of our interiors where our future Ramanujans and Abdul Kalams live. It requires teachers who are not only trained in teaching online, but those who speak the dialect and understand the local culture.It needs parents who can guide their youngsters how to use digital devices in the language they speak at home.We fall short on all these fronts. On this Teachers Day, let us introspect on how we can strive to bridge the gaps in a place we all hold dear- the classroom. Chitra Sarkar



July - September 2021

I Am A Peaceful Soul By Smt. Sheela Kakde, President, AIWC

I am a Peaceful Soul”.When I make this statement, I feel and mean that I love being peaceful, my original nature is peaceful. Aggression, stress, worry, or hurt leads to anger. And anger creates negative energies, which lead to negative collective vibrations all around.If you dislike anything or any one’s behaviour and express it, then negative energies are created. For the past more than one year, we are experiencing fear, anxiety and uncertainty all around us due to the Covid Pandemic. Our minds have become disturbed and restless. We are unable to handle stress, aggression, worry, or hurt. Reactions, unpleasant remarks or different views expressed by others are taken otherwise. And we react immediately, creating negativity. This happens with all, hence negative vibrations spread like wild fire. It is a big challenge to face such situations.

Cleaning our minds on daily basis, like how we clean our house daily, is very important. Our mind has the capacity to record every word and hence it needs to be cleaned every night before going to bed. Recollect where and with whom you acted or responded wrongly. Forgive people before going to bed, and sleep peacefully. Radiate compassion for people so that they can change. Forgive people if they have hurt you by speaking loudly or in anger. If anyone behaves wrongly with you, don`t be judgemental or critical. Accept the person as he or she is. Identify the goodness he or she has done to you at some time. Shivani Didi also insisted on avoiding negative talk-- either listening to or participating in it. Every individual has good qualities in her or him. With pre-conceived notions, if you think only about the negative qualities of a person and go on repeating them to different people, you are consuming negative thoughts and emitting negative energies. So always appreciate the good qualities in the other person.

The first inspirational talk on `Anekta mein Ekata` by BK Shivani Didi in the series of webinars, held in collaboration with National Foundation for Communal Harmony and Peace, on 22nd September 2021, was a very powerful eyeopener to us all. Shivani Didi emphasized that each one can contribute to bring “Peace” and explained the Power of One. Every individual has a different mindset and different experiences.Hence the reactions to any action will be different, not wrong, because the perception will be different. Radiate compassion and understand why the other person reacted differently. We cannot be critical and judgemental.

The definition of punctuality can be different for different people. You need not be judgemental or critical of another person`s different perception. Respect the views of others. The Sattvic food that is going to be consumed should be prepared with good, positive thoughts in mind. It will generate positive energies. A healthy emotional diet is very important for



July - September 2021 segregating and disposing of wet waste through composting; sending E-waste like electrical and electronics to Hulladek and dry waste consisting of glass, plastic, wood and metal to NDMC, -we have now started a “NO ANGER ZONE” . Our staff also has understood the importance of properly disposing of waste, both inner and outer. Slowly and steadily, we are achieving our target of Peace and Harmony with the Power of One.

every mind, young or old. The five vices of kama, krodha, lobha, moha, and ahankara should not be consumed by any of our organs. Energize the mind for World Peace with five affirmations daily in the morning meditation of twenty- to thirty minutes. After listening to the talk and pondering over it, we thought it apt to make our office a “NO ANGER ZONE”.Like we started a “ZERO WASTE ZONE” by keeping our AIWC premises clean --by

Smt. Sheela Kakde, President AIWC, presents a bouquet of flowers and copies of Roshni to Dr. Karan Singh, philosopher, scholar of Vedanta, former MP, Minister, and erstwhile heir of the Kashmir royal family. 4


July - September 2021

Rani Lakshmibai Rajwade Thirteenth President of AIWC (1939-40) By Smt. Rekha Rajwade, Member-In-Charge –Swachata Abhiyan


be extended to the right of all nations to selfdetermination

akshmibai Rajwade (1887-1984) was an Indian medical doctor, feminist, and family planning advocate. She was also an advocate for the right of women to vote in India, and presided over the All India Women's Conference. She studied medicine at the Grant Medical College in Bombay, and continued her education in England, with the support of Gopal Krishna Gokhale. She married Major General G. R. Rajwade and was given the title of 'Rani' (queen) of Gwalior. She died in 1984.

Role in AIWC Rajwade was closely involved with the work of the All India Women's Conference, and in 1931 gave a notable speech on family planning to the Conference, first proposing the adoption of a resolution to create a "committee of medical women to study and recommend ways and means of educating the public to regulate the size of their families." The resolution did not succeed, but Rajwade continued to organize support for the involvement of women in family planning at the Conference through 1932, and in 1933, the resolution was finally adopted. In 1935, Rajwade was the Honorary Secretary of the All India Women's Conference, and at Margaret Cousins' urging, invited birth control advocate and educator Margaret Sanger to lecture at the conference. Despite opposition to her speech, Sanger was able to speak at the Conference, advocating for the All India Women's Conference to take a more active role in family planning. From 1939-40, Rajwade was the president of the All India Women's Conference.

Rajwade practiced medicine in Bombay throughout her career. In 1917, Rajwade, along with Sarojini Naidu, Annie Besant, and S. Naik, were given a private interview with Edwin Montagu and Viscount Chelmsford, amidst proposals for the Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms. In 1931, she was a member of a drafting committee within the All India Women's Conference, chaired by Sarojini Naidu, and consisting of Hansa Mehta, Taraben Premchand, Margaret Cousins, Faiz Tyabji, Hilla Rustomji Fardoonji, Shareefa Hamid Ali, Malini Sukhtankar and herself. They submitted a report to the Second Round Table Conference, calling for universal franchise. Along with Margaret Cousins, she was one of the early founders of the All-Asian Women's Conference. She was an active opponent of colonialism, arguing in a speech at the All India Women's Conference in 1931 that support should

Under her leadership AIWC collected a big fund for the education of women, which helped to create a college for girls. AIWC was responsible



July - September 2021 In 1938, as well, Rajwade gave a notable speech at the All India Women's Conference, opposing communalization, and calling for the women's movement to promote secularism. She said, "I am confident that the women’s unity will be the ultimate means of bringing about a brotherly understanding and even active co-operation among the seemingly divided communities of this land." In 1933, Rajwade had previously written to the British government on behalf of the All India Women's Conference, opposing the Communal Award, which established separate electorates in India on the basis of religion.In 1950, Rajwade was one of three Indian delegates to the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

for the production of an admirable handbook about education reforms. In 1938, Rajwade chaired the Subcommittee on Women, in the Indian National Congress' National Planning Committee. As chair, she authored and published a widely circulated report on family planning in 1940, which explicitly advocated the use of measures to control reproduction and supported the recognition of female contributions to the economy. The report, which has been described as "remarkably modernist" by scholar Mary E. John, argued for the recognition of the economic rights of women, including their contributions to the economy through unpaid domestic labour. It received some opposition from members of the national movement, with Jawaharlal Nehru writing to Rajwade that public opposition to the subject of family planning would be harsh.

Rani Lakshmi bai Rajwade 6


Concluding Note

July - September 2021

problems relating to women and also created a unity of class,creed, and interests here which is the envy of all other Indian organizations.She was not a princess by birth but was a Rani in the true sense for achievements during her tenure.

