Page 1

07 The Making of a Legend A significant “Chai Pe Charcha with Narendra Modi” was held on 8 March, 2014

08 Vrindavan Holi Widows celebrate Holi for many years with Sulabh founder Dr Bindeshwar Pathak

32

10 Sulab’s Women Empowerment

Newsmaker Avani

Man can never be women’s equal in the spirit of selfless service with which nature endowed her- Gandhi

Avani Chaturvedi became the first Indian woman to successfully fly the MiG-21 fighter jet sulabhswachhbharat.com FIND US ONLINE

Scan this with your smartphone

RNI No. DELENG/2016/71561

A Good News Weekly

sri sri ravi shankar

A Divine Force A world renowned humanitarian and spiritual leader

Vol - 2 | Issue - 12 | March 05 - 11, 2018 | Price ` 5/-


02

Cover Story

March 05 - 11, 2018

A Divine Force Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak writes about Sri Sri

H

1. Dr Bindeshwar Pathak presenting a book to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar 2. Dr Pathak addressing the attendees during Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s visit 3. Amola Pathak with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Dr Pathak at the function

1

2

is Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is a rare gem, a God’s gift to the world and humanity. Such souls rarely visit the earth. But when they come they bring rare radiance with them and with that radiance they illuminate our world. I am overwhelmed and thrilled to see Ravi Shankar-ji’s World Cultural Festival. It was an astonishing experience for me to see 8,500 artists playing their musical instruments in unison. It is befitting that the Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi has blessed this festival. Indian people will seldom get an opportunity to enjoy such high-quality cultural programme being provided by this festival. My humble salutation to Ravi Shankarji! I wish him a long and beautiful life. And I hope that people, not just in India but all over the world, will learn the art of a joyful and creative life from his Art of Living, and all of us will be blessed by Ravi Shankarji. The Sulabh family and people of this country extend the best wishes for the World Culture Festival being held in Delhi, and we pray for its success.

3


Cover Story

March 05 - 11, 2018

03 07

A Global Peacemaker The boy, who recited Bhagavad Gita from the age of four, today combines deep spiritualism with an insistence on dialogue to end strife across the world

Quick Glance Ravi Shankar started meditation with his parents when just a boy He developed the unique becalming Sudarshan Kriya breathing technique He teaches this to warring groups while opening dialogue between them

n G Ulaganathan

“W

e all have the responsibility of bringing peace to every nook and corner of the world. Unless every member of our global family is peaceful, our peace is incomplete,” says Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on why he has voluntarily taken up so many initiatives to bring peace across the world. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is one of the busiest men in the country today. Flying in and flying out to try and work for globalpeace, talking to different warring groups, at home he has also been a catalyst in working towards solving the Ayodhya issue. Even as the Supreme Court began

hearing the Ayodhya dispute case, a delegation from Lucknow met Sri Sri in Bengaluru to find an “amicable solution” to the issue. The six-member delegation — executive member of All India Muslim Personal Law Board Maulana Salman Husaini Nadwi, UP Sunni Central Waqf Board chairperson Zufar Farooqui, former IAS officer Anis Ansari, advocate Imran Ahmed, Maulana Wasif Hasan Waizi of Teeli Wali Masjid and director of Objective Research and Development Athar Husain — had a three-hour meeting with the Art of Living founder. “We discussed various aspects of the dispute and how a consensus can be reached between Hindus and Muslims. Another round of meeting

What one can achieve through friendship can never be done through conflicts. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has been addressing this frequently

can be held in Ayodhya in March where seers and clerics will discuss the issue,” Athar Husain said. Farooqui said, “The waqf board is ready for all kinds of negotiations, provided people from both sides are present at the table.” Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s motive is to end the issue as soon as possible and do so amicably. According to Sri Sri, an out-of-court settlement would be the best solution to the dispute in Ayodhya and that he would talk to all stakeholders in this regard. What one can achieve through friendship can never be done through conflicts, the spiritual leader has been stressing throughout in recent times. With strong belief in the power of dialogue, he has brought to the table opposing parties in Iraq, Colombia, Sri Lanka, Kashmir, Northeast India and the Naxal groups. This spiritual leader has the unique reputation of being able to engage with all sides of a conflict leaders,

victims and rebels. ‘My vision is a violence-free, stressfree world’, says this humanitarian ambassador. He doesn’t mind taking risks and does not hesitate going to dangerous places to tame the lions in their own dens. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is the founder of the ‘Art of Living Foundation’, one of world’s largest humanitarian, nongovernmental organisations. He propagates his ideologies through the countless ‘ashrams’ and Art of Living institutes all around the world. Ravi Shankar is a multi-faceted social activist and his humanitarian initiatives include conflict resolution, trauma relief and poverty eradication. He feels that deep meditation and a breathing technique known as the ‘Sudarshan Kriya’, once directly integrated in one’s daily life, will calm the mind and bring about positivity and vigour. He reaches out to over 370 million people around the world through personal teachings, social interactions, public events and Art of Living workshops.It has been a fascinating journey.

Wonder Boy

Born in a small town Papanasam in Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu, to Visalakshmi Ratnam and RSVenkat Ratnamhe was able to recite verses from the Bhagwad Geeta, an ancient Sanskrit text and also started practicing meditation with his parents by the age of four. He began studying Vedic literature with Sudhakar Chaturvedi and simultaneously attended the school at MES in Bangalore. In 1973, at the age of 17, he graduated with degrees in both Physics and Vedic Literature. After graduation, he travelled with


04

Cover Story

March 05 - 11, 2018

Going Global

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, under whose tutelage he started giving sermons on Vedic science in Ayurveda centres. During this period, he became the Maharishi’s close friend and confidante. Through the 1980s, he travelled around the world and preached spirituality. He established the Art of Living Foundation in 1982 and in 1983 he held the first Art of Living course in Switzerland. In 1986, he travelled to California for an Art of Living workshop and soon became popular in America. Towards the end of the 80s, he

introduced a series of effective breathing exercises, the ‘SudarshanKriya’. It is said that the inspiration to come up with a new breathing technique came to him while he was meditating on the banks of the Bhadra River in Shimoga, Karnataka. Sudarshan Kriya facilitates physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Independent medical research from reputed medical institutions is said to have documented the impact of these techniques on the alleviation of depression, reduced cortisol (stress hormone) and strengthened immune system.

In 1997, he founded the International Association for Human Values (IAHV), a humanitarian organisation that aims to bring sustainable development to rural areas and revive human values and morals In India, he has started 435 schools offering free education to the underprivileged, benefitting over 58,000 children. Sri Sri has been conferred with various international awards including the highest civilian award of Colombia, Mongolia, and Paraguay. Back home, he has been conferred Padma Vibhushan, the country’s highest award for exceptional and distinguished service. He has been conferred 16 Honorary Doctorates globally and he travels to nearly 40 countries a year. Sri Sri’s one message has always been that the world is one family, and that diverse religions, cultures, and traditions are rooted in the same human values of love, compassion, peace, and non-violence. He convened the World Culture Festival in 2016 on the banks of Yamuna which brought together over 3.75 million people from 155 countries with spectacular performances on a breath-taking 7-acre stage by 36,602 dancers and musicians from around the globe, celebrating the diversity of all faiths and cultures.

Sri Sri’s one message has always been that the world is one family, and that diverse religions and Kashmir Dialogues Sri Sri has been engaging traditions are rooted in the same human values

with all sections of society in Jammu & Kashmir since 2004. From separatist leaders to those who are resorting to stone pelting, to Sufi saints and intellectuals, there have been continuous dialogue with all stakeholders in Jammu &Kashmir for over a decade. “I’m very grateful to Gurudev for coming here to the Valley. I request him to bring peace to the world and to Jammu &Kashmir. We bestow this responsibility on him because he has a heart that feels and truly understands human values.” Syed Ali Shah Geelani had said welcoming Sri Sri Ravi Shankar at the Sher-e-Kashmir International Conference organised by The Art of Living in the valley in 2007. From meeting with Hurriyat leaders, including Mirwaiz Umar

Farooq, to ensuring smooth passage of ShriAmarnathYatra to promoting communal harmony, he has effectively worked for establishing peace in the Valley. He has also inspired over 5,000 misguided youth who were caught in the web of armed insurgency to shun the path of violence and become useful members of society through the Youth Leadership Training Programs. In 2017, The Art of Living organised Paigam e Mohabbat - A moving event of reconciliation and forgiveness that brought together 200 families of slain militants & 40 families of soldiers who sacrificed their lives. They came together to give a clarion call to the youth of Kashmir to walk the path of non-violence. It was a heart-touching moment for everyone to see the families share the pain they have gone through and renounce the culture of militancy, which has claimed their dear ones. A softening of hearts was very apparent when a former militant Abdul Majeed said, “Youth must drop their guns and follow the path of peace. We have come here because Gurudev (Sri Sri) is a big personality who does big work. We hope that he will get us a solution through talks.” “We have come with a lot of hope. We didn’t expect that we would have the chance to come to a space like this. We have lost a lot. Now we want to spread a message of love to the nation,” added Ajaz Ahmad Mir from Ganderbal. “People of both sides have been killed whether they are from the Army or the other side. We are unable to sleep at night, can’t go out in the day. We want peace. We have come to Gurudev with the hope for peace,” added GhulamHussain, a former militant.

Northeast Foray

Sri Sri has been spending a lot of time in guiding leaders from the Northeast region to shun violence. His strategy paid off in 2017 with the homecoming of 68 militants in Manipur. The Art of Living played a major role in changing the hearts and minds of these cadres. In 2010 also in Manipur, 128 militants laid down their arms and were subsequently rehabilitated by the Art of Living. The group underwent a 90-day intensive behavioral, spiritual and vocational rehabilitation training conducted by the organisation. Several former underground leaders led by General Secretary of ULFA Anup Chetia embraced the idea of finding strength in diversity through continued dialogue.


Cover Story

March 05 - 11, 2018

05 07

Powers Of Sudarshan Kriya

Gujjar Agitation

Sri Sri travelled to Rajasthan in June 2008 to diffuse the violence and tension that had engulfed the state following an agitation by the Gujjar community demanding recognition as a backward community (scheduled tribe status) and reservation benefits. On his advice, the agitators agreed to hold negotiations with the government. Within a few days of starting negotiations, an amicable solution was reached between the agitators and government bringing to an end the 19-day imbroglio. Significantly, it was the first time, since the agitation began that the Gujjars were willing to listen to a mediator. To provide solace to the protesting Gujjars, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar met 50,000 members of the community on the rail tracks of Pilukapura, where they were sitting in protest and blocking rail traffic. Sri Sri urged them to shun their violent protest and hold dialogue in a peaceful manner:

Ranvir Sena

One of the earliest cases of conflict resolution taken up by The Art of Living was in Bihar in the beginning of the 21st century. Caste conflict between upper caste group RanvirSena and Communist Party of India, Marxist-Leninist (CPIML) had taken the ugliest form in Bihar during the 1990s. Violence was rampant in the form of arson, mass killings, extortions and other ways. In 2001, Sri Sri visited Masaudhi, a conflict-ridden region, and appealed to the audience of 50,000 people to give non-violence a chance. Through dialogue and by uniting groups in community and in solidarity, Gurudev made inroads to peace between the

A Stanford University research on war veterans practising the Sudarshan Kriya has found that just one week of practising the technique normalised anxiety

T

he Sudarshan Kriya, a yogic breathing technique cognized by Sri Sri isone of the key programmes taught by The Art of Living. Many independent research studies on Sudarshan Kriya and related practices have found that these techniques lead to a significant decrease in the stress hormone cortizol and a huge increase in the levels of prolactin, a well being hormone and improves the quality of sleep. A Stanford University research on war veterans practising the Sudarshan Kriya has found that just one week of practising the technique normalised anxiety, and the results were maintained one month and one year later. Researchers at the Northeastern University agree with Sri Sri’s views about spirituality helping people realise the underlying unity. A study in the social emotions lab at the university found a significant difference in compassionate response by participants who practiced meditation for just 8 weeks as opposed to people who didn’t warring factions of Bihar and other Naxalite areas of India. These leaders were then separately invited to The Art of Living centre in Rishikesh to meet Sri Sriin person. Once the warring groups reached Rishikesh and became aware of each other’s presence in the same place, conflict began to boil again. With skilful intervention, they were made to sit together for the programme, where they learned breathing and meditation

He convened the World Culture Festival in 2016 on the banks of Yamuna which brought together over 3.75 million people from 155 countries

practice it at all. A study led by Dr Fahri Saatcioglu, Head of the Section for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, as well as a senior scientist at Oslo University Hospital, Norway found that practice of Sudarshan Kriya (SK) and Yoga can substantially change the genes in the body’s immune cells. The participants practiced yoga and Sudarshan Kriya for 2 days, 2 hours per day. For the next 2 days, they spent times in nature walks and listening to music. Then the researchers analysed the blood samples of participants. ‘It’s very remarkable, that so many changes in the gene expression occurred in such a short period of time,” said Saatcioglu. A team lead by Dr Neeta Singh and Dr Vinod Kochupillai, former chief of IRCH and Head of Medical Oncology at IRCH (Institute rotary cancer hospital) at AIIMS, tested the blood of 42 persons who were practicing Sudarshan Kriya for over 1 year and compared it with the blood of 42 healthy individuals who were not practicing any form of physical techniques. By the end of the course they voluntarily swore to give up their arms and channel their efforts toward community service.

