Monday, April 1, 2013

Women & the city.

IndiBlogger has come a long way .IndiBlogger is ushering in change, by being pro active about changing mindsets in Bharat, that is India.Towards this end,IndiBlogger tied up with Times of India,Mumbai & organised a discussion in the heritage building housing the Times of India ,Mumbai at Fort,Mumbai.This was on the 30th March,2013.

It was heartening to see that many men had registered for the meet & they did turn up at the meet.The meet began with our very own  Blogwati G who kickstarted the meet & how ! She made sure, that we kept smiling throughout, by her cheerful banter with the participants.

We were introduced to the drive "Mumbai for women " by the a panel of lady journalists ,who work at the  Times of India ,Mumbai.In this drive,the newspaper has been focusing on the various issues which affect the women in this metro. The precursor was  the Nirbhaya case Recall, that the girl was named Nirbhaya by the Times of India as she was a fighter.

The newspaper team who were working on the numerous stories affecting ladies in Mumbai addressed the meet .They were all ladies & very modest.They are doing stories concerning crime,education ,finance,health ,etal & how the said issues affect women in Mumbai as also the consequences.

Crimes against women are rising in all places & Mumbai is no exception.The TOI panel as also the bloggers agreed that Mumbai was one of the safest among st all the Indian metros though it was no longer as safe as before.I recall that while I worked in an office ,I used to travel by local trains.Once as the train stopped ,a man just rushed towards me from the door in the train & tried to feel a chain around my neck.I was too shocked to react.Before I could even scream ,he had fled by the same way he had barged in ! He came searching to snatch a chain.Since ,I wasn't wearing any ,he ran away disappointed.And that too in the blink of an eye ! Speed is the name of the game ! I have experienced touch & pulls in crowds as many women have.Like others,I have just shrugged & walked away.This is wrong as I am trying to ignore .Men get emboldened by our tolerance.Moreover,I have to admit that I would like the city to be more safer & if possible the safest, as I have a daughter now.I am  selfish to the core!

The TOI was kind enough to share a number of the Railways which is a helpline number that is 983331111.This was to make us aware, so that we in turn, could make our friends & readers aware that Railways ( Central ,Western & Harbor ) are indeed concerned about the safety & security of  the people in the city.This helpline number can be dialed to ask for assistance from Railways security.This would be when there is theft,assault,violence et al on railway property. TOI journos informed us that this helpline is indeed workable & they have had very good experiences .

Ladies ignore their aches & pains as they are too busy & stressed out.They are busy nursing others & rarely take care of their own  health.This needs to change.This reminds me, that I must go for my annual health check up of sugar, cholesterol,& the like.Though I don't like that bit, wherein, I have to starve from 8 in the night to 8 in the mornings ( for sugar test ) but then, I must, if I wish to remain in the pink of health !

The TOI panel informed us that many women -even those earning hefty salaries seldom take decisions regarding investments of their hard earned money.Participants opined that assets are seldom created in the name of women even in Mumbai.I am lucky ,as my husband has allowed me to invest in public provident fund .And this continues even now, when I am a home maker & he gives me his hard earned money to invest in the same fund in my name.This is very surprising, as he is  an investment manager himself.He just invests a token amount in the said fund .He perhaps thinks rightly that his headstrong wife would seldom invest in what he says & does.He has told me umpteen times that I am penny wise & pound foolish ! Like he says, that I will waste money on a long phone call to ask "his permission" to spend a few hundreds.By the end of the call,the price has moved into four figures ! And he would get furious when I invested in chit funds in my office where I worked.I stopped because I was very tired of his lectures on the subject as to how illiterate I was regarding money matters.He felt, that at last, he has been able to drill in some sense of financial acumen into my head though later, he learnt  he has failed miserably ! By the way,he is one of the best at the office & yet I am like that.I seldom seek  his advice .

We were informed that TOI has arranged for a job fair for women at Podar College ,Matunga on 6th & 7th April,so that many ladies can get back to work .This is especially true for those women who had to leave careers midway due to any reason.I am eagerly looking forward to this as I want to get back to work after a haitus of nearly five years!

I have felt that ladies who have qualified in   law can be appointed as judicial officers in the lower rungs of the judiciary.This will mean that cases will get disposed faster as cases pile up due to vacancies which continue unabated.I would of course support appointment of women at the highest levels of judiciary as well.A beginning can be made by appointing them at lower levels even when the said ladies have no experience .This must be allowed as part time jobs as well.So the first half of the day there will be one judicial officer & the remaining half of the day ,another judicial officer.This will help many women get back to work.Moreover ,technical issues in law can be tackled at the higher level as happens in case of appeals.I have felt that basic L.L.B degree is enough to hear & dispose of matters.I have talked about this, as I am a law graduate & this initiative will benefit me immensely.

Even in case of colleges & educational institutions,many ladies who are qualified can do wonders.Ladies are very good at teaching & nutrturing. So many women can work as also look after homes .Yet our rules do not allow this.So ,there are many qualifying tests & degrees like D.Ed,B.Ed,M.Phil & SET,NET scores before any one can become a lecturer .Many institutions use these rules to appoint people who do not qualify as per rules & give them a pittance of a salary & other benefits,if any .We can make a beginning in Mumbai about this & then emulate it at other places,if it succeeds which in all  probability it will.

In conclusion ,it was a lively discussion in the heritage building( the Times of India building is  175 years old )  by the widest circulated paper ,the Times of India & the bloggers .Maybe this symbolized,   that women who traditionally have been playing role of being home makers in the changed scenario, are emerging as the breadwinners as well !

The TOI also showcased a short film, in which women from all strata of society wished that their city Mumbai could love them just a bit more  ! Like for example, there could be clean public toilets for women which are hardly there.As one song goes,"Thoda hai ,thode ki zaroorat hai......Zindagi phir  bhi yahaan khubsoorat hai ......"


Ugich Konitari said...

Great writeup, Vasudha !

vasu said...

Thank you,Suranga !

domesticgoddess-nextdoor said...

an interesting read :)

vasu said...

Thank you,Renu Sethi.

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