Rani Lakshmi bai was elected president of AIWC in the year 1939 when AIWC was twelve years old. She tried to create public opinion on all

AIWC Session in 1939 under the Presidentship of Rani Lakshmi bai Rajwade 

Smt. Kalpakam Yechury, our senior member, lovingly known to all of us as Kalpakam Amma, left us on 25th September. As her last wish, her body was donated to AIIMS hospital. 7


July - September 2021

Begum Shareefa Hamid Ali (1883 – 1971) Fourteenth President of AIWC By Smt. Hema Sheth, Zonal Organiser, West Zone B


egum Shareefa Hamid Ali was born on December 12, 1883, to a progressive Muslim family in Baroda (now known as Vadodara), in Gujarat.She was the daughter of Ameena Tyabji and Abbas J. Tyabji, the nephew of the Indian activist and politician Badruddin Tyabji. Her father, Abbas J. Tyabji, was the Chief Justice of Baroda State and a follower of Mahatma Gandhi. Her mother Ameena was one of the first prominent Muslim women to disavow purdah. Shareefaji Ali followed her mother’s example and supported the movement against this restrictive law, as she saw it as a symbol of social division and gender oppression.In fact, her parents had supported her and her sisters by sending them to school despite purdah restrictions. Begum Shareefa Hamid Ali learned to speak six languages- Urdu, Gujarati, Persian, Marathi, English and French. As she was raised in the cultural city of Vadodara, she also devoted her time to painting, drawing and music.

the Bombay Presidency in India. She remained involved in social work and continued to cultivate her interests. Education of the masses took an upsurge in the colonial era, but what hindered girls’ education was the system of child marriage, which may be banned today, but hundred years ago, it was legal. She addressed Muslim women in Sindh. She strongly believed that until girls were educated and mature, they should not get married and legal age for marriage should be eighteen years. One of her most renowned achievements was organizing a campaign to encourage the Sharda Act, also known as the Child Marriage Restraint Act, which was passed on 28 September 1929 with girl’s age fourteen and boy’s age eighteen for marriage. The Sharda campaign had support from women unified by liberal feminism, including Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, and other castes. These women banded together to eliminate doubt about what women wanted and embarrassed the colonial state. The movement resulted in the passing of the Sharda Act in 1929, making it the first legislation for minimum age of marriage in India. It was set at fourteent years old for girls and eighteen for boys.

In 1907, at the age of twenty four, Shareefaji Ali attended a session of the Indian National Congress, which developed her interest towards the Swadeshi Movement and the support and upliftment of Harijans. She also worked in villages to start nursing centres and classes for women.

At the age of fifty-one, she even represented the All India Women’s Conference at the Istanbul Congress of the International Alliance of Women.

At the age of twenty-five, she married her cousin Hamid Ali, an Indian Civil Service Officer. After their marriage, they moved to the province of

At the age of fifty-four she took part in the Congress 8

Roshni of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom at Lohacovice, Czechoslovakia. The United Nations Commission for the Status of Women, which aims to create an egalitarian society with respect to the status of women was founded around 1946 and Begum Shareefa Hamid Ali was one of the key persons involved in its establishment.

July - September 2021

on the Status of Women. She also became a member of the National Planning Commission of the Indian National Congress and the Hindustan Textbook Committee. Moreover, one needs to note that she achieved all of this in pre-independent India – at a time when women had little to no rights in the socio-cultural and political scenario.

Her work in AIWC

In February 1947, Shareefaji Ali represented India as one of fifteen women to attend the first United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. She worked alongside delegates from Australia, the USSR, the People’s Republic of China, Costa Rica, Denmark, France, Guatemala, Mexico, Syria, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and Venezuela. At the Commission, Begum Ali and the other delegates established the guiding principles of the Commission, which were:

Shareefaji Ali was a prominent leader in the All India Women’s Conference (AIWC). She was, in order, the Honorary Treasurer, Chairperson, VicePresident, and President of AIWC, and started several of its branches across India. She was also named Chairperson of the Governing Body of the All India Women’s Education Fund Association. She became a part of the AIWC as the previous President, Sarojini Naidu, a political activist and a poet who fought for Indian Independence, was in prison. As a result, there were rotating presidents for each session, and Shareefaji Ali became one of two Indian women who took up this role.As part of the AIWC, she testified in front of the Joint Select Committee on Indian Constitutional Reform in London in 1933. Begum Shareefaji Ali was one of the three women at the Round Table Conference in 1933 where she was the voice for women and demanded universal adult franchise, i.e., equal political rights for all, irrespective of gender.The AIWC advocated for a common civil code that was consistent with the organization’s commitments and that also took both non-communal and communal approaches. Ali and other Muslim women within the AIWC feared domination by Hindus, but there were diverging opinions even among the Muslim women. In the end, the AIWC hoped for a secular

To raise the status of women, irrespective of nationality, race, language or religion, to promote equality with men in all fields of human enterprise, and to eliminate all discrimination against women in the provisions of statutory law, in legal maxims or rules, or in interpretation of customary law. Today, the Commission is still guided by these principles, and has influenced the drafting of resolutions related to Begum Ali’s work in India in the 1950s and 1960s. This includes the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on Consent to Marriage, Minimum Age for Marriage and Registration of Marriages. The Indian Government appointed her as the Indian representative to the United Nations Commission 9


July - September 2021

civil code and did not explicitly call for a common civil code. The marriage and inheritance rights proposals of the AIWC did pertain more to Hindu concerns than those of Muslim women. “Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.” — Maya Angelou Begum Shareefa Hamid Ali always stood at the forefront in the battle for justice, at a time when women’s voices were usually shunned. Being a broad-minded woman with the kind of liberal upbringing she had, she was determined to bring about revolutionary changes in the lives of women who had been oppressed by society’s bigotry and she sought to bring about legal reforms to improve their lives.Like many eminent women from Indian history, her work too has been neglected and her name was omitted from the social science textbooks. Her work spans from heading the All India Women’s Conference to then going ahead and representing the country at international committees. She has done exemplary work in the field of feminism and to improve the status of women across all strata of society.

Sharifa Begam, Daughter of Abbas Tyabji, ESQ

Begum Sharifa with her husband and sister 10


July - September 2021

Smt. Rameshwari Nehru Fifteenth President of AIWC (1941-42) by Smt. Shevata Rai Talwar, Assistant Secretary, AIWC.


mt. Rameshwari Nehru was a patriot, a philanthropist, and a Gandhian, with immense personal magnetism and a lot of tolerance and tact in dealing with persons of different shades of opinion.

was one. Aruna was rather lonely and lost in Delhi where Asaf Ali brought her after marriage. Rameshwari ji befriended her and made her take interest in social reforms and politics. It came to her naturally to build up people’s self confidence. She was appointed to the Age of Consent Committee in 1928 to examine witnesses to ascertain the condition of married life and maternity, and the laws relating to the age of consent, child marriage and other such evils brought to the forefront by her. The report published by her was a plea on behalf of the victims of blind custom and usage.

She was born on 10th Dec 1886 to Raja Narendra Nath of Lahore. Though from an affluent background she had no formal education and studied with the governess who came to teach her brother. However, she blossomed into a versatile personality and eloquent speaker with strong Gandhian principles. She fought tirelessly for the rights of women, social dignity, and the economic and political rights of the so-called untouchablesHarijans.

In 1930 she went to London and was a part of many committees there. As president of the Women’s Committee of the India League and Women’s Indian Association she propagated the cause of Indian women, the Indian National Congress and the freedom of the country. The League of Nations invited her to Geneva in 1931. She visited Russia and then Australia in 1937. In 1930s Gandhiji fasted and courted arrest in Yeravada jail against the British communal award which gave separate electorates to Muslims and the untouchables. He gave the untouchables the name of “Harijans”, children of God and worked towards giving them equality in education, social and economic upliftment. Because of his protests the British government decided to withdraw this award and he now formed the Harijan Sewak Sangh. Rameshwari went to Poona and offered her services to Gandhiji. She was made in charge of

She was married to Brij Lal Nehru, nephew of Motilal Nehru and cousin of Jawaharlal Nehru. She had two sons, Braj Kumar Nehru and Balwant Kumar Nehru. After her marriage she came to Allahabad and Anand Bhawan where she was allowed full freedom and discarded the purdah. She started a Mahila Samiti at a tender age, and a Hindi magazine called Stri Darpan in 1909 which she edited for 16 years. These were to awaken the Indian Women to the social needs of the hour. She was the founder and President of the Delhi Women’s League in 1926 and worked on the problems of child marriage and caste prejudice. She inspired many young women to take up social work, of whom Aruna Asaf Ali



July - September 2021

this work in Punjab. Later she travelled all over India, to Cochin, Travancore and British Malabar, examining the condition of 70 million socially untouchables, propagating the eradication of untouchability and the need to throw temples open to the Harijans. She became the Sangh’s President, living her last year at the Kingsway Camp Harijan Colony in Delhi where she mothered and helped educate Harijan students. Thus from 1934 onwards she dedicated herself to the service of the Harijans and according to Margaret E Cousins she was Gandhi’s “right hand woman” in the Harijan Sevak Sangh.

meetings for the urgent need of the protection of neglected and delinquent children. Housing for the poor and raising a voice against exploitation from the landlords was advocated by her as was Khadi and Charkha (the spinning wheel). In 1945 she was elected unopposed to the Punjab legislative assembly from Lahore Division women’s constituency. Mahatma Gandhi nominated her the agent for Kasturba Gandhi National Memorial Trust for Punjab and Kashmir where she organized village women workers training camps and centers. She also pressed for the rights of the detainees and other prisoners. During the Quit India movement she courted arrest intentionally to bring home to the Indian women the need for freedom. She also made a special effort to bring out Kashmiri Pandits and Muslim women in purdah from the restraints of the four walls of their homes. A group of women from the zenana led a demonstration on horseback.