Focus: Environment:

Tree plantation: • 71 million trees planted in 36 countries and 26 Indian states • Over 20 lakh Lakshmitaru saplings planted across India. • 9 million trees planted under the initiative of Mission Green Earth. Natural farming • Generating awareness about natural farming through seminars, training workshops, model farm visits, awareness programs and KrishiMelas (farmer meets). • Over 2.2 million people trained in

exercise or stress management techniques. What the researchers found was thought provoking. The cellular activity between the two groups was clearly different. The Kriya practitioners had a better antioxidant status at the enzyme and the gene level. Also they had less DNA damage and cell aging. These studies have demonstrated a 67-73% success rate in relief from depression, regardless of the severity of depression. • The P300 ERP EEG brainwave pattern and NREM brainwave pattern, which measure electrical brainwave activity and are abnormal in many depressed people, returned to the normal range by ninety days. • Return to healthier hormone levels • Plasma prolactin, a wellbeing hormone which is believed to be a key factor in producing depression relief, increased significantly after the very first SKY session. • Levels of plasma cortisol (the stress hormone) decreased significantly after three weeks. Sri Sri Natural Farming, a sustainable solution to address the challenge of ensuring food security for a growing population. • 2 million acres have been brought under cultivation through natural farming. • 115,000 farmers in suicide prone areas empowered through leadership workshops. • Seed banks set up across the country to promote preservation of indigenous seed varieties. Water conservation & River rejuvenation • Water Conservation and River Rejuvenation is going on in 35 rivers and its tributaries across Maharashtra, Karnataka , Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Yamuna cleaning campaign


06

Cover Story

March 05 - 11, 2018

The teachings of The Art of Living are essential to achieve a stable, and long lasting peace ‘MeriDilliMeri Yamuna’ • Around 512 tons of clothes, plastic, garbage removed during the“Clean Yamuna Campaign” As a part of the Pampa River Cleaning Campaign: • 600 tons of garbage removed • 68,800 volunteer hours spent on the project • 30 lakh people sensitized through direct interaction • 377 school children and staff from 8 Sri Sri Ravi Shankar VidyaMandirSchools participated in the initiative.

Purified drinking water:

Light a home

One of Art of Living’s unique programmes is rehabilitating prisoners and has reached out to over 7,00,000 prisoners globally. For instance, in Uruguay, the Ministry of Interior has reduced the prison sentence for those prisoners who have taken the Art of Living Prison Program. The AoL volunteersabroad mobilizetrauma and disaster relief for affected people in Mexico, Haiti, USA, Germany, Canada, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Japan. Brokering peace deal between Colombia& FARC One of the major achievements of Sri Sri has been the peace agreement between the Government of Colombia and the FARC guerrillas after 52 years of civil war. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, who supported Sri Sri

• Over 65,000 people across 18,500 households benefitted from solar lighting under ‘The Light a Home’ project in the tribal areas of Arunachal Pradesh,Manipur, Meghalaya, Assam, Odisha, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jammu & Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu among others. • 8 Solar Micro Grids in India set up for the Integrated Rural Energy Access Model Village Program. • Solar Grids provided in nine schools in the rural belts of Madhya Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Rajasthan. • 1,033 Yuvacharyas (Youth Leaders) trained as Renewable Energy Technicians to install Renewable Energy Products.

• Trained 60 Rural Youths as JalSevaks to manufacture low cost Bio Sand Water Filters. • Provided safe drinking water to more than 45,000 individuals in 267 villages by setting up four community water filters, distributing individual water filters and making 78 bore-wells in the states of Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Odisha. • Installation of seven Community RO and Bio Sand Filters in Karnataka and West Bengal.

International mediation

in reaching out to the FARC, went on to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 2016 for his efforts to bring peace in the country. FARC leadership underwent a complete change of heart after meeting Sri Sri. They declared ceasefire, vowed to adopt the Gandhian principle of non-violence to achieve their goals, sought forgiveness for their crimes and have reborn as a political party. Ivan Marquez, former FARC commander and chief negotiator in the peace talks, says, “The teachings of The Art of Living are essential to achieve a stable, and long lasting peace. We hope that the peace in Colombia serves as an inspiration for the world.”

Rehabilitating Iraq

The Art of Living is one of the few nongovernmental agencies still operating in Baghdad. In collaboration with the IAHV, the organization’s initiatives including holistic medical care program and women’s empowerment projects as well as trauma relief programs, have benefited over 50,000 Iraqi citizens. Sri Srihimself has visited the country three times. The Art of Living is now working with special focus on war survivors camping in Northern Iraq. Over 6000 women have been provided vocational training in tailoring and computer literacy. Several prison programs have been conducted in Iraq’s correctional homes. Over 100 Iraqi citizens, mostly women from Baghdad, Basra, Suleimania and Karbala have undergone rigorous training to become Art of Living teachers and are working to alleviate the suffering of fellow Iraqis. The Art of Living and IAHV are also working in the wake of the humanitarian crisis unleashed by the ISIS to bring material and spiritual relief to the 1.5 million internally displaced men, women and children in Iraq. Relief materials have been distributed to more than 8,000

families and orphaned children in Erbil, Duhok and Khazir.

Trauma Care in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan

The organisation is also actively working to help Syrian refugees and war survivors in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq cope with the trauma of the prolonged conflict in the region. The stress relief, trauma healing and resilience workshops of The Art of Living have been provided to over 20,000 survivors. Since children are the most vulnerable group in any conflict, The Art of Living has launched its programs to help children release their trauma and tendencies of self-harm and prevent the terrorism recruitment machinery that preys on their vulnerability. A social worker in the Zatari camp said, “We are working in an environment that is in dire need of psychosocial activities. I have never seen such an effective stress relief as in this workshop. This will heavily reflect on the type of work that I do, and will allow me to truly benefit the Syrian refugees that I work with.” Today, the Art of Living Foundation is present in over 152 countries, with over a million followers. There are a number of other institutes and ashrams, such as, ‘VedVignanMahavidyapeeth’, ‘Sri Sri Ayurveda’, and ‘The Sri Sri School for Performing Arts and Fine Arts’ and ‘Sri Sri Pre-University College’ which carry forward his legacy Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is also the Chancellor of Sri Sri University and the Chairman of the Quality Control of India Yoga Certification Committee. He is also a member of the Amarnath Shrine Board (appointed by Government of Jammu & Kashmir, India). Gurudevwas the Chairman of Reception Committee for the 500th anniversary celebrations of the Coronation of Krishnadevaraya (by Government of Karnataka, India).


March 05 - 11, 2018

excerpts from the book: “NARENDRA DAMODAR MODI: the making of a legend”

07

Chai pe charcha A significant “Chai Pe Charcha with Narendra Modi” was held on 8 March, 2014, on the occasion of International Women’s Day at the BJP party office in New Delhi. Modi interacted on the theme of women empowerment with the public at 1500 locations where prominent women were a part of the audience

Narendra Modi holding "Chai Pe Charcha" with women as a part of the election campaign.

C

hai Pe Charcha— discussion over a cup of tea—was yet another innovative election campaign initiative conceived for the 2014 campaign of Narendra Modi. It was launched from the Iskon Gandhi Tea Stall in Ahmedabad, the capital of his home state Gujarat, on 12 February, 2014. From this venue Narendra Modi was connected with 1000 tea stalls over 300 cities by his formidable information technology team with satellite, DTH, internet and mobile. The subject for the first Chai Pe Charcha was good governance. This event had been organized by an NGO, Citizens for Accountable Governance. Of the 1000 locations, Modi interacted with people from 30 places. The questions were

selected by the organising NGO from its website. Those shortlisted to ask questions shared views and gave suggestions for the campaign through the video conferencing facility made available. In all venues where the programme was telecast, Modi appeared on screen with a cup of

Narendra Modi holding a cup of tea during broadcast of "Chai Pe Charcha" in Ahmedabad on February 12, 2014.

tea in his hand. The event drew the interest of the international press which covered it favourably and in great detail. There were many such Chai

Writer Chetan Bhagat and fitness guru Micky Mehta during a Chai Pe Charcha organised by the BJP at Khar, Mumbai on February 14, 2014 .

Pe Charchas held to build on the success of the first venture to an extent that it became a trade mark of the Modi persona. After becoming Prime Minister, Modi’s cup of tea with Barack Obama in Hyderabad House, New Delhi, when the latter visited India as chief guest for the Republic Day 2015, garnered many national and global headlines. Modi’s invitation to tea at his residence, 7 Race Course, to former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi, to discuss the Goods and Services Tax Bill and other legislations was also marked as a Chai Pe Charcha by the media.


08

Vrindavan Holi

March 05 - 11, 2018

vrindavan holi

Colours Brings Joy To Vrindavan Widows Widows celebrate Holi for many years with Sulabh founder Dr Pathak

n Swastika tripathi

T

hey sang, they danced, they laughed and hugged all who were around. They threw flowers at each other, they played with gulaal. Defying all traditional barriers and taboos, hundreds and thousands of widows, for sixth year in a row, celebrated the festival of colours, Holi, at the ancient Gopinath temple in Vrindavan on February 27. The Widows of Vrindavan drenched themselves in rainbow colours – violet, green, yellow, red – as they joyously participated in the Holi celebrations annually organised by Sulabh International Social Service Organisation. Sulabh founder Dr Bindeshwar Pathak joined the widow mothers and danced to the tunes of the melodious music of the devotional Holi songs and Krishna bhajans that infused

Quick Glance Widows of Vrindavan drenched in rainbow colours on February 27 Dr Bindeshwar Pathak joined the widow mothers and danced with them Once what was a forbidden day for widows, is now a joyous occasion

Defying all traditional barriers and taboos, hundreds and thousands of widows, for sixth year in a row, celebrated the festival of colours in the onlookers’ hearts devotional fervour and divine love. The festival was not restricted to widows and Sulabh but also attracted many Indian and foreigner photographers, eager to capture the essence of this colourful festival. Once what was a forbidden participation for these women in whites, is now an occasion of throwing petals and coloured powders into the air, smearing each other’s faces with multicolours, and dancing to the groovy Holi tunes. It is seen as an important symbol of ending centuries of oppressions of widows. For decades, thousands of widows, who are abandoned by their families or decide to abandon them on their own given the circumstances, have headed to the pilgrim town of Vrindavan which is about 150 kilometres east of the national capital, New Delhi. They took shelter in this city of Krishna and his beloved ‘Radha Rani’ to pray and find a peaceful life.

It was in 2013 that their lives of resignation took on a different meaning. It was the year when Sulabh International founder Dr Bindeshwar Pathak’s continuous efforts led to their breaking free from the shackles of traditions. It was then that for the first time a group of 800 widows created waves by participating in the annual Hindu festival of colours. This was a symbolic beginning of the end to an ingrained form of injustice. The age-old orthodox tradition prohibits widows from celebrating any festival. In fact, they are not even allowed to introduce any colours to their lives – thus the white attire. A thousands-of-yearsold Hindu text described widows as “more inauspicious than all other inauspicious things,” and thus after husband’s death women remain virtual pariahs in many parts of India. These cast-off women were (are) seen as a financial drain and,

considering even their shadows are a ‘curse’, have traditionally sung hymns and begged in the pilgrimage city on the banks of the Yamuna river. The ‘shame’ of widowhood was (is) very strong in some traditional quarters – they’re not allowed to celebrate, attend marriages, they’re supposed to live in seclusion, shave their heads and dress in white. Sulabh International has been pioneering social work in India and was tasked with one more when the Supreme Court asked them in August, 2012 to work for these women. That is when Sulabh devised the Widows’ Holi and since 2013 celebrations have been knocking on their doors. Over the years, Dr Pathak has been campaigning to enable the suffering widows to lead a normal and dignified life. Through his multiple initiatives for ameliorating these women, he has brought a tangible difference in their lives, and has thus succeeded in his mission to give them a new lease of life. Sulabh has been providing a monthly allowance of Rs 2000/- a month for basic necessities and teaching skills. The festival of Holi has always been a boisterous Hindu festival. Colours play a central role in the celebrations, so much so that it is commonly known as the festival of colours. But for these women it is the definition of freedom, happiness, upliftment and acceptance in the society. It is the true achievement of good over the evil.


Summit

March 05 - 11, 2018

09

Green leaders’ gathering

Dr Pathak explains the quantum leap in sanitation technology

The Global Leaders Foundation nominated people from different regions to receive the honour at Global Green Ambassador’s Summit

G

n Urooj Fatima

lobal Leaders Foundation (GLF) organized the “GLF Green Ambassador’s Summit & National Excellence Awards 2017” on Friday, 23rd February 2018, at the Deputy Speaker’s Hall – Constitution Club of India, Rafi Marg, New Delhi. On this occasion, GLF had also organized a summit on “National Development Through Individual Achievements”. The event was graced by Hon’ble Balmiki Prasad Singh, former Governor of Sikkim as chief guest and Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, Founder of Sulabh International Organisation as a Very Special guest. The other dignitaries were Neena Bhagat, Mayor, East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) and SP Singh, Former Vice Chancellor, Lucknow University. The Global Leaders Foundation nominated people from different regions to receive the honour on Global Green Ambassador’s Summit, where the Professionals / Organizations are given the Certificate and Trophy to “National Excellence Award” winners for their excellent work in Green Activities. These awards were conferred upon by International dignitaries, leaders and other prominent personalities for their outstanding contribution

towards progress and development of Indian Education, Economy and Society. Mr Balmiki Prasad appreciated the work done by Dr Pathak and said, “He is a person who has not only pioneered the cleanliness drive -- ‘the Sulabh Swachhalay Movement’ but he is a doer because he practices those values. There are people who just think, some who act and then there come those who have a vision and decide to dedicate herself or himself to that vision. Dr Pathak has not only had the passion for the betterment of untouchables and people of that sort but he also has what is called ‘faculty’. The thought of Sulabh movement which he started, is today globally known.” “Dr Pathak needs to be honoured at the global level because we don’t have a person of his calibre in the world, who has dedicated himself to this cleanliness and sanitation movement”, he further added. Mr Prasad said, “Optimism is necessary, we have to keep trying without losing hope for the development of the country and society. The passion of development should be there. And unless we promote and respect individual and institution of education and environment, we cannot succeed.” Concluding his speech he advised that “we should listen to others’ point of view with respect because that is what Indianness is…Indianness is not religion or caste or community, it is about respecting others opinion and point of view.”