In 1942 she was elected the President of the All India Women’s Conference and took on her responsibility whole-heartedly. She worked for equality and free education for women and the rights of women in different aspects of their lives. The world was full of gloom and under the threat of bombing during this time. Evil customs, unjust laws, early marriage, widow remarriage, abolishing of Dowry, Sati, Devadasi system and forced child prostitution were pressing issues. AIWC gave a definite shape and colour to the Women’s Movement, drawing them from varied backgrounds and different locations from across the country, linking them and awakening them to their rights. The participation of women in public work was rare. AIWC and other social and religious reforms agencies were constantly building the self esteem and confidence of women.

After Partition she helped the refugees in relief and rehabilitation work. Lajpat Nagar in Delhi housed many such women who had lost their men folk and had to now fend for themselves. They were trained in sewing and orders were taken to sew uniforms for the police and embroidery of badges for the army to make them skilled and self-reliant. These women could now earn a salary of Rs 150- a very handsome sum at that time. After Independence she was offered many ministerial offices which she declined and humbly continued her grassroots work for the oppressed and downtrodden. As she was associated with the All India Peace Council, and Afro-Asian Solidarity movement she led the delegation for disarmament to Tokyo in 1957, and to Stockholm in 1958. She was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1955 in recognition of her services to the

She did a lot of work for the affected victims of the Bengal famine and founded the Children’s Aid Society in Lahore, surveying juvenile institutions in Punjab with recommendations for the care and maintenance of orphan children. She urged upon the Punjab government through press and public 12

Roshni country and The Lenin International Peace Prize in 1961. Her writings were compiled in a book called “Gandhi Is My Star “which is a referral work on the women’s movement internationally. She spent the last year of her life with the Dalit communities and breathed her last on 8th Nov 1966.

July - September 2021

the individual to the group, and its application to National and international matters is a new experiment with a technique evolved by Gandhij in the laboratory of his life in which all through he has experimented with truth. The expansion of the scope of the conference (i.e. AIWC) is from merely women’s problems to wider questions of human relationships - a living organization needs growth and no narrow limits for its self-expression are possible”.

I quote from her Presidential Address of AIWC in the year 1942 “We have no bitterness in our movement, none is likely to come in, all that we want is to establish equality and fair play between the relation of man and woman as well as man and man .That is the only foundation on which a stable structure of civilized society can be built .The extension of non violence from

This holds so much truth today in a world battling unrest, greed, materialism, disease and degradation of its environment and natural resources and our fight against them.



July - September 2021

Smt. Vijayalakshmi Pandit Sixteenth President of AIWC By Smt. Chitra Sarkar, MIC-Roshni


ijaya Lakshmi Pandit was born on 18th August 1900. Her parents were originally from Kashmir but had settled in Allahabad, where her father was a prominent lawyer. She was their second child and eldest daughter.They named her Sarup Kumari. She had an older brother named Jawaharlal, and a younger sister, Krishna.The family lived in a lavish, westernized manner, with many servants, in a large joint family. Motilal became a leading figure in the National Movement, and Anand Bhavan, their family mansion, became the centre of swadeshi activities.In 1930 Motilal Nehru donated Anand Bhavan to the country and renamed it Swaraj Bhavan.He then built a smaller home for his family in the same compound and named it Anand Bhavan.

In 1937, Smt. Pandit was elected to the provincial legislature of the United Provinces and was designated Minister for Local Self-Government and Public Health. She held this post until 1938, when the provisional government resigned to protest British policies.

AIWC In December 1941, Smt. Vijayalakshmi Pandit was elected the sixteenth President of The All India Women’s Conference, and remained President during 1942-43. Here is an excerpt from her Presidential Address. “...As women we have a special responsibility cast on us. We must decide whether we shall ally ourselves to the forces of life, or those of death. Are we going to join the group that by their acquiescence make wars possible? Shall we bear sons only that they may murder other women's sons and help to maintain a system which stands selfcondemned? Or shall we raise our united voice in favour of a brave new world where human life and human liberty receive the respect which is their due, where progress and security are within the grasp of each individual? The choice is before us. The future, not for women only but for humanity as well, is what the women of today make of it. Let us not treat this matter lightly...”

In 1921, Sarup Kumari married a young Maharashtrian barrister named Ranjit Pandit. In accordance with the custom prevailing at that time, her name was changed to Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit. Ranjit Pandit had been educated at Oxford, Sorbonne and Heidelberg. He spoke eleven languages, played the violin, and was a trained singer. Until 1926, he practiced law in Calcutta, after which he resigned and joined his brother-inlaw, Jawahar, in the nationalist movement. The couple had three daughters, Rita, Chandralekha and Nayantara 14


July - September 2021

The period of her Presidency was momentous, both for herself and the country. In March 1942, the British government sent a delegation to India under Sir Stafford Cripps, in what came to be known as the Cripps Mission. The purpose of the mission was to negotiate with Congress to obtain co-operation during the war, in return for devolution and distribution of power from the Crown and the Viceroy, to an elected Indian legislature. The talks failed. After the failure of the Cripps Mission, Gandhiji gave a historic speech in Mumbai on 8th August 1942, calling for an end to British Rule in India.This was called the Quit India Movement. Congress prepared to escalate civil disobedience. Very soon, its leaders were in jail. Ranjit Pandit and Jawaharlal Nehru were incarcerated in Bareilly Jail, while she herself was sent to Naini Central Jail. As soon as she was released from jail, Smt. Pandit decided to visit Bengal which was in the grip of a horrific man-made famine. It is estimated that three million people died. On her return from Bengal, she found her husband had suffered a heart attack in jail, followed by several complications. On 14th January 1944, Ranjit Pandit passed away. He was just fifty years old. The horrific prison conditions he had endured had destroyed his health.In accordance with the prevailing law, Smt. Pandit did not inherit anything from her husband after his demise.

Assembly from the United Provinces.

On observing the plight of our own President, the AIWC started its campaign on the inheritance rights of women.

a feminist trail throughout her life in an era where

After Independence, Smt. Pandit joined the diplomatic service. She was India’s Ambassador to the Soviet Union from 1947 to 1949, the United States and Mexico from 1949 to 1951, the United Kingdom as High Commissioner from 1955 to 1961and Spain from 1958 to 1961. Smt. Pandit headed the Indian delegation to the United Nations from 1946 to 1968. In September 1952, she was elected President of the UN General Assembly-- the first woman to hold this post. She served as Governor of Maharashtra from 1962 to 1964. In May 1964, her brother Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru passed away. She resigned as Governor of Maharashtra and won election to the Lok Sabha from her brother’s former constituency, Phulpur. In 1968, she resigned her parliamentary berth, and stepped back from active politics.She came out of retirement in 1977 to oppose the policies of Smt. Indira Gandhi in the General Election which brought the Janta Party to power. In 1979, she was appointed the Indian representative to the UN Human Rights Commission. Thereafter she retired from public life and settled in Dehradun in the Himalayan foothills, where she passed away in December 1990 at the age of ninety. She had blazed the word had not yet been coined, and served her country, and the cause of women’s empowerment in a wide spectrum of activities.

In 1946, Smt. Pandit was elected to the Constituent 15


July - September 2021

With her brother, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru

As President of The All India Women’s Conference

As President of the UN General Assembly

As Ambassador to UK


Patron Smt. Bina Jain, celebrates Teej 16


July - September 2021

Smt. Hansa Mehta - Eighteenth President of AIWC By Dr. Bhavna Joshipura, Vice President, AIWC and President, Rajkot Branch


mt. Hansa Mehta was born in 1897 at Surat in Gujarat. Smt. Hansaben Mehta, wife of Shri Jivraj Mehta (first chief minister of Gujarat) was an educationist, a prolific writer and the first woman to be appointed as Vice Chancellor of a coeducational University of India i.e. The Maharaja Sayajirao University of India.

clear that at that very young age, Dr. Hansa Mehta was capable enough to think and represent the issues of women in India. Smt. Hansa Mehta came under the influence of Gandhiji while she was active in India's Independence movement. She organized picketing of shops selling foreign clothes as well as liquor shops and participated in other freedom movement activities. Inspired by the ideals of ‘satyagraha’ Smt. Hansaben in collaboration with Negoshiben and Perinben, both the Captain Sisters founded “Desh Sevika Sangh” to carry out boycotts, civil disobedience, picketing to combat liquor stores, shops selling Manchester fabrics, and other foreign goods. Due to the failure of the Cripps Mission, Smt. Hansa Mehta was imprisoned along with Smt. Sarojini Naidu at the Yerwada jail for a period of six months.

Smt. Hansa Mehta's family background-as the daughter of Manubhai Mehta, the Dewan of Baroda state, her education in Baroda university, and London, and her list of accomplishments would have been out of place in any other period of Indian history. In the hallowed chambers of the Constituent Assembly, however, she fitted right in with the other women. This sisterhood of extraordinary women included Sarojini Naidu, who introduced her to Gandhiji and the Indian women’s freedom movement when the two met in London in early 1920.

AIWC Smt. Hansa Mehta was the eighteenth President of AIWC. During the tenure of Smt. Sarojini Naidu as President of AIWC, Smt. Hansa Mehta shouldered the responsibility of the reception committee in the Third Annual General Meeting. At the same time, it is noteworthy that a historic proclamation was made by Smt. Hansa Mehta-- "We have to stand above caste, creed, regionalism, language, gender and economical levels, including the urban and rural differences'. She categorically mentioned the AIWC's leading role in this particular movement. Not only that, but Dr. Hansa Mehta vehemently argued about the double standard of British

She entered public life in her college days.She was one of the Founders and the President of ‘Bombay Presidency Student Association’ Baroda Branch, from which Dr. Mehta’s odyssey in social activities started mainstreaming. She was also the Founder and President of “Vidhyarthisamaj” at Baroda College with an aim to increase the principle of brotherhood and unity amongst the students there. In 1920 while studying at London, Dr. Mehta took part in the International Women’s Conference along with Sarojini Naidu as the representatives of colonial India under British Rule - and it seemed 17


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Rule and the so-called democratic values of the English people. This resolution was supported and seconded by Smt. Laxmi Menon and other AIWC leaders.

legislation regarding the same. The first such legislation that was taken up was the codification of Hindu Law. Even before her stint in the Constituent Assembly, Hansa Mehta had made her mark as an educationist, writer, feminist and reformist. As an educator, she fought for continuing education for both boys and girls, set up home sciences as a university subject, and started a post graduate school of social work. Hansa Jivraj Mehta served in the Constituent Assembly from 1946-1949. She was a member of the Fundamental Rights Sub-committee, the Advisory Committee and the Provincial Constitutional Committee. On 15th August 1947, a few minutes after midnight, Hansa Mehta on behalf of the ‘Women of India’ had the honour of presenting the Indian National Flag to the Assembly. This was the first flag to fly over Independent India.

As the emerging social leader of yesteryears, the AIWC, during her time as the President, started the Lady Irwin College in New Delhi, a women’s college for home science, educational research and teacher training. Hansa Mehta as part of the AIWC had passed laws including the Sarda Act that forbade child marriage, movements that ensured birth control instructions for women and more importantly education, both primary and higher education for all women. It is noteworthy to mention that in the year 1946, Hansa Mehta requested Maulana Azad, President of the Indian National Congress,to issue instructions to the Provinces regarding women representatives. The Premiers of the Provinces in which Congress ministries were functioning were asked to send women representatives to the Constituent Assembly. The Working Committee submitted a list of women candidates to the Provinces including Smt. Hansa Mehta from Bombay.

Her appointment to the Constituent Assembly came from Bombay, where she was a member of the Legislative Council. She had also started a two-year term at the SNDT University in Bombay, as the first woman Vice Chancellor in India. Internationally, in the same year, she was serving as a member of the United Nations Sub-Committee on the Status of Women, and Vice Chair, with Eleanor Roosevelt on the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights Committee. After the enactment of the Government of India Act, 1935 India conducted its first provincial elections in 1937. Hansa Mehta stood for the Bombay Legislative Council seat in the general category, after refusing to contest from a reserved seat. She won the election and served as a principal

Referring the reference material which is available in the Maharaja Sayajirao University, she made a remarkable contribution in drafting the Indian Women’s Charter of Rights and Duties during the 18th AIWC session in Hyderabad in 1946. In her Presidential address at the All India Women's Conference convention held in Hyderabad, this Charter of Women's Rights known as ‘Indian Women’s Charter of Rights and Duties’ was presented. The Charter proved useful in clarifying women’s status and for pressing for suitable


Roshni secretary. She was in the council from 19371939 and 1940-1949, from where she went on to represent Bombay in the Assembly.Hansa Mehta’s most significant contribution to the Constituent Assembly debates was in trying to make the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) a justiciable part of the Constitution. As part of the Fundamental Rights Subcommittee, she, along with Rajkumari Amrit Kaur, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar and Minoo Masani, saw the UCC as part of the ‘state’s responsibility” to establish a single Indian identity over multiple religious identities.

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to serve on the board of UNESCO and was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1959. She also served as the First Lady of Gujarat, when her husband Jivraj Mehta became the first Chief Minister of the state in 1960. The M.S. University of Baroda, where she served as its first Vice Chancellor, has a library named in her honor. The legacy that Hansa Mehta has left behind is a testament to her indefatigable spirit and dedication to the simple idea that all humans should be equal, educated and empowered.

Smt. Hansa Mehta was also appointed to the United Nations Human Rights Council after then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru recommended her to the position. She successfully championed her cause changing the phrase in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, from “All men are born free and equal” to “All human beings are born free and equal.” Her role in the commission went on for six years during which time she pushed for the rights commission to better recognize the rights of women and to acknowledge the uniqueness of the Indian Constitution. Smt. Hansa Mehta also represented India on the United Nations Human Rights Commission that drafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. She was a member of the Executive Board of UNESCO and led Indian delegations to several International Conferences. She was also conferred Honorary D.Litt by Allahabad University and The M S University of Baroda and an Honorary Doctorate by Leeds University, UK.

With her husband, Shri Jivraj Mehta

She worked indefatigably for education and women’s rights after her UN service. She went on

With S/Smt. Mithan Lam, Krishna Hutheesingh and Vijayalakshmi Pandit



July - September 2021

Branch Activities

Bangalore Branch


angalore Branch extended financial help towards food to a destitute home named AIR Charitable Trust, housing more than one hundred and fifty women and men. Donations for this worthy effort were received from our members, as well from their known contacts.They were bereaved families who could not conduct ceremonies for their departed loved ones due to lockdown restrictions and chose to feed the poor as a pious gesture.

Bihar State Branch, Patna By Smt. Kumkum Narain, Secretary


t is a known fact that North Bihar is flooded by the Ganga and its tributaries every year. This year it was no different- only there was a difference in the time of the spate of the rivers. This year the flood came later than other years. Still, experience taught us to be prepared. All the members of AIWC Bihar State Branch agreed to be prepared for this i.e. they would contribute as soon as we had information about the flood. The members contributed immediately and we were able to collect `47500/- (Rupees forty seven thousand five hundred) within a week. We transferred `20,000/(Rupees twenty thousand) each to Mohiddinagar Branch and Ramani Branch Vaishali. We could

not go to Vaishali as that place was cut off from all sides and all the roads were flooded. We decided to go to Mohiddinagar only. On the morning of 4th September 2021, our Zonal Organizer Smt. Vidya Kumari Roy and Smt. Kumkum Narain went to Mohiddinagar. Most of the road was motorable, except the last twenty five kilometers. With great difficulty, we covered the distance in three hours, and reached at 1.30 p.m., much later than our target. Still we went across the water in a boat, and distributed chura, gur, matches and candles to about one hundred people. Then we went to another spot. This area was dominated by Muslim families. There Vidya gave a small 20

Roshni talk about the importance of education and skill enhancement among women. She advised them to concentrate on local products and demand. There too we distributed food packets to about eighty people. The food packets were much less than the actual requirement, but that was all we could afford. Pratima, our AIWC Secretary Mohiddinagar, promised to distribute some more packets in another area.We returned in the evening

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by a much longer route. It was a big satisfaction to us, distributing the flood relief materials. The entire stretch along seventy kilometers width in the north of Ganga was inundated. There was heavy accumulation of rain and flood water on both sides of the road. People face a horrible situation during this season every year. Some Photographs of Mohiddinagar are below.