The Journey of the Sulabh Movement

Dr Pathak enlightened the audience with his journey of ‘Sulabh Movement’ and how he tried to solve the two biggest problems the country was facing—Open Defecation and Manual Scavenging. “Gandhi said, “An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching” and as John F Kennedy said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” In 1968 no house in

rural areas had a toilet, everybody had to go outside for defecation and women had suffered the most. In urban areas, 85 percent of houses had bucket toilet which was cleaned by untouchables”, told Dr Pathak. “In puranic period it was suggested not to defecate near human habitation and that one should go far from that area, dig a hole, put a grass and after defecation cover it with grass again. Indians kept going outside for defecation but forgot to dig a hole. This practice continued throughout the period even after theother system developed -- of untouchables to clean the toilets. In 1870 British used sewage system in Kolkata but this technology was very costly and needed maintenance. The result today is, out of 7965 cities and town only 732 cities have a sewage system, that too partially. The treatment of human waste in those cities is just 32 percent and the capital city of India is only treating 69 percent of human waste and the rest is thrown into Ganga without being treated.” “So when I came onto the scene, I studied, had done research and reached the conclusion that with this technology it is impossible to solve these two big problems India is facing. So I gave a quantum leap

Quick Glance Dr Pathak needs to be honoured at the global level, said Balmiki We should listen to others’ perspectives with respect With ‘Two-pit’ technology the practice of manual scavenging is ended

in the technological arena from the centralized treatment of human waste to a decentralized system of treatment of human waste.” “I invented the ‘Two-pit toilet’ technology in 1968. Had not I invented this then even today there was no chance of ending the practice of manual scavenging and of open defecation. It is indigenous, appropriate and affordable. A scientist should try to develop technology which is appropriate and affordable so that it can reach to every person”, Dr Pathak suggested. He further added, “With this technology, the practice of manual scavenging is diminished and untouchables offered the opportunity of better life. I asked the Dalit people to opt for the surname of any caste of their choice and live with their head held high. If a Hindu guy can become a Muslim, Christian or Buddhist, then why cannot they upgrade themselves by opting the Caste of their choice in their own religion?” This Global Leaders Forum is trying to bring leadership and also to solve some of the problems our planet is facing and it will help more if we focus on sustainable development. It is very necessary to develop leaders, leaders in every field for the proper development of our country.


10

Sulabh’s Contribution

March 05 - 11, 2018

women’s empowerment

Sulabh’s Contribution In Women’s Empowerment Man can never be women’s equal in the spirit of selfless service with which nature has endowed her- Gandhi

Since its inception, Sulabh has been actively involved in aiding , rehabilitating, and re-dignifying downtrodden women

Dr Pathak addressing the widows in Varanasi

A

n SSb bureau

s long as the world does not have equal social and power relationship between men and women, does not have sufficient gender justice and gender equality, the issue of women’s empowerment will continue to agitate people like us. The point, however, is how to bring about the change on the ground, how to empower women in our society, especially how to empower the women who live on the margins of society and face all sorts Quick Glance of discriminations Sulabh has helped with the Of course, there are several ways country-wide construction of to empower women, and Sulabh toilets for Swachh Bharat Mission movement has made significant contribution towards women’s security Sulabh has been instrumental through nationwide sanitation in liberating and rehabilitating campaign—especially large-scale scavengers construction of household and public toilets, the importance of which can be Sulabh has also assisted widows grasped from the fact that the women and brought them back into the suffer the most from the lack of access mainstream to toilet—and the welfare work for

the widows of Vrindavan and Varanasi. Let’s see what Sulabh organisation has done for the women’s empowerment through running a sustained campaign for providing education and employment to the dalit women of the towns of Alwar and Tonkin the state of Rajasthan. Till Sulabh intervention, these women cleaned and disposed human excreta with their bare hands from houses lacking flushing toilets—a practice euphemistically called ‘scavenging’, which is illegal and punishable under the Indian law, yet continues in many rural and semi-urban areas—to eke out their living. They were among the most oppressed and desolate segments of Indian society, as they suffered from severe disadvantages of gender, caste and class. Besides lacking material means of a decent living— hygienic shelter, basic healthcare, education, and other necessary resources of improving one’s life— these women, despite the Constitutional assurance of equality, also suffered from extreme social exclusion known as untouchability. Obviously, it was a daunting task to devise and develop appropriate modules for their education, apprenticeships and skill-building that was essential for ensuring their alternative employment


March 05 - 11, 2018

without which they could not be liberated from the dehumanizing work of manual scavenging. This was the challenge Sulabh took and succeeded through its multi-pronged endeavors in educating, training and providing alternative employment to them, thus setting an example and a hope for universal education and employability of women, especially those who are at the bottom of a terribly discriminatory system. Sulabh established a centre called NaiDisha (New Direction) in Alwar in April 2003 with the aim of eradicating manual scavenging and providing alternative employment to the scavenging women. Against severe odds and reservation of the local people, this centre was started with the active support of socially conscious women belonging to the scavenging dalit community in the vicinity. NaiDisha first provided the suffering women basic education before training them in market-friendly trades. We also helped them in developing their self-esteem and their integration in the social mainstream. Earlier, these women were engaged in manual scavenging because they were born in a community that was traditionally burdened with this inhuman task. NaiDisha encouraged these women to learn vocational skills that would help them leave their hereditary occupation of cleaning excreta. Alongside giving them functional literacy and numeracy, we closely interacted with them, got their feedback into account and created a training module to develop their skill in food processing, cutting and tailoring, carpet making, embroidery, beauty-care, bag making, etc. NaiDisha also paid attention to the trainees’ health and hygiene, as they lived in filthy surroundings and manually cleaned 4 and carried excreta. Health being the key to a person’s well-being, the centre held regular medical check-ups of the trainees. Sulabh’s initiative for education and liberation of the suffering women of Alwar cannot be grasped without understanding the larger context and objective of

Sulabh’s Contribution our movement. Way back in 1970, inspired by Gandhi’s dream of the untouchables’ emancipation and sanitation for all Indians, Dr Pathak laid the foundation of Sulabh. The aim was to build an effective movement for liberation of the manual scavengers, as well as eradicating open defecation and ensuring clean environment. In subsequent years, Sulabh strove and succeeded in finding a solution to the menace of open defecation through inventing a safe and affordable toilet technology. Sulabh put this technology in practical use, as they constructed a large number of household and public toilets all over India. But our bigger achievement lies in rousing the social conscience and changing the caste-ridden mindset of Indians for restoring the human rights and dignity of a community that has for generations been cruelly ostracized as untouchables. As the hierarchies of caste and patriarchy have dominated the Indian society through the centuries, it is not unusual that their consequences still dominate our social life. For example, unhygienic dry latrines that still exist in rural and suburban areas have to be manually cleaned and they are invariably cleaned by a particular dalit community and most of them happen to be women. This made Sulabh movement take into account the gender and caste dimension of social and sanitation problems. We also realized that the best way to ensure sanitation, human rights,

11

Sulabh has roused social conscience and changed the casteridden mindset of our society for restoring the human rights and dignities of the downtroddens

Sulabh’s Vocational Training Centres

A student training to be a beautician at the training centre


12

Sulabh’s Contribution

March 05 - 11, 2018

Dr Pathak facilitating marriage of a young widow

Dr Bindeshwar Pathak attending a wedding of ex-scavenger sisters

Sulabh employed an integrated approach for educating and training the women scavengers for alternative employment

and women’s education and employment is to adopt a holistic approach because human problems do not exist in isolation but in close proximity. One problem is difficult to be resolved unless other problems are also resolved. Education, Livelihood and Liberation of Scavenger Women Sulabh employed an integrated approach for educating and training the women scavengers for alternative employment. They ensured that these people first get motivated and develop a sense of their human potential, which are crucial for laying the foundation of their education and liberation. Alongside giving them basic literacy and training them in marketfriendly trades, Sulabh also tried to develop their attitudinal and behavioural skills. They provided them and their family members a special counselling on the importance of education, health and hygiene. Considering the extremely poor economic condition of 5 these women, NaiDisha gave the trainees a monthly stipend (in the beginning Rs. 1,800 that now has been revised and enhanced to Rs. 3,700) during the training period so that they do not go back to the earlier job of scavenging for their living. Like in our earlier experiments at other places, at NaiDisha, Alwar too, Sulabh adopted as far as possible a multi-faceted approach which has five interconnected stages—liberation, rehabilitation, vocational training, education of next generation, and social elevation. Besides imparting functional literacy, diverse courses such as food processing, cutting and tailoring were designed to help trainees acquire skills that help them towards self-employment. Normally, such courses are designed for six months or one year but in the case of the scavenger women, they decided to extend it further (to two years, and in some individual cases even longer) considering the fact that they had been doing nothing except manual scavenging for generations. Thus, in our centre, the duration of the training varies depending upon the intelligence

quotient of trainees. Based on our experience, they prolonged the duration of their training so that they get a detailed knowledge, both of the technical and practical side of training, which will enable them to compete in the open market. The two-year training is followed by a one-year period of rehabilitation so that they get sufficient time for earning through putting to productive use their newly acquired skills. We generally put the trained women in two categories. In the first category are those who show initiatives and leadership qualities, who can set up their own enterprise with the help of subsidies and loans available from the government. Such women are able to produce quality material and they have the ability to make necessary arrangements for their marketing. In the second category are those trainees who do not have these abilities and leadership qualities. They are put under a cooperative society that provides them requisite help and assistance. How Sulabh overcame the odds and obstacles Transforming the lives of these women was a challenging task. Initially, the scavenging women were not very bothered about personal hygiene. Also, their lurking suspicion against the ‘other people’ reflected in their use of language, which hampered interpersonal communication. But our resource people were mentally prepared for these challenges. Sympathy, patience and perseverance yielded results. These women gradually opened up and showed their potential. Sulabh was able to instill in them a sense of self-worth and dignity. NaiDisha taught them how to begin a new life and rewrite their destiny. When the first batch of scavenger women joined the training centre, 97 per cent of them were illiterate. During the training all were taught to read and write. Laxmi Nanda, who was unable to read or write, now expresses her feelings through poems. Now all of them have bank accounts, as they receive their monthly stipend through account payee cheques, and they know how to operate. After their training, 115 women from Alwar have learnt to successfully market the goods they produce. Now these women have organised themselves into self-help groups and are availing credit facilities from banks so that they can market their products effectively, enabling them to earn a steady income. After the initial hesitation, the people are now


March 05 - 11, 2018

Sulabh’s Contribution

13

Dr. Pathak uplifted the lives of the Widows of Vrindavan

buying their food products. Their papad and handmade vermicelli are in great demand in the local markets. The women trained in beauty-care now provide service to the homes the doors of which were earlier closed to them, as they were ‘untouchables’. Alongside these developments, all dry buckets or pit-latrines (which need to be cleaned manually) have been converted into the Sulabh twin-pit toilets to make Alwar a scavenging-free town. They have not stopped to Alwar only, Sulabh continued work for women in Tonk, Ghaziabad and many more places. . Like Alwar, the aim of the project was to rehabilitate the scavengers and their children and to ensure the elimination of scavenging from these district once and for all. Social acceptance and integration of rehabilitated women Besides economic self-sufficiency, Sulabh endeavours have produced significant social impact. Untouchability has become a thing of the past in Alwar and Tonk. The social transformation brought about can be gauged by the fact that the same people who were earlier loathe to touch them now purchase products, including eatables, prepared by the exscavengers. The dalit women now provide beauty care services to the upper-caste women. The uppercaste families now invite them in various functions and ceremonies. To give but one example, in the first of its kinds, the priest of the local Jagannath temple invited Usha Chaumar of Alwar on his daughter and son’s marriage. At our initiative, the dalits offered prayers in temples for the first time in the local temple, and the Brahmin priests performed the puja at their homes. Sulabh encouraged people to come together for common puja and commensality. And they succeeded in their effort. The point of organising such activities is to overcome religious dogmatism and social discrimination. Turned the pages of Indian History on many occasions Sulabh keeps breaking the norms now and then for the welfare and betterment of women, especially widows and untouchables. In the recent past, Sulabh arranged a young widow’s marriage in the presence of around 500 widows in historic Gopinath temple in October 2017. It was not just an act of courage but a learning that women’s life does not end if she left alone due to some reason. Not only this Sulabh took widows of Vrindavan, Varanasi and Uttar kashi under their Umbrella. Every widow is given Rs 2,000 per month by the Sulabh which takes care of their health and other needs and takes measures. Sulabh has provided the government-run shelters in Vrindavan, five well-equipped ambulances along with medical equipment for providing timely and adequate medical attention for their treatment. Sulabh also organises religious and cultural festivals for widows and takes them out to participate in Durga Puja festival in West Bengal, or a trip to tourist spots in Delhi, besides regularly organising Diwali and Holi festivals for them. From 2013, Sulabh launched Holi for the Widow, now Indian widows break with tradition, fling coloured powders for Holi festival. This was the sixth consecutive year in the town where widows celebrated the Holi festival Band, Baja, Barat for Untouchables sisters by Sulabh The marriage of the two sisters was solemnised

with much fanfare at the Bairwa dharmshala in Tonkin Feb. 2018. Sarita and Rajni earlier carried human excreta on their heads to eke out a living. But today they can hold their heads high in society. These women have chosen to call themselves Brahmins and now socially interact with upper classes. If the civil society and government provide the suffering women effective means and tools, they are more than willing to break their shackles. Integrated approach is required, keeping in mind their various economic and human needs. We need the patience and perseverance to deeply engage with them, allay their fears and build their self-confidence. The question of gender inequality, as we can see in the challenge of women’s education and employment, should not be seen in isolation but as a part of the larger structural discriminations of caste, class and race. Though all women suffer some common problems due to the deeply entrenched culture of patriarchy, not all women suffer from the curse of caste, illiteracy or economic slavery. In other words, women are not a monolith and the great question of gender inequality must be seen and tackled with other institutionalized discriminations like caste, class and race. Above all, there is a need to adopt a holistic and imaginative approach to ensure women’s education and employment because these problems exist with other troubles that women face in their everyday life. Sulabh accomplished this difficult task of educating and liberating the women through a pragmatic, culturally sensitive and holistic approach that combined an application of technological innovation with imaginative initiatives of social reforms.

Sulabh keeps breaking the norms now and then for the welfare and betterment of women, especially widows and untouchables


14

Women’s Day Special

March 05 - 11, 2018

Women’s Day special

The Future Is ‘FEMALE’#PressforProgress No struggle can ever succeed without women participating side by side with men Quick Glance

S

n urooj fatima

wami Vivekananda, one of the greatest sons of India, said that, “There is no chance for the welfare of the world unless the condition of women is improved. It is Indian women exemplify their not possible for a bird to fly on only superpower in each field for a one wing.” changed scenario So it is very necessary for the world to empower womanhood for a There has never been a more better fly. Women empowerment is important time to keep motivated not limited to urban, working women and #PressforProgress but women in even remote towns and villages are now increasingly making their voices heard loud and clear in society. They are no longer willing to play a second fiddle to their male counterparts. Educated or not, they are asserting their social and political rights and making their presence felt, regardless of their socioeconomic backgrounds. From Sita in Ramayana to Kannagi in Silapathikaram to Rani Jhansi are not only celebrated women but also their contribution to social change and awareness had been immense. Celebrating Woman is a way of feeling gratitude to the each and every woman in one’s life, be it in the The modern woman is so deft that she can be easily called a superwoman

professional or Educated or not, the personal life. International Women’s women are day is observed every asserting their year on 8th of March and it is observed around the world to social and political celebrate the velour rights and making of women. In most of the country the day their presence felt, has been observed regardless of their as a national holiday. Women from various backgrounds cultural and ethnic groups come together crossing all the boundaries to remember their struggle of many decade for peace, justice, equality and development. The day allows women to raise her voice for an equal opportunity in whatever field she wants to participate in; same a man is provided with. An initiative of Socialist Party of America, the first national Woman’s Day was more of a political event that was a result of revolution against inequality and oppression spurring women of the United States. It was the first political activism to protect the rights of women that U.S. National Woman’s Day was celebrated. From a political event to major developments in favor of women’s rights and establishment, the history of Women’s Day is a testament of power, sovereignty and democracy. It is one of the most celebrated events in the history of the world and paves the way for more women empowerment and rights to equality. The bottom line of celebrating women’s day is due to the wide spread differences in various fields- the pay difference of 14.9% between men and women, only 22.4% of seats for women in parliament around the world, lack of awareness for women education and many more. Women’s day is the need of the day, as progress made by women needs due recognition, women need more empowerment, women need respect, women need no violence and equality in everything. Celebrating women’s progress, achievement should not be limited to just one day but the whole year. Today’s woman is no longer a dependent soul; she is Independent and self-reliant in every respect and is capable of doing everything. Many past records can evidently prove that women’s have been doing great in many fields leaving behind the gentleman’s of the country. She is indeed the pillar of the society on whose shoulder there is the onus to take forward the existence of mankind in a smoother way. She is generous,


Women’s Day Special

March 05 - 11, 2018

15 07

What is this year’s theme?

Let’s felicitate centenarian women on 8th March

With the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Gap Report findings telling us that gender parity is over 200 years away - there has never been a more important time to keep motivated and #PressforProgress. And with global activism for women’s equality fuelled by movements like #MeToo, #TimesUp and more - there is a strong global momentum striving for gender parity. And while we know that gender parity won’t happen overnight, the good news is that across the world women are making positive gains day by day. Plus, there’s indeed a very strong and growing global movement of advocacy, activism and support. So we can’t be complacent. Now, more than ever, there’s a strong call-to-action to press forward and progress gender parity. A strong call to #PressforProgress. International Women’s Day is not country, group or organisation specific. The day belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. So together, let’s all be tenacious in accelerating gender parity. Collectively, let’s all Press for Progress.

Today, the country is moving forward from the path of women development to womenled development. On this occasion, I remember the words of Swami Vivekananda. He had said, ‘The idea of perfect womanhood is perfect independence’ —This idea of Swamiji about 125 years ago expresses the contemplation of woman power in the Indian culture. Today, it is our duty to ensure the participation of women in every field of life, be it social or economic life, it is our fundamental duty. We are part of a tradition where men were identified due to women— Yashodanandan, Kaushalya-nandan, Gandhari-putra—these were identities of a son. Today, our woman power has shown inner fortitude and self-confidence. Not only has she advanced herself but has carried forward the country and society to newer heights,” the PM Narendra Modi said. There are many programmes that are held in our country and the world on International Women’s Day.

passionate, and audacious and she knows an absolute solution to all the problems. She is the one who gives life to a life. No creature but a woman can give you everything from love to respect to strength. And it’s really essential that we encourage her to showcase her extraordinary occult strength and help her nurture that power. Empowering women is very necessary for bringing gender equality. Those societies flourish well where women are given equal respect and are not taken for granted. Women today have got equal potential provided they are been trusted and valued. Today’s women realize their strengths and abilities and step out in order to contribute to the society and the world consequently. Entire feminine category present in this nation has lead this world to an extraordinary extent. There is no limit to the work or efforts that a woman can put forward for her own progress as well as the progress of the people linked to her. Women have continuously strived through put in a strong image for themselves through the past decades. They have been just like water, easy to fit on every role that they are offered for. Personal or professional, big or small, entrepreneurs or employees; each and

Violet is Pantone Colour of the Year A passionate purple hue is set to top colour palettes in 2018, complementing the International Women’s Day #PressforProgress campaign theme, which highlights feminism and international efforts to achieve wide-scale gender parity. Colour trendsetter Pantone has selected “ultra-violet” as its 19th “Color of the Year” to communicate “originality, ingenuity and visionary thinking that points us towards the future.” Purple is historically associated with efforts to achieve gender equality. So we can’t be complacent. Now, more than ever, there’s a strong call-to-action to press forward and progress gender parity. A strong call to #PressforProgress. International Women’s Day is not country, group or organisation specific. The day belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. So together, let’s all be tenacious in accelerating gender parity. Collectively, let’s all Press for Progress.

every role has witnessed the perfect blend of women combination. We should continue putting in all our efforts. There is no stance in which we women are less in comparison to men. It is just our mindset, changing our mindset and our action is the first thing we should focus on. Our actions and thoughts will make us lead the great height of our dreams and further let the world believe us and our deeds. Women’s day for me, is just a hault that makes me realise the efforts we have put in throughout the 365 days for ourselves and all other people linked to us. Being a woman myself, it really feels nice to have a special day for women too when they can be appreciated and honoured. But I feel that woman should be respected not just because they are women, but also because they are individuals with their own identity. They contribute equally to the betterment of the society. If I can be little biased then I would say, if there is no woman on the earth then mankind would cease to exist because it’s a woman who brings life to this earth. Cheers to the “Feminism” you yourself is the creator of your own identity.

Women, from time immemorial have fought for the right of others, now it’s her time to get her rights realized and get equal participation in the society


16

March 05 - 11, 2018 Our right of interference is limited entirely to giving education. Women must be put in a position to solve their own problems in their own way. No one can or ought to do this for them. And our Indian women are capable of doing it as any in the world. Swami Vivekananda

PM Lauds India’s Women Achievers in First Mann Ki Baat Address of 2018 Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his first Mann Ki Baat address of 2018, lauded the women achievers of India. He also spoke about the Padma Awards recipients

Breaking Taboos Widows in India are coming back into the mainstream by breaking age-old restrictive traditions

H

oli is a symbol of the triumph of good over evil. It was celebrated on March 2 which marks the onset of spring and is also celebrated to give thanks for a good harvest. The widows of Vrindavan are coming together to break a 400-year old Hindu tradition that disbars women from celebrating festivals after they lose their husbands. Orthodox Hinduism demands that women renounce earthly pleasures after the death of their husbands and live out their days in worship. These women often are ostracised by the society and considered cursed. Typically, Holi—like most other festivals and auspicious ceremonies—is forbidden for Hindu widows, as it is believed that their involvement would bring bad luck for others. Widows are expected to dress only in white, and to stay away from the festival of colours. The widows from Vrindavan have broken free from the societal bondage that doesn’t allow them to lead a normal life after they become widows.

Editor-in-Chief

Kumar Dilip Edited, Printed and Published by: Monika Jain on behalf of Sulabh Sanitation Mission Foundation, owned by Sulabh Sanitation Mission Foundation Printed at: The Indian Express Limited A - 8, Sector -7, NOIDA (UP) Published at: RZ - 83, Mahavir Enclave, Palam - Dabri Road, New Delhi - 110045 (India) Corporate Office: 819, Wave Silver Tower, Sector - 18, NOIDA (UP) Phone: +91-120-6500425 Email: editor@sulabhswachhbharat.com, ssbweekly@gmail.com

“M

y dear countr y men, Namaskar. This is the first episode of ‘Mann Ki Baat’ in the year 2018. My dear countrymen, Shriman Prakash Tripathi has written a rather long letter on the Narendra Modi App, urging me to touch upon the subjects he has referred to. He writes, “The 1st of February is the death anniversary of astronaut Kalpana Chawla. She left us in the Columbia space shuttle mishap, but not without becoming a source of inspiration for millions of young people the world over”. I am thankful to Bhai Prakash ji for beginning his long letter with the sad departure of Kalpana Chawla. It’s a matter of sorrow for all of us that we lost Kalpana Chawla at that early age, but her life, her work is a message to young women across the world, especially to those in India, that there are no upper limits for Nari Shakti …. the power of women. If one possesses the will & the determination, a firm resolve to achieve something, nothing is impossible. It’s a matter of joy that women in India are taking rapid strides of advancement in all fields, bringing glory to the Nation. In our country, respect for women, their status in society and their contribution has proved to be awe inspiring to the entire world, since ancient times. There has been a long tradition of Vidushis… women exponents or women champions. Many Vidushis of India have contributed in composing the verses of the Vedas. Lopamudra, Gargi, Maitreyee… it’s a long list of names. Today, we talk about ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’, ‘save the girl child, educate her’. But centuries ago, it has been mentioned in our ancient texts, in the Skand Puran the meaning of which is that a daughter is the equivalent of ten sons. The ‘Punya’ that you earn through ten sons amounts to the same earned through just one daughter. This underscores the importance that has been given to women in our society. And that is why, in our society, women have been accorded the status of ‘Shakti’. This woman power binds closely together society as a whole, the family as a whole, on the axis of unity & oneness. Be it the erudition of the Vidushis of the Vedic Period… Lopamudra, Gargi, Maitreyee; be it the learning &

devotion of Akka Mahadevi or Meerabai, be it the governance of Ahilyabai Holkar or the valour of Rani Lakshmibai, woman power has always inspired us. They have always brought glory to the Nation. Shriman Prakash Tripathi has further cited some examples. He writes that the flight of our courageous Defence Minister Nirmala Seetharaman in a Sukhoi 30 fighter plane is inspirational for him. He also refers to INSV Tarini, with an all women crew on board under the command of Vartika Joshi, which is currently circumnavigating the globe. Three braveheart women Bhavna Kanth, Mohana Singh and Avani Chaturvedi have become fighter pilots and are undergoing training on the Sukhoi- 30. An Air India Boeing jet with an all woman crew led by Kshamata Vajpayee flew from Delhi to San Francisco, USA and back. These are all women achievers. You are absolutely right. Today women are not just advancing in myriad fields; they are leaders. Today there are many sectors where our woman power is playing a pioneering role, establishing milestones. A few days ago, Hon’ble President took an initiative. He met a group of extraordinary women who have achieved something significanty new in their respective fields. Women achievers of our country… the first female Merchant Navy Captain, the first female passenger train driver, the first female fire fighter, the first female Bus Driver, the first woman to set foot on Antarctica, the first woman to reach Mount Everest… ‘First Ladies’ in every field. Our woman power achieved extraordinary feats, breaking the age old shackles of social mores, creating new records. They proved that through perseverance, grit and a firm resolve, all kinds of obstacles and barriers can be broken & crossed, to chart out an all new path… a path that could act as a