July - September 2021

Darjeeling Main Branch

Plantation and area cleaning in Dhirdham Mandir area 28th July 2021

Tapara(Leafplate)Making program for the replacement of disposable thermocole plates on the occasion of Independence Day

26/08/2021Appreciation certificate distribution among the students who collected e-waste from door to door (Community Mobilization).

17/08/2021 Biswakarma Puja Celebration by all executive members for the purification of building and area.

E Waste being sent to Calcutta

Training given by Banarhat Constituent Branch



July - September 2021

Kakinada Main Branch By Smt. N. Bhanumati, Secretary


Flag hoisting was done on 15th morning by 8:30 a. m and prizes were distributed to the winners.

ll India Women’s Conference, Kakinada Branch conducted the following programs in July and August 2021.

Our Indrapalem Youth Club won National Youth Award for 2017 -- 2018 for their services to the society. They took the award on 12th August in New Delhi, Vigyan Bhawan by Central Youth Affairs Minister Shri Anurag Singh Tagore. The award consists of `3 lacs cash, a medal, and a certificate. The girls stayed in Head Office Hostel and enjoyed very well. President Madam gave pen drives to all seventeen members. Secretary Madam gave `10,000 to the organisation. It is a proud moment for Kakinada Branch as we are supporting the youth which won the National Youth Award. The organisation MANAVURU— MANABHADYATHA received acclamation from our District Collector, Ministers, and others on 5th August. We also felicitated them in a fitting way.

On July 15th Smt. Durgabai Deshmukh’s birthday was celebrated by garlanding her bust statue in Gandhi Park, Kakinada at 9:30 a.m. All India Women's Conference, Kakinada instituted an award in her name Durgabai Deshmukh Award to be given every year to one eminent lady, who worked for the welfare of women. The first award has been given to Smt. Yechuri Kalpakam on 15th July at 10:00 a.m. in Gandhi Park library hall. The award consists of a memento, citation and shawl. It was awarded to her in her absence, but shown in virtual meeting. Head Office President Smt. Sheela Kakde,Vice President Smt. Ashitha, Secretary General Smt. Kuljit Kaur, Zonal Organiser Smt. Durga and others from the local branch attended. The meeting was chaired by Smt. Chiranjeevi Kumari, and Joint Collector Smt. Raja Kumari was the chief guest. On the same day twenty plants were distributed in the Park. Later we went to Indrapalem to form a youth club of Indrapalem and planted trees in the Park area. Nearly one hundred and fifty saplings were planted and distributed.

We planted trees in Girls Polytechnic college and gave one hundred plant saplings to the college on 15th August. We planted Guava, Amla and flowering plants in Maharshi Sambamurthy Residential School for differently abled girls. Proudly we say that we began tree plantation in South Zone A from July 15th, and it is continuing.

We celebrated Independence Day on 15th August in one apartment area, Green Valley apartments, wherein we conducted drawing, patriotic songs competition, passing the baby, and one minute games to the children and ladies on 14th evening.

We are planning to plant/distribute plant saplings in urban, rural, and semi-rural area of Kakinada in areas we have already identified.



July - September 2021

Smt. Durgabai Deshmukh Award given to Smt. Kalpakam Yechury

Youth Club winners with President and Secretary General of AIWC

Plantation Programme atthe Handicapped School with the local Corporator

Youth Club Inauguration

Harishri Women’s Association, Kerala

Harishri Women distributed 3000 sanitary napkins to poor homes.



July - September 2021

Kalimpong Branch


espite the Pandemic, AIWC Kalimpong has been meeting virtually on a regular basis. An occasion arose when we were compelled to step out into the field.

for children Baal Suraksha Abhiyaan and the perpetrator is behind bars. Members did not leave any stone unturned and dedicatedly campaigned against this heinous crime.

We got constant support from Head Office to raise our voice against the Sexual assault of a minor by the village senior. The victim is at the home

Secretary General Smt. Kuljit Kaur sent emails to the concerned authorities demanding justice.

Sanju Women’s Welfare Association, Chennai By Smt. Shanthi Socrates, President Sanju Women's Welfare Association is proud to have sowed five hundred palm seeds on the banks of Ayapakkam Lake, Ambattur, Chennai on 27th July. A palm tree’s ability to act as natural barrier has made sowing palm seeds on the coastal areas and river banks to prevent soil erosion an environmental advantage. When planted around water bodies, palm trees are believed to recharge water. 25


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Komaragiri Branch Durgabai Deshmukh Adopted Village, Komaragiri By Smt. M Bhanu Seshu, President and SCM


n 6th August we gave blankets to poor and needy HIV AIDS women. Thirtywomen participated in this program. On that day we also planted sixty saplings in Ashok Nagar State Bank Colony Gym Park and also distributed sixty plants to DWACRA group. Smt. Chandra Kala Deepthi Kuda Chairman was the Chief Guest.

Ramanarao Garu and Smt. B. Krishna Kumari and Sri L. Surya Prakash participated as resource persons. With charts and elicit method, they conducted classes for adolescent boys and girls about physical changes and their impact on health and emotions of adolescents. Smt. M Bhanu Seshu President and S.C.M conducted all the programs.

On 15th August we celebrated our 75th Independence Day. On this day, we held fancy dress, dance, and patriotic songs competitions. Elementary drop out children and Z.P. High School girls, Gaigulapadu village, participated On 10th September we planted seeds at A. P. S. P. Z. P High School. On 15th to 17th September we conducted Adolescents’ Life Skills Program at Z.P. High School Komaragiri Village. In this program ten boys and ten girls participated. Dr. R. V.

Enhancing Life Skills Program

Plantation drive at APSPZP School

Blanket Distribution 26


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RPM Women’s Welfare Association, Chennai [Affiliated to The Women’s Indian Association] By Smt. Preetha Raj, President


nspired by the ideals and philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi, Child Haven International is a registered charity founded in 1985, by Bonnie and Fred Cappuccino. They assist children and women in developing countries, who need food, education, health care, shelter and clothing, emotional and moral support. Child Haven has five homes in India, one in Nepal, one in Tibet and one in Bangladesh.

On arrival, Shri Ganesh, the Manager, spoke to us about the founders, affectionately known as Bonnie Amma and Fred Cappucino, their various projects, the ways they adopt to maintain the standards, and the details of the branches in India and abroad. After that he took us to the Prayer-cum-Dining Hall where the children had assembled. The children were all wearing masks and following all guidance of the Government for avoiding the pandemic.

RPMWWA has always been ready to extend its helping hands towards various social activities.On the same lines, when a request was received for donation of Ceiling Fans from an Orphanage, Child Haven International at Uthiramerur, Kanchipuram District, the Association very willingly took up the project.

There were in all two hundred and seventy children, who welcomed us with a prayer that extended into a Thank You note. Our President, Smt. Preetha Raj and Secretary, Smt. Bharathi Srinivasan gave a small motivating talk. The children appeared very healthy and happy with full confidence written all over their faces.

As usual we had an overwhelming response from all our members who contributed willingly and the target amount of Rs.28,500/- being the cost of 15 ceiling fans was achieved quickly. The amount was fully transferred to the Orphanage account, since the orphanage was ready to buy the fans from a local vendor, instead of spending on transportation charges. The authorities thanked us and requested us to pay a visit to the orphanage and spend some quality time with the inmates.

We took a tour of the Haven, which looked like a small village. The place has separate dormitories consisting of spacious rooms for boys and girls. It has a very big playground with various courts for Throw Ball, Volleyball, Hockey, Badminton and so on. We went to the dormitories and spoke to the kids who were so excited to share their views about education and other aspects to us. Many of them had a vision and were confident about themselves.

So on 12th September 2021, Smt. Preetha Raj, President, Smt. Preetha Suresh, Vice President, Smt. Bharathi Srinivasan, Secretary and Smt. Prabha Sathyanarayana, Joint Treasurer visited the Home.