March 05 - 11, 2018 beacon of inspiration not just to their contemporaries, but for generations to come. It will infuse a fresh energy, newer enthusiasm into them. A book has been compiled on these women achievers, first ladies, so that, the entire country comes to know about the power of these women and derive inspiration from their life & work. This is also available as an e-book on the Narendra Modi Website. The country’s woman power has contributed a lot in the positive transformation being witnessed in our country & society these days. Today, as we speak of women empowerment, I would like to refer to a railway station. You must be wondering what a railway station has got to do with women empowerment. Matunga station in Mumbai is the first station in India which is run by an all woman staff. All departments have women performing duties… the commercial department, Railway Police, Ticket checking, Announcing, Point persons, it’s a staff comprising over 40 women. This time, after watching the Republic Day Parade, many people wrote on Twitter and other social media that a major highlight of the parade was the BSF biker contingent comprising women participants. Daredevil stunts performed by them was awe inspiring for our foreign guests. Empowerment is another form of self reliance. Today our Nari Shakti is assuming leadership roles. It is becoming self reliant. By the way, this also reminds me of tribal women of Chattisgarh, who have done something extraordinary and set a remarkable example. When we refer to Adivasi women, a stereotypical image comes to our minds, comprising jungles, pathways in the woods and women carrying kindlewood on their heads.But the woman power of Chattisgarh, the tribal women there broke this stereotype & presented an all new picture of themselves. Dantewada in Chattisgarh is a Maoist infested region. Violence, torture, explosives, guns, pistols… the Maoists have created a scary reign of terror. In this dangerous atmosphere, Adivasi women are becoming self reliant by driving e-rickshaws. In a short span of time, a number of women have become part of this phenomenon. This has three benefits- on the one hand selfemployment has empowered them; on the other, the Maoist infested region is witnessing a transformation. And simultaneously as a consequence, it is strengthening efforts towards protecting the environment. I laud the efforts of the District Administration which has played a significant role in the successful endeavour of these women by ensuring availability of grants & imparting training to them.

OpEd

17

Shakti: The Divine Feminine

mihir paul

Mihir Paul is a graduate of Philosophy and Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, United States

upfront

Women represent more than just a gender, they represent the power of creation itself

G

oddess worship is one of the longest standing religious traditions in our country. Shakti occupies a special place in our religion and philosophy. Identified as the divine feminine power that is the creator of the universe itself. With International women’s day just around the corner, it behoves us to acknowledge just how important feminine energy and ultimately, women are to society. Shakti is the concept or personification of divine feminine creative power, sometimes referred to as “The Great Divine Mother” in Hinduism. As a mother, she is known as “Adi Shakti”. On the earthly plane, Shakti most actively manifests through female embodiment and creativity/fertility, though it is also present in males in its potential, unmanifest form. Hindus believe that Shakti is both responsible for the creation and the agent of all change. For while it may have been the tradition in western countries to naturally equate power with the masculine, this is not at all a universally held outlook. The

perspective of our country’s traditional philosophy and religions offers us a fresh and radically different approach to the issue of power and the feminineand specifically in the concept of Shakti. Shakti is cosmic existence as well as liberation, its most significant form being the Kundalini Shakti, a mysterious psychospiritual force. Within the metaphysical realm of Shakti, one discovers the concept of the feminine as being the very manifestation of power itself. This perspective of the feminine has affected women’s societal roles in our country. Traditionally, Indian philosophy acknowledges commonalities and difference between the genders. It dictates that feminine qualities of maturity, intuition, nurturing, and empathy are precisely what constitutes a ‘spiritual life’. This is exactly why ‘Nari Shakti’ is valued so much in our society even today. Traditional religions are still strongly supported

by women; women form the largest portion of temple goers and festival attendants, and women keep traditional domestic rituals alive and pass on the familiar stories of the gods and goddesses to their children. Considering the plethora of successful Indian women in our country’s history since independence, one can observe that Indian women have not only historically enjoyed the status of being the repository of Shakti, but have often actually had the opportunity to wield some actual power. These women were not in their positions because of their gender but because they had all the abilities and qualities to be there. Their womanhood is their additional quality which has squashed all the questions raised on their abilities. Every manifestation of power in the universe is “Mother” – Swami Vivekananda

letters to the editor

Turning the pages The article ‘Turn The Pages Of Indian History’ has really broken the stereo type ideas of the subject of inter caste marriages in India. This article

comes as a big change after reading all the terrible news of mishaps due to Inter caste marriages in India. The amusing fact was that this happened in a state like Rajasthan where caste barrier are very strong. But someone took the risk and daring to let girls from a backward caste marry boys who are considered to be from high castes in such a brave way. I salute Dr Pathak ji for taking this initiative and breaking the caste barrier. We need to print more of such articles and spread more awareness to the masses. We would like to read more news like this in

the future too. Vijay Sharma, Jaipur spotless singapore! I have been really enjoying the sanitation series on different countries. The latest one on Singapore was very informative. With massive sanitation and cleanliness campaigns going on in our country, it is good to see how other countrys have done it. There is so much for both parties to learn. Singapore definitely takes its sanitation and cleanliness seriously. The previous one on Europe and Japan were great too! Karan Bhatia, Delhi

Please mail your opinion to - ssbweekly@gmail.com or Whatsapp at 9868807712


18

Photo Feature

March 05 - 11, 2018

Infusing Colour Into Widows’ Lives For the sixth time in a row, the widows of Vrindavan stepped out to celebrate Holi, breaking age-old traditions Photo: jairam


March 05 - 11, 2018

Widows celebrating Holi with a plethora of colours is in stark contrast to the white clothes they are expected to wear for the rest of their lives. It is symbolic of joy coming back into their lives along with hope for a better future

Photo Feature

19


20

Women in Business

March 05 - 11, 2018

Business

SHE Means Business

Each of them is scripting her own story in today’s new age world

G

n SSb bureau

one are the days when women were considered no match for all powerful men in this world. The new generation women across the world have overcome all negative notions and have proved themselves beyond doubt in all spheres of life including the most intricate and

cumbersome world of entrepreneurship. Women are steadily changing their conventional way of working in the corporate world. Business regulations are more women-friendly now and they have better access to business opportunities. Let’s meet such Indian women entrepreneurs who can be easily termed as role models for every Indian female:

KIRAN MAZUMDAR SHAW

CAPTAIN SHOBA K MANI

First billionare Indian businesswoman

First Indian woman to setup an airline

Biopharma major, Biocon’s Chairman and Managing Director, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw is the first woman leader to reach 1 billion dollar net worth. She is on the Financial Times’ top 50 women in business list. As of 2015, she was listed as the 85th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes. In 2016, she was listed one more time in Forbes.

Captain had a humble beginning with AP flying club in Hyderabad. She is the founder and Managing Director of North East Shuttles and has been instrumental in the setup and its successful operation in India. She introduced charter flights which started with one leased 9 seater, Cessna Caravan aircraft and added two 18 seater Dornier 228, successfully connecting smaller towns within the North-East.

CHETNA SINHA

RADHIKA AGGARWAL

Founder of first rural bank for women

Founder of “Shopclues”

Chetna Sinha is the Head of Mann Deshi Mahila Bank and Mann Deshi Foundation, one of its kind bank for rural women in India. She has been able to accurately understand the realities of the field and tailor her interventions for maximum impact. With a view towards her unparalleled contribution, the government of India has nominated her as a member on the Governing Board of Rashtriya Mahila Kosh.

Radhika Aggarwal is the co-founder and Chief Business Officer at ShopClues.com. Her impeccable work scenario and her strategic initiatives made her the first Indian woman co-founder to enter the prestigious echelons of the Unicorn Club, with an aim to provide the best online shopping experience. Owing to her passion, she made the brand a household name in less than 5 years.

UPASANA TAKU

SHOBANA KAMINENI

First woman to lead payments start-up

First woman Head of CII

Upasana Taku had a modest upbringing. Owing to her impeccable educational qualifications, she had successful associations with HSBC in San Diego and with Pay Pal at America. Back in India, basis her market research she launched Mobi Kwik, a very simple and need based platform. Acknowledging her achievements in the tech startup ecosystem of India.

Shobana Kamineni is the Executive Vice Chairperson of Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Limited and is the first woman President of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), since it began in 1895. As Executive Vice Chairperson of Apollo Hospitals, she has led its Pharmacy initiatives and founded Apollo Munich Health Insurance.

CHITRA RAMAKRISHNA

DEBJANI GHOSH

First MD & CEO of the NSE start-up

First female President of NASSCOM

She held the post of Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer at the National Stock Exchange (NSE) Group till December 2016. She spearheaded the operations and was one of the integral part of the leadership team. The institution is currently ranked world’s second largest exchange in cash market trades; she has a significant contribution in this achievement.

Debjani Ghosh is President Designate of NASSCOM, and will succeed Mr. R Chandrashekhar as President, on completion of his term in March, 2018. Prior to this, she was Vice President of Sales & Marketing and Managing Director of South Asia at Intel Corporation until March 2017. Ms. Ghosh, is a strong advocate of Digital India. She will be NASSCOM’s President.


Women in Entertainment

March 05 - 11, 2018

21 07

entertainment

The Power Women Of Entertainment They Came, They Saw, They Conquered!

T

n SSb bureau

he Indian entertainment sector is today a globally recognised business. And women have played a vital role to make the media and entertainment industry the huge success that it is. India has some of the most talented and enterprising women artists in the world,

and they deserve to have a platform that gives them their due. Women have contributed much to bridge the EastWest divide and their continuing efforts will benefit all in the entertainment and media for years to come. They are women who changed the rules, broke all barriers and brought in a revolution. They are successful in whatever they do. Let us salute the powerful women of the industry.

K S CHITRA

DURGABAI KAMAT

ANURADHA PAL

ARCHY J

First Female singer to be honoured by British Parliament K.S.Chitra, made her debut in 1984 as a playback singer. She sung about 18000 film songs in various Indian languages to date. She has achieved six National Film awards so far, highest ever in history and about 35 awards instituted by various state governments. She has been awarded the Padma Shri in 2005. She has won about 10 FilmFare awards and has promoted the vision of Snehanandana.

First actress of Indian Cinema She broke the taboos and joined Indian Cinema way back in 1913. DadasahebPhalke offered his second film, MohiniBhasmasur to Kamat. She played the role of a leading lady, Parvati in the film. Her portrayal evoked lot of positive reactions from the audience and paved way for other female actresses to join Indian Cinema as a full fledged career.

First Indian musician to perform at the WOMAD The first professional Tabla virtuoso, Anuradha Pal made her way into the music world by being the first and the youngest Indian musician to perform at the prestigious Woodstock Festival (Poland, 2008). She was greeted by 400,000 fans and at WOMAD UK (1999) she waved to 150,000 fans. She possess remarkable speed, clarity and her inimitable performances leaves the audience mesmerizing.

India’s first female bagpipe artist At a time when very few knew that a instrument called ‘bagpipe’ exists, Archy J brave through mastering it. When she started learning, the online tutorials were not available and she had to download an e book to be able to learn it. A self taught musician from Delhi, fell in love with the sound of Bagpipes in 2012 and took upon herself to learn the Bagpipe.

INDUSHREE RAVEENDRA

ANJULI SHUKLA

FOUZIA DASTANGO

BASANT BISHTI

First female ventriloquist in India Indushree Raveendra is a renowned Indian Ventriloquist par excellence. She is a five time Limca Book record holder and she mesmerises her audience with a flawless performance each time she comes on stage. Blessed with astounding levels of hand-eyefoot co-ordination and a penchant for rib-tickling repartee, this diligent artiste’s work is highly appreciated by the best ventriloquists of the world.

The only Indian till date who won the National Film Award She won the National award for cinematography for her debut film `KuttySrank’ at the 57th National Film awards. The film also had the distinction of being the first in Malayalam language to be shot by a woman. An alumnus of FTII is the only woman till date to win the National Film Award for Best Cinematography.

India’s First Woman Dastangoi Artiste Fouzia is an artist of the 16th century oral storytelling art, Dastangoi, and has dedicated herself to learning and practicing this art form. She focuses her efforts to touch upon and bring out women-centric issues in her performances and has over 100 shows all over India and UAE to her credit. Her repertoire includes performances in renowned literature festivals in Jaipur, Lucknow, and Kumaon cities.

The first and only woman who sings the ancient form of Jagar Smt Basanti Bisht is the first and only woman lead Jaagar-Singer of India. She is an “A”Gradefolk artist of Aakashwani, a member of Program Advisory Committee and an empaneled Artist with I.C.C.R. She assimilated and rejuvenated more than 500 extinct and unwritten and oral-traditions of folksongs & culture.


22

Women in Agriculture

March 05 - 11, 2018

agriculture

The invisible Female Farmers Agriculture cannot survive without them!

A

n SSb bureau

ccording to the World Bank, rural women comprise 43 percent of the agricultural labour force that produces processes and prepares much of the food available in the world. Some historians believe that it was woman who first domesticated crop plants and thereby initiated the art and science of farming. While men went out for hunting in search of food, women started gathering seeds from the

native flora and began cultivating those of interest from the point of view of food, feed, fooder, fiber and fuel. There is no doubt about the power that women have in shaping and guiding sustainable development in rural areas. Today, many Indian women farmers are taking the lead in helping to find innovative and lasting solutions for many of the challenges which exist today. All of these women share one thing in common – a passionate and unwavering belief that through their innovative business approaches, they can change things for the better.