We then had lunch with them, the day’s menu being Bread Halwa, Mushroom Biriyani, Tofu Paneer fry, MasalaVadai and Ice cream, which another donor 27


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had sponsored. The children are being given Tofu and Sundal as part of their protein supplement and the food being served is nutritious. They have a vegetable garden and also a few cows. The food is cooked using Biogas which is environment friendly.

After spending a wonderful day with the children, we bid them adieu and drove home with the contentment of having done a service near and dear to our hearts. It was yet another day full of richly fulfilling experiences spent with beautiful kids.

Shree Sarvajanik Mahila Mandal, Bardoli, Gujarat By Smt. Arti Joshi, Secretary On her seventy eighth birthday Managing Trustee of Shree Sarvajanik Mahila Mandal Bardoli, Dr. Laxmi Gandhi adopted two children, Baba Thesius and Baby Trinity of Smt. Aruna whose husband Shri Jaison died of Covid. She is working as a Safari Karmachari at Nagarpalika, Bardoli. Dr Laxmi will donate `1000/- (Rupees One thousand) every month and will look after the health and education of the children in future.



July - September 2021

Ujjawal Women’s Association, East Delhi By Smt. Sheela Satyanarayan, Vice President, UWA and Asst. Secretary, AIWC


he General Body Meeting of Ujjawal Women’s Association was held on 31st July 2021 along with the election for the next Governing Council (2021-2024).A total of eight posts were announced by the Election Officer, Smt. Jyotika Kalra for which one nomination each was received hence there was no need for elections. The new team consists of President Dr. Yuthika Mishra, Vice Presidents Smt. Bulbul Das and Smt. Sheela Satyanarayan, Secretary Smt. Kiran Sinha, Joint Secretaries S/Smt. Sharda Sharma and Gopika Bhandari, Treasurer Smt. Poonam Mittal and Joint Treasurer Smt. Monika Gupta. Smt. Bina Jain became the Chairperson of UWA. S/Smt. Kuljit Kaur and Asha Gambhir were nominated as the Advisors of UWA. The Executive Committee

was also reconstituted with some new members. The whole process was conducted by Smt.Jyotika Kalra in a timely and thorough manner.

Medical Camp

Ujjawal Women’s Association organised a Medical Camp for two days on 16th and 17th August, 2021 at its Head Office at Chitra Vihar after getting sanction for this project from AIWC Head Office. It was organised in association with Max Hospital. Banners were put up in the tenements and DDA flat areas of Chitra Vihar and also other nearby areas. Banners were put up at various places giving information about the camp. People from Chitra Vihar, JJ Colony nearby and from other places came to the camp. Doctors, a nurse and a technician from Max hospital carried out the tests and gave advice to the beneficiaries. Ujjawal members- S/Smt. Poonam, Sakshi Banga and Gopika –were actively involved in organising the camp. Dr. Yuthika Mishra interacted with working women in the area about the camp and its usefulness. The spirit to serve and aid was very visible. Personal details of beneficiaries were noted down meticulously by Smt. Suniti Jauhri. Tests were done for blood sugar, blood pressure and bone density New UWA Office Bearers and Executive Committee Members - One (BMD). With their reports in happy family of Ujjawal Women’s Association hand, each person was guided 29


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to a Doctor and after that to a Dietician, who were part of the visiting Max team. The Doctor interacted in depth with them enquiring about their illnesses, eating and working patterns. Some even brought along their prescriptions and reports, and also medicines that they had been taking, to discuss with the Doctor. Medicines were prescribed for calcium deficiency, vitamin D deficiency, for controlling high BP, and high blood sugar. The Dietician advised them about the changes required in eating habits and inclusions that they need to make in their diet. Shri. Bakshi, President and Shri Manish Luthra, the Secretary, Chitra Vihar RWA visited, approving and commending the work. The total number of beneficiaries was one hundred and ten. The camp ended with the distribution of packed lunch to the working team. Everyone involved in organising the camp felt a sense of satisfaction at having been part of the project. During the camp it was seen that many people were from BPL groups and they expressed inability to buy the prescribed medicines. As a follow up UWA decided to distribute generic medicines for two days, to many of those who had come to the camp.True to its objectives the camp really helped in creating awareness about the health and wellbeing of the beneficiaries

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July - September 2021

Garia Mahamayatala Jadavpur Constituent Branch, Kolkata

By Smt. Basudha Ganguly, President.

Arannya Saptaha Udjapan at Pakuria village, Howrah on 19th July.

Nisha Halder passed Madhayamik Examinations in July. GMJ branch sponsored her from class v and gave her educational support.

A health camp eye check-up held on 1st August in Baruipur Helping Hand foundation, Village Balrampur. There were 31 beneficiaries, and 15 pairs of spectacles were distributed.

Awareness programme on Menstrual hygiene and Rainwater Harvesting at Nabajiban Vidyamandir, Madhayamgram, 24 parganas (North), West Bengal, on 2nd September 31


July - September 2021

J&K Women Society, Jammu, (J&K)


By Smt. Nirmal Padha, President, J&K Women Society AIWC Jammu (J&K).

he Organisation distributed masks and ration items like rice, sugar and salt to 80 needy people in Gandhi Nagar, Jammu in collaboration with Vikram Foundation in the presence of Corporator, Gandhi Nagar in the lockdown condition due to Covid-19.We also provided financial help to Smt. Neelam Devi R/o Sikandarpur, Bishnah for her

medical treatment and to Smt.Veerta Devi R/o VillNagri Parole, Distt. Kathua for the medical treatment of her husband.Notebooks were distributed to about 50 needy children in Gandhi Nagar, Jammu in collaboration with Shamdasani Foundation Charitable Trust, Hong Kong.

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July - September 2021

SUVARNA Celebrates Founder’s Day and Onam By Smt. Bhuvaneswari Ravindran, Secretary And SCM


uly 11th is an important day for SUVARNA, AIWC Kozhikode Branch which was established in the year 1949. It was on 11th July 2004 that Smt. Swarnakumari Menon, SUVARNA’s Founder member and mentor, who served as its President for over thirty years, left for her heavenly abode. That day is observed as the Founder’s Day of SUVARNA. As a mark of respect to Smt. Swarnakumari Menon the Branch was named after her as “SUVARNA”. This year, “Founder’s Day – 2021” was celebrated by Suvarna members on 11th July, meeting each other on Zoom platform. The meeting commenced with the National Song “Vande Mataram” rendered by Smt. Lakshmi Nandakumar Menon.

deserving and needy institutions involved in

As part of its activities, every year Suvarna provides financial and/or other assistance to

and spoke about their activities. Acknowledging

Smt. Swarnakumari Menon

Handing over the cheque

social work for women and children. This year Suvarna earmarked an amount of `25000/for financial aid and considering the need for providing a helping hand to children suffering from cancer and chronic illnesses, shortlisted “Caring for Childhood Cancer and Chronic Illnesses





beneficiary, in recognition of the humanitarian services being rendered by them. A cheque for Rs. 25000/- was handed over to Smt. Sulekha, the Secretary of C4CCCI on 11th July 2021 by the Treasurer of the Branch, Smt. Suja Madhu.


the webinar, Dr. O. C. Indira, President, C4CCCI represented the organization as a special guest SUVARNA’s contribution, Dr. Indira thanked



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Onam :

the members for choosing their organization, in recognition of their services. SUVARNA members also felt gratified at having been able to contribute towards such a noble service.

This year again, due to the prevailing COVID situation, Suvarna members had to satisfy themselves with an online cultural feast via Zoom to celebrate the most important festival of Keralites - Onam. In Kerala, the celebrations of Onam start ten days ahead of Thiruvonam and continue for another three days thereafter. The online programme on 28th August 2021, efficiently compered by Joint Secretary Smt. Sasikala Thampan started off with a soulful prayer. This was followed by a brief introduction to the meeting by Secretary of Suvarna and a Welcome Address by the President. In the Onassandesham (Message of Onam), SUVARNA’s senior Patron, Smt. Santha R. Nair described Onam as a festival celebrated by everyone, regardless of religion, caste and creed.