RITA KAMILA

YASHODA DEVI

She is known as modern farmer

Made a big difference in fish cultivation

A self-sufficient farmer who has achieved a sustainable source of livelihood in one of the world’s top climate change hotspots, the Sunderbans, Rita Kamila has worked almost single-handedly on her land to achieve the right mix of farming and animal husbandry. Known locally as a model farmer, Rita has successfully transitioned her farm to organic.

Yashoda Devi, who lives in Inderpur village in Hamirpur district of Bundelkhand region, has also made a big difference in fisheries at the state level. Sharing the story of her success with the Gaon connection, she said, “Three years ago, I rented village pond and started fishing. Today I have become financially self-sufficient.”

PRIYA KUMARI

ATRAM PADMA BAI

34 quintals of peas grown in one hectare

Sarpanch of eight villages

Priya Kumari, resident of Dakhneeshwar village in Jhansi district, has grown to become the number one farmer of the state by producing 34 quintals of peas in one hectare. Speaking to the Gaon connection, Priya said, “I did not think about agriculture any time ago, but because of some situation when I had to start the farming, I put my best effort.

The elected Sarpanch of eight villages with more than 2,000 farmers, 37-year-old Padma Bai was a tribal Girijan farmer who only cultivated cotton, oil seeds and pulses on her three acre land. In 2013, she used a Rs. 30,000 loan from the Fairtrade Premiums Committee to launch a Hiring Centre for agricultural tools.

RUKMANI DEVI

HIRA KANJARYA

87.20 quintals of wheat yield in one hectare

Taking the lead on farms

This is the first time in the state that women in the fields of peas, soybean, wheat and maize have dominated the entire state (UP). Rukmani Devi, of Bhairampur Siddhuna village in Rae Bareli district did not farm before, but when she started farming , she became popular in not only in its own village but in the entire state.

Kanjarya, 36, is one of a growing number of women being trained to take charge of some of the millions of small holder farms across India where about 70 percent of agricultural work is done by women but with little recognition of their input. Kanjarya is one of 1,250 women farmers being trained to grow sustainable cotton and run her farm as a business in

PRAMILA DEVI

WOMEN FARMERS OF MEDAK

Found respect in animal husbandry

These women Preserve organic seeds

Pramila Devi, a resident of Pura village in Sambhal district, was a common housewife a few years ago, but then she focused on animal husbandry, took loans from the banks and started doing it professionally and became the number one farmer in the field of milk production. She has been working for the betterment of villagers for decades.

Women farmers of the Medak District of Telangana are teaching sustainable rainfed farming techniques to peasants in the neighbouring Vidarbha region of Maharashtra. Representing the poorest of the poor in their village communities, these women farmers were once landless laborers, but not anymore.


Women in Indian Army

March 05 - 11, 2018

23 07

Indian Army

The Brave heart Sheroes Women of the Indian Armed Forces and their many firsts

I PUNITA ARORA First Indian woman to hold the rank of Lieutenant General This great lady has inspired many women to join the army. General Arora is the first Indian woman to hold the

PADMAVATHY BANDOPADHYAY First woman Air Marshal of the Indian Air Force A first of many firsts, Padmavathy is truly a pioneer in the armed forces. She already set the bar high when she became the first woman officer to come out of the Defence Service Staff College. She is the first woman Air Marshal

HARITA KAUR DEOL First woman pilot to fly solo in the Indian Air Force Flight Lt. Harita Kaur Deol changed the metaphor into her real world by becoming the first woman to fly solo in Indian Air Force at the age of 22. She soared at a height of 10,000 ft and created history. The journey was not an easy one.

DIVYA AJITH KUMAR First Lady Cadet to be conferred by the Army with the coveted ‘Sword of Honour’ At 21, Divya created history by becoming the first woman in the Indian Army to receive the coveted ‘Sword of Honour’. She beat 244 fellow cadets (men and women) on several tests:

n SSb bureau

t takes another kind of grit, determination and selfsacrifice to be part of The Indian Armed Forces. And it among these brave hearts are some very extraordinary

rank of Lieutenant General in the India Armed Forces and first female Vice Admiral in the Indian Navy.In her 37 years of her service, she has received 15 medals for her exceptional leadership and service to the nation.

women who are walking shoulder to shoulder with their male officers--fighting for this country and inspiring generations to come. Here is a list of such women who created history in the Indian Armed forces and continue to awe us.

MITALI MADHUMITA First woman officer in the Indian Army to receive a gallantry award Mitali became the first woman officer in the Indian Army to receive the

of the Indian Air Force. She is the first woman to become a Fellow of the Aerospace Medical Society. She is the first Indian woman to conduct an experiment on extreme cold acclimatisation in the North Pole.She is also the recipient of the Vishisht Seva Medal for her exceptional service during the 1971 Indo-Pak conflict.

PRIYA JHINGAN

Where women are not allowed to leave their little cocoon in our society, Harita made a landmark by controlling the Indian Air Force plane on her own in the year of 1994. Not only she has paved the way for women in the Indian Air Force, but she has also proved that women are equal to men in every field.

SOPHIA QURESHI

academic and physical to achieve this.At 25, she led the all-women contingent of 154 officers during the 2015 Republic Day parade with the then-US President, Barrack Obama as chief guest.

First woman to join the Indian Army as an officer Priya made history when she became the first cadet to join the Indian Army in 1992. Enrolled as Cadet no 001, Priya Jhingan became the first woman cadet to join the Indian Army alongside a batch of 25 other feisty women – the first batch of women who

First Women To Lead an Army Contingent She had already achieved the unthinkable when she became the first woman officer to lead a 40-member army contingent at the international military exercise.

GANEVE LALJI First woman to be appointed as the ADC to an Army Commander A third generation Army officer, Lt Ganeve Lalji was commissioned in the Corps of Military intelligence in 2011 and has

prestigious Sena Medal. The gallantry honour is usually bestowed to officers who die serving the army and show exceptional courage in a crisis.Mitali risked her life when she saved several injured civilians and army personnel in the 2010 Kabul Embassy attack. became trailblazers for women in the armed forces. The Indian army opened admission to women much later than the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force. She wrote to the Chief of Staff, General Sunith Francis Rodrigues about allowing women to enroll in the army. She got a reply and treasures the letter till date.

But that’s not all. She was the only woman commander across all participating countries which included USA, Japan, South Korea, Russia and China. Presently, she is an officer from the corps of signals of the Indian Army. recorded several achievements during here Young Officers’ course in Pune. She is the first woman to be appointed as the aide-de-camp in the Indian Army. This distinction is given to officers who must prove their ability to cope with multiple challenges and hardships. And she proved herself when became the key aide to the Army Commander, Lieutenant General Rajan Bakshi in 2013.


24

Women Drivers

March 05 - 11, 2018

Drivers

Driving Empowerment... And Vehicles! It’s time we acknowledge that driving skills are truly gender-agnostic

I

n SSb bureau

t’s always presumed that “women can’t drive” — a presumption made largely by men. However, most researches across the world studying the difference in the driving styles of the two sexes have always thrown up facts like women are safer drivers, since they are less likely to drive rashly or under the influence.

SUREKHA YADAV First Indian Woman train driver of passenger train Surekha, now 51, became India’s first female passenger train driver in 1988. The Indian Railways, a traditionally maledominated industry, had finally opened its doors to women.The most defining moment of her career was Women’s Day on March 8, 2011, when she was named Asia’s first woman train driver to run the Deccan Queen from Pune to ChhatrapatiShivaji Terminus railway station (CST), one of the most difficult rail routes. She has won series of awards.

In olden days, people had the tendency to react in a strange manner when a woman drove a car, especially if she did it for a living, but things have took a turn and people are encouraging their daughters and other ladies to drive freely without any hesitation. Female drivers have made their mark and have been picking up people and driving them to their destination since a long time now.

SHILA DAWRE Country’s first woman autorickshaw driver She is an unsung hero. ShilaDawre is India’s first woman autorickshaw driver, who is defying stereotypes. She fought through the obstacles and boasts of having driven for over 13 years from 1988 to 2001. She had to later stop driving due to health issues and aims to start an academy for women, to train them in becoming professional driver. She got recognised in the Limca Book of World Records as the first woman auto-rickshaw driver in the country.

VANKADARATH SARITHA

PRATIMA PODDAR

Delhi’s First Female Bus Driver

Kolkata’s first female bus driver has an impeccable record

Vankadarath Saritha was the first woman driver of the Delhi Transport Corporation bus, ferrying hundreds of female passengers safely to their homes every day. She is the lady who leads by example. She ensures the women passengers security and has taken up this unconventional job to support her family. She, for sure has opened undiscovered doors for many Indian women.

BHARULATA KAMBLE First woman driver in the world to complete a transcontinental car journey alone, covering 32,000km spread across 32 countries Bharulata Kamble is a real-life story of indomitable courage. She drove solo, without back-up vehicle/ crew through the Arctic circle and 32 countries. She drove through 9 mountain ranges, 3 deserts, 9 time zones reaching the altitude of 13000 feet, covering 35,383 kilometers, spreading the message “Save Girls, Educate Girls”. She is the first woman in the world to make such humongous journey and first Indian to hoist India’s flag in the Arctic circle.

SELVI GOWDA Former child bride becomes India’s ‘first female taxi driver’ Leaving a life of abuse to become Karnataka’s first female taxi-driver, Selvi Gowda is the protagonist of awardwinning documentary “Driving with Selvi”. Her journey has been courageous and she has transformed her life and has led by example. Selvi became a taxi-driver in 2004 with the support of Mysore-based NGO and later co-founded a women’s taxi service.

A minibus on the Nimta-Howra route is driven by Pratima Poddar, a mother of two, and the city’s only female bus driver. What’s even more commendable is Mrs Poddar has driven the bus for half a dozen years without a single accident. She is a bence mark for bus drivers in Kolkata. 42-year-old Poddar has smashed the glass ceiling and encouraging her is Shibeswar, her husband, who doubles up as the bus conductor.

SHANNO BEGUM First female Uber driver from New Delhi Shanno Begum is New Delhi’s first female Uber driver. Having no education qualifications to back her, she was left with little to no means to survive when her husband passed away. Shanno, a mother of three, struggled in different jobs to sustain her family before working towards getting a job as a driver. She defied all odds and beat all struggles in her life with her determination and dedication. Along the way, she also broke the stereotypes about driving being a profession for men.

BHARATHI VEERATH India’s first woman Uber Driver Bharathi Veerath achieved minor celebrity status in India as the country’s first female Uber driver. Veerath began driving for Uber in October 2013. Her unusual career choice in a heavily male-dominated profession attracted headlines in India, where roads are not thought of as being particularly safe for women, and where dealing with chauvinistic male passenger could be challenging.


Women in Sports

March 05 - 11, 2018

25 07

sports

Sportswomen To Get You Fired Up Kudos to all the ladies who brought glory to the Indians!

M

n SSb bureau

en have always represented sports and women held on to symbolize beauty in India. But with time, Indian women have also subjugated in sports arena. From PT Usha to Sania Mirza, India has traveled a long destination towards the achievements of our women

ARUNA BUDDA REDDY India’s first Gymnastics World Cup medallist Gymnast Aruna Budda Reddy created history at the Gymnastics World Cup as she won a bronze medal in the

KARNAM MALLESWARI India’s first woman weightlifter to win an Olympic medal Karnam Malleswari is the first woman Olympic medalist in weightlifting representing India. She is famously known as the Iron Lady of India. Malleswari won the world title in the 54 kg division

BULA CHOUDHURY First woman in the world to swim across sea channels of five continents Her journey as swimmer started at the age of five. In her first national competition, at age nine, she dominated her age group by winning six gold medals in six events. She won six gold medals at the 1991

BHAKTI SHARMA First Asian woman and the youngest in the world to set a record in open swimming in Antarctic waters She is the conqueror of all five oceans of the world. She finished her first open water swim when she was only 14 years old. In 2010, Bhakti became the second and youngest swimmer in

women’s vault event. The 22-year-old gymnast became the first Indian ever to win a medal at the Gymnastics World Cup. With the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games coming up in 2018, Aruna will be one of India’s medal hopes in 1994 and 1995. She was honored with Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna in 1995 and received Padma Shri Award in 1999. In a career span of almost a decade and half, Ms. Karnam Malleswari has bagged 41 Gold medals, 15 Silver medals, 8 Bronze medals, including 1 Olympic Bronze medal and 6 national records. South Asian Federation Games. In 2005 she became the first woman to have swum across sea channels off five continents—including the Strait of Gibraltar, the Tyrrhenian Sea, Cook Strait, Toroneos Gulf (Gulf of Kassándra) in Greece, the Catalina Channel off the California coast, and from Three Anchor Bay to Robben Island near Cape Town.

the world to swim in four oceans. In 2012, she received the Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award from President Pranab Mukherjee for her achievements. She went on to set a world record in 2015 by swimming in the Antarctic Ocean for 2.28 km in 41.14 minutes. She became the youngest person in the world and the first Asian girl to do so.

folk in the sports world. Indian women are making news in areas of sports like boxing, wrestling, cricket, and shooting once dominated by men. “I am tough, I am ambitious and I know what exactly do I want …” this is what truly defines these ‘WOMAN’. Here’s to all the established women sports stars of the nation who are an inspiration to many and have brought laurels to the country.