At this meeting, Patron Santha R. Nair spoke of the significance of the day, explaining the efficacious role played by Swarnakumariamma, as she was known to all, in nurturing the Kozhikode Branch and bringing it to its present prestigious position as an energetic and active Branch. The talk helped members, particularly the new entrants, to understand the history and legacy behind SUVARNA and also clearly visualize the energetic and strong leadership that crafted the role for Suvarna in the field of women and child development. The meeting also paid obeisance to two of its respected members who had left for their heavenly abode in the recent past, Smt. M.K. Bhargavi Teacher and Smt. Vatsala Bhaktavatsalan and offered heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families of the departed souls. At this meeting, in the absence of a regular face to face meeting during the last one year due to Covid-19, the fourteen new members of Suvarna Branch who joined after February 2020 got an opportunity to introduce themselves, paving the way for all members to get to know each other. This was another highlight of this meeting. Following its tradition, the meeting concluded with a rendering of National Anthem.

The cultural programmes presented were performed by SUVARNA members and also members of Bhadra Mahila Samajam, the constituent Branch of Suvarna. It was quite gratifying to note that eighty members participated in the meeting and going by the chat box brimming with comments full of appreciation for each individual item, there was no doubt that all members have enjoyed the programmes thoroughly. The meeting ended on a positive note, everyone expressing their earnest desire to meet each other in person very soon.




July - September 2021

Trivandrum Branch “Teachers’ Voices” - A Webinar on the occasion of Teachers’ Day By Kum. Anjana Unni, a student of M.Sc Psychology at CHRIST (deemed to be) University, Bangalore and a member of Yuvasakthi Group of AIWC South Zone-B.)


he webinar was organised by AIWC Trivandrum branch and AIWC South Zone – B,involving six passionate teachers sharing their insights and experiences gained through teaching lives spanning decades.

who have now attained prestigious positions. She also shared experiences about how she was able to encourageher students to pursue professions that they loved. The next speaker was Smt. Jayasree Sasidharan. She shared experiences of her transformation from a housewife into a schoolteacher, which happened when she was attempting to get admission for her children at a school in Bathinda, Punjab. The Principal at the school gave her a test, which she passed with flying colors. Eventually, she was invited to join the school and was able to successfully teach for almost two years. Over the course of her teaching career, she moved through several cities as her husband was an Army officer. Starting from Bathinda, her teaching journey continued through Delhi, Jabalpur, Shillong, Lucknow and Goa. While teaching in these places, she experienced a diversity of cultures, which helped her to enrich her expertise in teaching children from various cultural backgrounds.

The session commenced with introductory remarks by Smt. Usha Nair, Zonal Organiser. She briefly introduced Dr. Jameela Begum, former Head of the Department, Department of English, Kerala University, and former Director of the Centre for Canadian Studies, currently heading the Curriculum Committee of ASAP (Additional Skills Acquisition Program). She is also Director of the Literary and Cultural Forum of AIWC Trivandrum branch. Smt. Usha Nair invited her to conduct the session. Dr. Jameela Begum spoke about her experiences as a teacher. She had a passion for teaching ever since she was a little girl. She stressed on teaching students in a way that motivates them and transforms them into dynamic and interactive individuals through the process of learning and education. She describes the process of elucidating poems as a “transference of feelings and emotions” to the students. She further explained how a good teacher could influence the mind and thought of his/ her students. Dr. Jameela Begum takes immense pride and pleasure at the success of her students

The third speaker was Smt. Radhika Rajagopal. She described teaching as something that has nourished her soul and energized her spirit. She started her career as a Probationary Officer at the State Bank Travancore during the 1970s. In due course, she got married, left the job and started travelling with her husband (who was an Army 35


July - September 2021

officer) through the length and breadth of the country. That was when she chose teaching as a profession and fell in love with it.

Trivandrum. She was quite petrified at first since all her teachers were now her colleagues, but with time, she was able to prove through her passion that she deserved to be there. She emphasized on providing practical experience to students along with theoretical knowledge. She always focused on independent learning so that students would become self-reliant in carrying out their work during college days as well as in real life. She believes that being close to the students helps one to become a satisfied teacher.

She feels that no matter how big or small an institution is, or whether it is located in a metropolitan city or a secluded village, human beings are essentially the same; the efforts required and challenges faced in training and grooming them also remain the same. However, outcomes of these efforts are quite rewarding. She also actively participated in efforts to start a school in the Agra Cantonment area, which initially educated students of the locality and eventually flourished into a regular school.

The next speaker was Dr. Remani Titus with teaching experience of over thirty two years at St. Thomas College, Kozhenchery. For her, the teaching profession was a dream come true as she had dreamt of becoming a teacher right from childhood. She believes that establishing a rapport with the students is essential for teaching so that communication becomes easy. She pointed out that a teacher is someone who discovers a spark in her/his students by expressing empathy towards them. She quoted the relationship between Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan to be an epitome of an ideal student-teacher relationship. She describes a teacher as someone who plays a pivotal role in molding a student’s personality.

The fourth speaker was Smt. Nirmala James, a cheerful schoolteacher from Kerala. While recollecting her teaching days during the mid 1980s, she revealed that at her school, teaching was teacher oriented rather than student oriented. In order to evolve a student oriented teaching experience, she attended several training sessions. She started by forming a bond with students and winning their trust. She would try her best to make the classes more interactive for students and gave emphasis on giving exposure to students beyond the four walls of the classroom.

The session continued for another half an hour with exceptional teachers such as Smt. Chandraprabha Pandey, Dr. P. Manjula Suresh, Smt. Hemalatha, Smt. Santha Nair, Smt. Usha Haridas and Smt. Rama Rajagopal, sharing their noteworthy experiences beautifully, even with the time constraints in the session

Dr. Kamini Bhuvaneshwar was the fifth speaker of the session. Hailing from a family of professors inspired her to become a professor herself. Right from her childhood, she had the passion to become a teacher. She commenced her teaching career at Stella Maris College, Chennai after doing Masters in Home Science. She taught Community Development and Child Care at the college. Later, she was lucky to get a job at the same college that she studied for seven years – College for Women,

The session concluded with National Anthem, through a video shared by Samyuktha, a branch of AIWC. 36


July - September 2021

Teachers Day Greater Noida

S/Smt Kriti Naren, Kammo Mehta and Aadarsh Sinha organised the program successfully.

By Dr. Upasana Singh, President


South East Calcutta Constituent Branch

eacher's Day celebration was organised at

By Dr. Smita Palit, SCM

Sakipur village Literacy Centre. Teachers

and children participated enthusiastically. The

SE Calcutta Constituent

importance of this day was explained to the

Branch runs a pre-

primary school in Usthi, South 24Parganas. A few

children and an interactive discussion on the topic

students at this school celebrated Teacher's day with their teachers today.

of 'Importance of Teacher in Digital Education System' took place.The essence of the discussion was that despite all the digital education system, personal guidance and supervision of a teacher is very important for the growth of every student. Sweets, snacks, juice and ration was distributed among the beneficiaries. Dr. Upasana Singh and



July - September 2021


retired in last two years.They have played a great role in building the career of so many students who are the future citizens of India. We salute all these teachers on this day and pay homage to the great teacher and second President of India, Shri S. Radhakrishnanji

By Smt. Arti Joshi, Secretary Shree Sarvajanik Mahila Mandal, Bardoli, celebrated Teacher's Day by honouring sixteen lady teachers who spent their life teaching children with love and passion for thirty to forty years and

Chirayinkeezhu Branch and Jyothirgamaya by Dr. K.G. Vijayalekshmy, President Chirayinkeezhu Branch and Jyothirgamaya jointly organised a Teachers Day Program on 6th September with a variety of programs such as presentations, quiz , dance etc. The Chief Guest Dr Suthara, Associate Professor, Govt. Women's College, spoke on the 'Role of Teachers in a Student’s Life '.  38


July - September 2021

Women & Gender Constituency Gender Just Climate Solutions Awards. “Mention-of-Honor” Award Experiences shared by Smt. Shikha Mitra (President AIWC ECC)


he Gender Just Climate Solutions Awards

COP 26 and received the award on its behalf. I

comprise three categories:

reached Glasgow on the 7th of November 2021

technical solutions

non-technical solutions

transformational solutions

and attended COP 26 till the 12th of November 2021. On 8th November morning I had a meeting with Kitty Van der Hoijden, Director General for International Cooperation, Kingdom of the Netherlands, and later that day I was conferred

After filling up the form for nomination in the

with the “Mention-of-Honor” award by her. On

Gender Just Climate Solution Awards in the last

9th November I had an interview with CNN Radio

week of July, our application was accepted on

Broadcasting USA and later that day attended a

the 28th of July 2021. On the 23rd of September

seminar,“Inclusion Is Key: How Gender Equality

2021 the awards were declared. Our Mangrove

Improves Science, Tech and Innovation for

Restoration Project of AIWC ECC under the

Climate Action”. On 9th November I visited the

“GUCCI” project, which was carried on in the

Russian Pavilion and also attended the panel

Achintyanagar Village in Sundarbans had won the

discussion on alternative energy. Panelists had

award in the non-technical category.

broken down the goals of COP26 into a handful

The Gender Just Climate Solutions Award is

of digestible objectives, from advancing climate

conferred by Women & Gender Constituency,

finance to slashing coal usage and increasing

CTCN and WECF. This was a very prestigious

the deployment of renewable energy. I also met

moment for AIWC ECC and AIWC as a whole,to

with Shri. Shekhar Mehta, President, Rotary

get such a huge recognition on the International

International at his invitation.The meeting was

Platform. This also inspires us to work more

very successful. Shri Mehta showed an interest

honestly and with more passion. As President

in collaborating with AIWC in our Sundarbans

of AIWC ECC, I represented the organization at

Mangrove Restoration Project.



July - September 2021 discussions on Climate Change.

On 10th November I had a meeting with Alyssa Maria Gomes (Climate Change Analyst) to discuss

This was an altogether a new and a very educative

various project funding options at the Adaptation

experience for me.There is a lot that I took away

Fund Pavilion.The Adaptation Fund finances

from the very first steps of filling the application

concrete projects that help the most vulnerable

to finally receiving an award and leaving a mark

communities in developing countries to adapt and

of our work in this area. I took this opportunity

build resilience to the effects of climate change,

to gather much knowledge, experience, contacts

many of them replicable and scalable. She advised

and also the strong will to combat climate change

me to contact NABARD (India), as AF does not

for the future of Mother Earth. The outcome of

sanction the project directly. All the projects are

this COP26 in the perspective of gender justice

referred to them by NABARD and the fund is

and climate change was somewhat disappointing

disbursed through NABARD. The projects are

to me… but this is what remains in my heart as

sanctioned and financed by NABARD. On other

the best part of my social work!! Let’s keep up the

days I visited various pavilions and took part in

hard work!


Smt. Shikha Mitra with her Branch colleagues.  40


July - September 2021

AIWC Public Charitable Trust For Education By Smt. Bina Jain, Managing Trustee and Patron AIWC and Shri S.S. Hotchandani, Co-ordinator


a respectable place in the society. Keeping this objective in mind, the Trust made an honest move in that direction and started on this pilgrimage with a sincerity of purpose. To quote Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India who once famously said “If you educate a man you educate an individual, however, if you educate a woman, you educate a whole family. Women empowered means Mother India empowered”.

t was nearly eleven years ago, in 2010, that the AIWC came up with an idea of setting up three Trusts to carry out its social activities more vigorously and cohesively based on its three fundamental objectives of Emancipation, Education and Empowerment of Women. The idea conceived was finally transformed into reality after the Standing Committee of AIWC gave its formal approval for formation of the three Trusts, the AIWC Education Trust, the Old Age Trust and the Health Trust. On 3rd February 2011, the above Trusts were finally registered in New Delhi. This was a historic moment and yet another landmark in the history of AIWC.

It would not be out of place to mention here that the Education Trust has come a long way and covered a lot of distance since its inception. The journey performed has been quite successful. The Trust takes pride in informing our readers that from the year of its set up in February2011 till date, a total number of 1027 girls have been awarded the financial grant which stood at Rs.188.36 Lacs. The professional courses pursued by the girls were, B.Tech in various disciplines, Nursing, MBBS, BDS, B.Ed., M.Ed. etc. It gives us immense satisfaction to inform the readers that there are six very bright students who are pursuing MBBS course. One student from our Hyderabad/ Secunderabad Branch, Kum. Sindusha.M.S has topped the University in M.Sc. Food Sciences & Nutrition and has won a Gold Medal in the Year 2019. She has also qualified the UGC NEET Examination and has bagged a job as Asstt. Professor on a salary of Rs.1 Lac per month. It would be appropriate to mention here that though

Coming to the Education Trust, the basic purpose behind setting up this Trust was to provide financial support to the meritorious girl students coming from economically challenged backgrounds to enable them to pursue higher education. In the initial years of its formation, the Trust also lent financial support to the girls who were studying at the Higher Secondary level so that they could acquire the basic minimum level of education. As the times progressed and the advancement in higher education gathered pace, the Board of Trustees decided to lay more focus on providing financial assistance for professional degree courses so that the aspiring girls coming from the challenged background could fulfill their dreams of becoming economically self-reliant and finding



July - September 2021


the Education Trust on its part has played a vital role in promoting and financially helping the deserving girl students to pursue higher education, the students on their part have also displayed their sincerity and have equally responded by working very hard to achieve their dreams. Despite various constraints they have to face in their daily life, they have remained committed to the cause and reached the milestones of success which they really deserve. The Trust wishes them all the best in the pursuit of their goals.

Ms. Madhuri, Completed her B. E (EC), and is now employed as Asstt.Software Engineer on a package of Rs.4.5 Lacs per annum in Accenture Company Ms. Akshatha, Completed her BE (ISE) and is now working as a Software Engineer on a package of Rs.3 Lacs per annum in CGI Bangalore Ms. Pooja, Completed her BE(CS) and is now working as a Software Engineer on a package of Rs.2.75 Lacs per annum in Honeywell Company

Here are a few names of our financial grantees from our various Branches who have received accolades and brought laurels to the Trust for their standout performances:

WIA CHENNAI Ms. S. Madhuvanthi, Completed her MCA course and is now working in Bharathidasan Hr. Sec. School on a monthly salary of Rs.20,000/- per month

AIWC BIJNOR (UP): Ms. Gauri Bharadwaj, Completed her MBA, qualified in a course in Banking from Manipal University and is now working as an Asstt. Manager in ICICI Bank on a salary of Rs.50,000/per month.

Ms. S. Nandhini, Completed her Physiotherapy course and 2 years PG course in Neuroscience and is now working in an Institute on a monthly salary of Rs. 12,000/Ms. S. Priyanka, Completed her B.Sc in Microbiology and is now working in Indo Arya Transport Ltd on a monthly salary of Rs.13,500/-

Ms. Kadambari, Completed her B.Sc. (Hons) in Computer Science and is now working in American Company, DIVERSELYNXLLC in Noida on a monthly salary of Rs.60,000/-

AIWC BARDOLI, Distt. Surat Ms. Margi Kamlesh Shah, Completed her MBA course and is now employed as Asstt. Professor in Vidyabharti Trust College on a package of Rs.2,40,000/- per annum.

Ms. Nidhi Verma, Completed her BCA and is now working in HCL Tech. Company on a monthly salary of Rs.40,000/-




July - September 2021

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July - September 2021


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AIWC Kshitij, Bihar

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AIWC Vrindavan Branch

Greater Noida Branch and Human Touch Foundation for Women celebrated India’s 75th Independence Day at the Sakipur Village centre, Greater Noida.

Sanjeevni Mahila Sanstha Meerut


Head Office staff with President, Smt. Sheela Kakde and Secretary General Smt. Kuljit Kaur

Jabalpur Branch

Mhow Branch

Rewari Branch

Ashok Nagar Ranchi Jharkhand Branch

Rajkot Branch celebrated Independence Day with the children of Ramnathpara Creché and Street School

Kalyan Niketan, Kadma, Jamshedpur Branch, planted 1200 saplings on the outskirts of Jamshedpur. More will be planted later.


July To September 2021

Members and Staff of Head Office at the Flag Hoisting Ceremony on Independence day

AIWC Pathankot Branch celebrates Independence Day

Independence Day 2021

AIWC ECC Laketown Branch celebrated Independence Day in association with Bidhannagar Rotary Club and Laketown Rotary Club. Rotary Club Bidhannagar handed over a digital weighing machine and sealing machine to Draupadi Powder Spices of our association. Rotary Club Laketown gave packets of milk powder to 25 children at the Child Welfare Center in our Nehru Colony and 2 packets of sanitary napkins to 15 women. On behalf of our association, the children were given packets of rice, pulses and milkshake. President Shikha Mitra spoke on women’s menstrual hygiene. Printed at : I G Printers Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi-110020

All India Women’s Conference

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