ALISHA ABDULLAH India’s first F1 women racer, India’s first female national racing champion Alisha Abdullah is India’s first F1 women racer and India’s first female national racing champion. She is an avid biker and the fastest Indian car racer. She began her racing

BHAGYASHREE THIPSAY First woman to win International Grand Master- Chess BhagyashreeThipsay won National Women’s Chess Championship five times (1985, 1986, 1988, 1991 and 1994) and the Asian Women’s Championship in

SHITAL MAHAJAN First woman in the world to sky-dive from the North and South Pole and sets new record by skydiving in saree Shital Rane-Mahajan set a new record as she became the first Indian to skydive donning a traditional Maharashtrian Nauvari Saree. Shital, who is a Padma Shri

HEENA SIDHU First woman to win Gold in World Cup Shooting Shooter Heena Sidhu has a terrific record of wins to her credit. Sidhu won gold in the women’s 10m Air Pistol event at the Commonwealth Shooting

career when she was just eight and when she turned 25, she had spend almost 13 years on the racing track. She has won MRF National GoKarting Championship and the Best Novice Award in National level Formula Car Racing in the open class. Alisha finished the JK Tyre National Championship, 2004 at a fifth spot. 1991. She won Gold in Commonwealth Women Chess in 1999 and Silver in 1991, 1994 and 2001. She has represented India in nine Chess Olympiads. She won the title of International Woman Master by FIDE in 1986. Ms.Thipsay is also a recipient of Padmashree and Arjun Award in 1987 and Maharashtra Gaurav Puraskar in 1990. awardee, is also the first woman to have done jump over the North and the South Poles, without trials. Meanwhile, Shital is also known to be the first woman to have attempted her first ever parachute jump without undergoing any training. Shital, is an Indian extreme sportsperson and the holder of six world records and 17 national records in the sport.

Championships. Sidhu’s pairing with Jitu Rai at the ISSF World Cup final in New Delhi had won gold for India. She had won bronze in the women’s 10 air pistol event at the Grand Prix of Liberation Plaza Shooting Championships as well. Sidhu was conferred the Arjuna Award in 2014.


26

Women in Environment

March 05 - 11, 2018

environment

The Mothers Of Mother Earth Inspiring Indian women who are making an enormous difference to environmental history

S

n SSb bureau

ome of the most iconic environmental movements in the world – theChipko Movement, the Navdanya Movement, the Narmada BachaoAndolan–

originatedin India. Powerful, moving images of the women leading these historic campaigns combined with the contributions of stalwarts motivate new generations of women to join the struggle for environmental conservation.

DR VANAJA RAMPRASAD

J VIJAYA

Founder of GREEN Foundation

India’s first woman Herpetologist

Dr. Ramprasad is the founder of GREEN Foundation which is dedicated to sustainable food production and realising nutritional security by conserving India’s agro-biodiversity which is quickly losing ground to monocultures of wheat and rice. Over three decades, Dr. Ramprasad worked with small and marginal farmers to encourage sustainable methods of cultivation.

India’s premier woman herpetologist, J. Vijaya was among the first to draw national attention to the hunting and trade of Olive Ridley turtles in West Bengal. The photographs she despatched from her findings were instrumental in Prime Minister Indira Gandhi instituting measures for their protection. Her study of the Cochin forest cane turtle earned her a rare distinction.

BANO HARALU

NALINI SHEKAR

‘Friends of the Amur Falcon’ campaign

Social activist who co-founded Hasiru Dala

Haralu is known for leading a movement to protect the Amur Falcon from indiscriminate and large scale hunting in Nagaland. Her efforts earned the state the title of ‘Falcon Capital of the World’. She launched the ‘Friends of the Amur Falcon’ campaign as a way to provide conservation education to schools and local communities and earn their support in protecting the birds.

Sekhar is the co-founder of Pune-based Kach Kashtakari Panchayat (KKPKP), a union of waste-pickers. She also co-founded award-winning Bangalore-based HasiruDala (Green Force), a social enterprise dedicated to improving the livelihoods of waste pickers, advocating for their rights and social security.

SUGATHAKUMARI

VIDYA ATHREYA

She led Save Silent Valley- movement

Ecologist, human leopard conflict issues

This octogenarian poet and environmental activist shot to fame when she successfully led Save Silent Valley - a nationwide people’s movement to protect some of Kerala’s oldest natural evergreen forests from being submerged by a proposed hydroelectric project. Sugathakumari served as the secretary of the Society for Conservation of Nature in Thiruvananthapuram.

As increasing urbanisation blurs the boundaries between human and animals habitats, conflicts between the two are on the rise. Athreya is an ecologist specialising in human-leopard conflict. She works closely with Forest Department officials in Maharashtra towards minimising conflicts between humans and leopards.

AMLA RUIA

RADHA BEHEN

100 villages of Rajasthan water sufficient

Uttarakhand Nadi Bachao Abhiyan

Ruia is credited with bringing water security to 100 villages of Rajasthan by reviving traditional rainwater-harvesting techniques and building check dams. Her intervention has helped bring water independence to 193 villages by improving ground water tables and reviving hand pumps and borewells that had run dry in the desert state.

Radha Behen, as she is popularly known, was at the forefront of the Uttarakhand Nadi Bachao Abhiyan in 2008 to oppose the construction of a series of hydel power projects that not only threatened the flow of the Ganga and most of its tributaries but imperilled the fragile, heavily deforested ecosystem of the Himalayan state.


Women in Science

March 05 - 11, 2018

27 07

SCIENCE

The Nerdy Lot

Indian women scientists to be proud of

W

n SSb bureau

orking in science has not been easy for women, with its long hours, societal biases, and the need to get married and have children in between. But that hasn’t stopped them from contributing to the field. In

ASIMA CHATTERJEE India’s first woman Doctorates of science Asima Chatterjee was an Indian chemist noted for her work in the fields of organic chemistry and phytochemistry (chemicals derived from plants). Her

JANAKI AMMAL India’s first woman PhD in Botany While most girls at the time were studying fine arts and literature, Janaki Ammal decided to pursue Botany, and later scientific research in cytogenetics and phytogeography.

KAMALA SOHONIE First Indian woman to get PhD in scientific discipline Dr. Sohonie was the first Indian woman to get a Ph.D in a scientific discipline. She applied to the IISc for a research fellowship and met with rejection merely because she was a woman! Prof. CV

MAHARANI CHAKRAVORTY First laboratory course on recombinant DNA techniques in Asia and Far East in 1981organised by her Maharani Chakravorty is a molecular biologist. She organized the first laboratory course on recombinant DNA techniques in Asia and the Far East in 1981. After her post-doctoral studies in the USA,

most notable work includes research on vinca alkaloids (derived from the periwinkle that is known for its anti-cancer properties), and the development of antiepileptic and anti-malarial drugs. She also authored a considerable volume of work on medicinal plants of the Indian subcontinent. She worked briefly in the UK, but returned to India in 1951 to reorganise the Botanical Survey of India (BSI). She served as the Director-General of the Botanical Survey of India (BSI). She also did work on medically important and economically valuable plants.

Raman, then IISc Director was dead against having women students. She then became the first of his female students, and performed so well that Prof. Raman gave her permission to pursue further research. The subjects of her research were often on food items consumed by the poorest people. She started her pioneering work on the nutritional value of Neera.

she returned to the Bose Institute in Kolkata. Maharani Chakravorty recalls taking her infant along to her workplace. “The poor child used to sit on the rubber sheet spread on the floor of the laboratory playing with test tube stands, right there in front of my working bench.” Among her many accolades, she also received the Professor Darshan Ranganathan Memorial Award in 2007.

fact, one of the most talked about images from India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) was that of women scientists in ISRO celebrating the success of the mission. The image of sari-clad, flower-adorned, lady-next-door scientists gave most of us that immensely warm, fuzzy feeling. So here’s to some notable women of science.

ANNA MANI One of India’s pioneering women scientist Anna Mani was an Indian physicist and meteorologist. She also worked under Prof CV Raman

ANANDIBAI JOSHEE First Indian women doctors qualified to practice western medicine along with Kadambini Ganguly Dr. Joshee’s short life was full of hardships; she was married at age 9 to a widower 20 years her senior. She gave birth at age 14 to a son who died shortly afterwards. The death of her newborn son due to inadequate medical care is

RAJESHWARI CHATTERJEE India’s first woman Engineer Rajeshwari Chatterjee was the first woman engineer from Karnataka. In 1946, she was given a scholarship by the (then) Govt of Delhi to study abroad, and studied at th University of Michigan where she obtained her

MANGALA NARLIKAR Among few female mathematics researchers in India One of the few female mathematics researchers in India, Mangala Narlikar describes herself as a parttime scientist. She finished a Ph.D. in mathematics 16 years after

and eventually became a meteorologist and retired as the Deputy Director General of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD). She published several research papers and made significant contributions in the field of meteorological instrumentation what inspired her to become a physician. She was also encouraged by her husband to study medicine abroad. Dr. Joshee, MD was in the class of 1886 at the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania (which was the first women’s medical program in the world). On her return to India, she was appointed as the physician-in-charge of the female ward of the local Albert Edward Hospital in the princely state of Kolhapur. Master’s degree from the Department of Electrical Engineering. After obtaining a Ph.D degree, she returned to India and joined the Department of Electrical Communication Engineering at IISc as a faculty member where she along with her husband set up a microwave research laboratory where they did pioneering work on Microwave Engineering. she got married, putting household responsibilities before her career. She has taught at University of Mumbai and University of Pune and finds joy in making mathematics interesting for students who dread the subject. Switching between complex mathematics and simple arithmetic is not possible for many, yet you can find her sitting on the lawn of her house, teaching maths to their servant’s children.


28

Women in Civil Right Movement

March 05 - 11, 2018

CIVIL RIGHTS

Heroins Of The Civil Rights Movement To the bold women who were crucial to the success of the civil rights movement n SSb bureau

T

here have been countless women civil rights warriors who have put their blood, sweat and tears into a movement that at times could be quite patriarchal in framing the achievement of mostly male civil rights leaders.

Rev. Dr. Pauli Murray The Draftswoman of Civil Rights Victories The writings of The Rev. Dr. Anna Pauline “Pauli” Murray were a cornerstone of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, the 1954 Supreme Court case that ended school segregation, but the lawyer, Episcopal priest, pioneering civil rights activist and co-founder of the National Organization for Women wouldn’t be made aware of that extraordinary accomplishment until a decade after the fact. In 1944, Murray was the only woman enrolled at Howard Law School—and at the top of her class. While discussing Jim Crow laws, Murray had an idea. Why not challenge the “separate” in “separate but equal” legal doctrine, and argue that segregation was unconstitutional? This theory became the basis of her 1950 book, States’ Laws on Race and Color, which NAACP attorney Thurgood Marshall called the “bible” of Brown v. Board of Education. In 1965, Murray and Mary O. Eastwood coauthored the essay “Jane Crow and the Law,” which argued that the Equal Protection Clause in the 14th Amendment should be applied to sex discrimination as well.

While their stories may not be widely known, countless dedicated, courageous women were key organizers and activists in the fight for Civil Rights. Without these women, the struggle for equality would have never been waged. The long-overlooked story of the extraordinary women who were among the most fearless, resourceful, and tenacious leaders of the civil rights movement. Here are a few of their stories.

Diane Nash Freedom Rider and Nonviolent Student Activist for Desegregation A native of Chicago, Diane Nash hadn’t experienced the shock of desegregation within the Jim Crow South until she attended Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. The “Whites Only” signs scattered throughout Nashville inspired Nash to become the chairperson of the Student Nonviolent Coordination Committee (SNCC) in 1960, where she organized sit-ins at segregated lunch counters throughout Nashville. Nash kept the group’s commitment to nonviolence front and center at the sit-ins, which proved very effective in ending the discriminatory practices within the restaurants. The following year, Nash took over responsibility for the Freedom Rides, a protest against segregated bus terminals that took place on Greyhound buses from Washington D.C. to Virginia.

Coretta Scott King

Maude Ballou

Human Rights Activist, Pacifist, Musician In 1968, just days after the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., his wife, Coretta Scott King, took his place at a sanitation workers’ protest in Memphis. A few weeks later, she kicked off his planned Poor People Campaign. She had long been politically active, but her husband’s death galvanized her activism. In the early years of the civil rights movement, she hosted a series of popular “Freedom Concerts,” raising thousands of dollars for the movement. After her husband’s assassination, King campaigned tirelessly to make his birthday a national holiday, and raised millions to establish the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change.

The “Daredevil” Who Served as MLK’s Right-Hand Woman In 1955, Maude Ballou—a young mother who had studied business and literature in college and was program director of the first black radio station in Montgomery, Alabama—was approached by her husband’s friend, a young minister and activist named Martin Luther King, Jr., to be the personal secretary.

Claudette Colvin Teenager Who Refused to Give Up Her Bus Seat Before Rosa Parks On December 1, 1955, she, a black woman, was arrested for refusing to give her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus to a white man. Her arrest led to a boycott of the city’s public transportation that lasted 381 days and ignited the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Nine months earlier, Claudette Colvin was arrested for the exact same thing. She was just 15 years old. Colvin later joined three other women—Mary Louise Smith, Aurelia Browder and Susie McDonald—as the plaintiffs in Browder v. Gayle, the case that ultimately overturned bus segregation in Alabama. Colvin rarely talked about her heroic actions until the 1990s. “I’d like my grandchildren,” she said, “to be able to see that their grandmother stood up for something, a long time ago.”

After agreeing, Ballou became the Rev. Dr. King’s righthand woman from 1955 until 1960, years of great unrest and transforming events that included the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the publication of King’s first book, Stride Towards Freedom, and the Prayer Pilgrimage for Peace in Washington, D.C.

Mamie Till Mobley Inspirational Mother of a Martyr Mamie Till Mobley’s story is one of triumph in the face of tragedy. On August 28, 1955, Mobley’s 14-year-old son, Emmett Till, was brutally murdered in Money, Mississippi, by two white men who claimed that Till had “wolf-whistled” at one of their wives. When Till’s mutilated corpse was found three days later in the Tallahatchie River, Mississippi officials tried to dispose of the body quickly, but Mobley obtained a court order to have her only child’s remains returned to Chicago. Though his casket arrived padlocked and sealed with the state seal of Mississippi, Mobley insisted that her son’s brutalized body be displayed during his funeral. “I want the world to see what they did to my boy,” the grieving mother explained.Mamie’s activism extended far beyond what she did in regards to her son’s death. However, since her son’s death became symbolic for many of the lynching’s going on in the South.


Gender

March 05 - 11, 2018

29

Gracia Raina Foundation

“Women Are Stronger Species, We Need To Stand Up For Them” Priyanka Raina

Priyanka founded Gracia Raina Foundation, and amed the couple’s daughter Gracia, in May 2017

P

n IANS

riyanka R aina, wife of cricketer Suresh Raina and also an entrepreneur who runs a foundation dedicated to aid underprivileged mothers across the country, says that women are the strongest species on the mother earth and we need to stand up for them to make them stronger. Priyanka founded Gracia Raina Foundation, named after the couple’s daughter Gracia, in May 2017. It is dedicated to creating awareness and works closely with mothers and children who require help ranging from physical and mental issues. Talking about the current situation of women in India and around the world, does she see any hope in days to come, Priyanka told IANS: “I definitely see a hope.” “And that is one of the idea behind my current show on radio where I not only talk to the victims and share their experiences but also have a conversation with people who are taking initiatives to make a change. There are many organisations and women who can be examples for many others.” “A lot has been changed and a lot will change in days to come,” said Priyanka who is once again heard on radio anchoring a show titled “The Priyanka Raina Show”. Aired on 93.5 RED FM, the show is aimed at creating amicable atmosphere for women and educates everyone about how important a safe environment for women in the country is. She feels that women are the strongest species who needs support. “Women are stronger species

Quick Glance A lot has been changed and a lot will change in days to come She feels that now most people are working to bring a change She speaks of taboos that affect women in society

Gracia Raina Foundation is dedicated to creating awareness and works closely with mothers and children who require help ranging from physical and mental issues on earth and they are complete in themselves. We need to stand for each other, we need to make each other stronger. We need to uplift each other,” she said adding that more films should be made on reproductive health care and female foeticide. In her show, Priyanka talks about issues like domestic violence, acid attack, girl child education, sexual harassment, gender biased and equality and menstrual hygiene. She also discussed some of the examples of women of courage and taboos related to women, for instance single motherhood and widow remarriage. Talking about some of the

examples that really made her emotional, she said: “I was at the orphanage where I met a child aged seven or eight. He could not move but the moment he saw me, he was in tears but could not talk and express himself. I could see he was in pain. He was abandoned at birth and I cried that day.” “This is just one incidence. I also women when who are not even allowed to go out of their house...If men can make choices, women can also make choices. There are cases of domestic violence where women are abused and beaten up for having a say during pregnancy. Also female foeticide was a topic where we discussed about abortion.

“Having a child is most overwhelming experience of a woman’s life and if she has no say in that then what is left?” she asks. So is being a star cricketer’s wife helping her in raising more awareness? “I don’t want to call myself a celebrity. Yes most of us are very privileged where we are able to make choices about our future; it is our responsibility that we strive to give back to our society what we can. I just work on those lines. When we reach out to people without revealing our identity, they are always open to be associated and make a change in society,” she said. Priyanka feels that In India now, most people are working to bring a change. “They don’t really have to start a foundation or NGO to do it. That kind of mindset is really helpful,” she said. But isn’t she scared raising her daughter in a situation that is so cruel to females? “I think all parents are concerned about children. Safety is always a concern and we all want to give the safest environment to our kids whether it is in India or outside. Raising Gracia is our first priory,” she said.


30

Story

March 05 - 11, 2018 story from mythology

Vishwamitra Brings Rama & Lakshmana to the Mithila court

T

he following morning Lord Rama , Laxman , Vishwamitra muni & others went towards the northeast, heading for Mithila. Gradually the forest paths gave way to roads laid with stone that led to the city. The forest opened to fields of crops. As they came closer to Mithila they saw well-planned gardens and groves with seats and fountains. The sounds of wild animals were replaced with the clamor of people in the city. Shouts of children and the rumbling of horse-drawn chariots greeted them as they entered the gates of Mithila. Huge elephants swayed along majestically, with smiling people waving from the howdahs on their backs. Gazing about them, the travelers saw the golden domes of innumerable temples along with many mansions of brilliant white stone. Along the roadside were shops displaying countless varieties of fruits, vegetables and all kinds of sweetmeats. Other vendors displayed rows of shining gems looking like numbers of rainbows. Everyone called out respectful greetings as the party moved slowly past. As they went along the wide, smooth road they were met by the king’s ministers, who had already been informed of their arrival. Headed by Vishwamitra and the princes, the party was led along the main highway to Janaka’s palace. People thronged the sides of the road to gaze upon the famous sage and his two illustrious charges. As they looked upon the powerful princes, some of them guessed that they might be the sons of Emperor Dasharatha. The people wondered what had brought the princes to Mithila. Were they going to attempt to string the king’s great bow? As Rama smiled at the people they were filled with a desire to see this handsome, powerful prince win Sita’s hand. Janaka personally came out to greet them, accompanied by his priests and counselors. He immediately fell at Vishwamitra’s feet and had him brought into the palace, where he offered him and the two princes golden seats. The king had water fetched for washing their feet and personally performed the ceremony.

Once the formalities were complete, a meal was offered to the sage and the princes. As they sat on the floor on silk rugs, ivory tables were placed in front of them. Gold and silver dishes were fetched containing choice foods of every description. They ate heartily and when they were finished, Janaka said to Vishwamitra, “Great indeed is my good fortune today for I see before

me your holy self. I am blessed by your presence. Tell me who are these two boys accompanying you? They appear like two powerful tigers and they rival the gods in beauty and grace. What brings you here to my house, along with these boys equipped with weapons?” The king had waited until the travellers were rested and refreshed

before making his inquiries. Vishwamitra told him all about the boys and how They had disposed of the Rakshasas in the forest. They had come now to see the famous bow. Janaka was thrilled to hear that They were princes from Ayodhya. Nothing could be better than an alliance with Dacaratha’s line. If only Rama could pass the test of the bow.


Events

March 05 - 11, 2018

events & more...

ACROSS 2. The currency notes are printed in 3. The value of Gold is determined in 6. The country without income tax is 10. Second World war began in 11. The system of dual citizenship exists in 13. The planet nearest to the sun is 14. Which is the Land of the Rising Sun? 17. The most populous city in the world is 18. The state which leads in agricultural production is 19. The 2014 football world cup is scheduled to be held in 20. The smallest cells in the human body are

4 March 2018 5PM - 5 March 2018 1:30AM

SSB crossword no. 12

events

The Junction & Ownage Present YAYA (Desolat) Venue: The Junction New Delhi

DOWN

SOLUTION of crossword no.11

Sunday Kids Special Carnival At Cafe Hawker Venue: CAFE HAWKERS 4 Feb 2018 12AM - 4 March 2018 11:59PM

Shreya Ray Collective Live At The Bar Cat Venue: The Bar Cat 4 March 2018 9PM - 5 March 2018 12:30AM

1. 1948 2. 1928 3. Volleyball 4. Davos 5. Quikr 6. China 7. Fiji 8. Iraq 9. Honda 10. Assam

solution of sudoku-11

Jashn-E-Talat By SaharZaman Venue: INDIA ISLAMIC CULTURAL CENTRE

4 March 2018 6:15PM-9:15PM

31

11. France 12. Haryana 13. Nepal 14. Yamaha 15. Punter 16. Paytm 17. Britain 18. ISRO 19. Coach 20. Samsung

1. The language spoken by the people of Pakistan is 4. Tajmahal is on the banks of 5. Delhi became the capital of India in 7. When was the Reserve Bank of India established? 8. When did Mother Teresa win the Nobel Peace Prize? 9. Mount Everest is located in 12. The headquarters of world trade organization is in 15. The first session of Indian National Congress was held at 16. Which planet is commonly known as Dwarf Planet?

sudoku-12

Sabar Album Launch By Shadow And Light Venue: OddBird

Theatre, The DhanMill 100Ft Road, 1km from Qutab Minar Metro Station, 4 March 2018 7:30PM-9:10PM

on the lighter side by DHIR

Please mail your solution to - ssbweekly@gmail.com or Whatsapp at 9868807712, One Lucky Winner will win Cash Prize of Rs 500/-. Look for the Solution in the Next issue of SSB


32

POSTAL REGISTRATION NO. DL(W)10/2240/2017-19

Newsmakers

March 05 - 11, 2018

unsung hero Avani Chaturvedi

s t s a f d l o 13-Year s t e l i o t r o f

First mig-21 female pilot of india

Mahankali went on a 2-day fast until her parents got a toilet built

Avani Chaturvedi became the first Indian woman to fly the MiG-21 fighter jet

Mahankali

H

F

training programme to fly fighter jets. The Indian Air Force has already selected the next batch of three women trainee pilots for the fighter stream.She flew a Mig-21 Bison for 30 minutes earlier this week, the air force said. “It is the breaking of a glass ceiling,” spokesperson Anupam Banerjee told the BBC. He called it a “big day” in the history of the country’s armed forces. Ms Chaturvedi was one of the first three female fighter pilots to be inducted into the Indian air force. Ms Chaturvedi graduated in June 2016. The IAF has already selected the next batch of three women trainee pilots for the fighter stream.

lying Officer Avani Chaturvedi scripted history by becoming the first Indian woman fighter pilot to fly solo. Ms Chaturvedi on Monday flew a MiG-21 Bison, which has the highest landing and take-off speed in the world. This was her first training solo sortie and she flew it for 30 minutes in Gujarat’s Jamnagar airbase, an Indian Air Force official said. The fighter stream was opened for women in 2015 and Avani Chaturvedi, along with two other women - Mohana Singh and Bhawana Kanth - were inducted into the Indian Air Force fighter squadron in 2016. The three women have since then undergone strenuous

Aruna Reddy

master gymnast wins world cup

T

Aruna Reddy made headlines after wining India’s first ever bronze medal in the women’s vaulting

he Gymnastics World Cup 2018 in Melbourne will go down in history as India got its first ever bronze medal in the women’s vault event. The feat was achieved by Aruna Reddy, who finished after Slovenia’s Tjasa Kysslef and Australia’s Emily Whitehead, with a score of 13.649. A total of 16 countries were part of the World Cup series event this year. The vault, made famous throughout India by Dipa Karmakar, once again proved the launch pad for a woman gymnast from the country. This time, it was for this lesser-known training partner of the Tripura girl known for her fondness for the death-defying Produnova routine.Reddy is a former black belt and Karate trainer. In 2005, Reddy won her first National medal which convinced her to take up the sport. Reddy finished 14th at the qualification round of the Vault apparatus at the CWG 2014.

Mahankali went on a 2-day fast and refused to eat or drink even after cajoling, until a toilet gets built at her house. She learnt about the importance of toilet at an awareness programme organized by the panchayat in early February. She has now been named the icon of

the village. The 13-year-old girl studies at the government school in the village. A toilet had been allotted to her family in 2015-16, but nothing came of it. After attending the awareness programme in the first week of February, Mahankali returned home and refused food and water until her parents agreed to build a toilet. Her parents tried to reason with her, saying exams were near and going hungry may make her fall sick. Mahankali, however, persisted for two whole days without eating. “We don’t have a proper house. When my daughter refused to have food and drink water, I felt ashamed,” said H Mallesh. “I tried to convince her. The gram panchayat president, secretary and other members came to my house, talked to her and started work on the toilet. Now, people are talking of her determination. I feel very proud. Overnight, she has become the ‘icon’ of our village.” Panchayat president Rajagopal Reddy said, “When I heard about Mahankali’s demand, I called the secretary immediately and discussed the matter with members. We went to her house and began construction of the toilet without delay. She smiled when the work began.”

RNI No. DELENG/2016/71561, Joint Commissioner of Police (Licensing) Delhi No. F. 2 (S-45) Press/ 2016 Volume - 2, Issue - 12 Printed by Monika Jain, Published by Monika Jain on behalf of SULABH SANITATION MISSION FOUNDATION and Printed at The Indian Express Ltd., A-8, Sector-7, NOIDA (U.P.) and Published from RZ 83, Mahavir Enclave, Palam-Dabri Road, New Delhi – 110 045. Editor Monika Jain

Sulabh Swachh Bharat - VOL: 2 | ISSUE 12  
Sulabh Swachh Bharat - VOL: 2 | ISSUE 12  
Advertisement