Friday, 21 June 2019

SHABANA AZMI : “As Women, We Don’t Need To Be Treated As Goddesses But As Equals”


One of the leading lights of the now-largely-defunct Indian New Wave, Shabana Azmi was one of the main female actors who dominated the films of the so-called "Parallel Cinema" in India in the 1970s and 1980s. Born to noted Urdu progressive poet and lyricist Kaifi Azmi and theatre actress Shaukat Azmi, Shabana has acted in films by virtually all of India's most famous art-house directors including Shyam Benegal, Satyajit Ray, Aparna Sen and others, as well as in commercial and middle-of-the-road Hindi films. She is noted for her naturalness and intensity on-screen, matched by her fierce advocacy of the rights of women, minorities and slum-dwellers off-screen, both through activism and in her role as a Member of Parliament, where her consistent stand in defense of liberal values and the freedom of expression is noteworthy. She started working in films which were about social issues as well as enacted characters who stood up against social injustice. With such a background, a time comes when all these factors combine and make you ask the question – why is there social injustice, why is there a difference and why are some privileged and the others not.  According to her, once you ask those questions, you get Apart from being a well known actor of her time.

 Shabana Azmi has always been an active social activist. Shabana is known to raise her voice against various social issues, but her attention goes to women and child-related issues. Shabana has advocated for the cause of slum dwellers, victims of Latur earthquake, and displaced Kashmiri Pandits.involved in the process of making a change. Shabana involved with Nivara Haq, which is a housing rights organisation and in May 1986, I went on a hunger strike with Anand Patwardhan and three other slum dwellers demanding alternative land for a slum in south Bombay. It was unheard of at that time that a female actress be involved in social issues to this extent. Five days later, the government agreed and allocated alternate land. This propelled her into social work following which I did a lot of work with Nivara Haq and then I got completely involved with her father’s NGO, Mijwan Welfare Society.

Way back in 1989, she took a four-day march against communalism from Delhi to Meerut. In 1998, Shabana Azmi was appointed as the Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations Population Fund as well for the HIV/AIDS programme for the SAARC region. Today, Shabana Azmi runs an NGO named Mijwan Welfare Society in Azamgarh district, UP, which works for the underprivileged children. Under Mijwan, she has set up a school, a college, a computer centre, and a sewing centre in a small remote village. She also organizes various fund-raising activities. Actor Shabana Azmi spelled her vision of an India driven by social change, where dissent, debate and differing voices are welcome.

“Are you satisfied with the way world is? If not, then work towards your idea of worldview, work towards your idea of social change through dissent, contesting voices and debate!” – Shabana Azmi



Navpreet Kaur

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Medha Patkar


Medha Patkar is an outstanding social activist of India. She was conceived on first December in the year 1954. Preceding turning into a social reformer, she finished her M.A. in Social Work from Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS).She left Ph. D. in the middle and got effectively engaged with the fomentations led by tribals and workers of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. This cleared path for the arrangement of the association named Narmada Bachao Andolan. Indeed, in this article, we will give you the history of Medha Patkar, who has contributed a great deal in improving the living states of individuals.

On 28th March, 2006, Medha went on an appetite strike, in dissent of the choice taken by the specialists, to build the tallness of the Narmada dam. The strike proceeded for an extensive stretch of 20 days lastly reached an end on April 17, 2006. The Supreme Court dismissed the supplication of Narmada Bachao Andolan to stop the development of the dam. On December 2, 2006, Medha was captured by the police at Singur in West Bengal, for her dynamic contribution in the challenge against getting the hold of farmland. She was kept, on the grounds that the cops felt that, she may incite individuals, in this manner prompting peace issue. The Madhya Pradesh Government alleged the Narmada Bachao Andolan of receiving foreign funds and using them for unclear purposes. They claimed that, the money that was obtained was being used by the organization to hamper the rehabilitation process. In 1996 Patkar founded the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), an agglomeration of progressive social bodies opposed to globalization policies. She was a representative to the World Commission on Dams, the first independent global advisory body on dam-related issues of water, power, and alternatives; the commission was set up in 1998 and in 2000 issued its influential final report, which contained recommendations on improving development outcomes. Patkar also worked with local communities to develop alternatives for energy generation, water harvesting, and education, and she created a system of residential and day schools in villages of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Gujarat. She was recognized internationally for her work.

 The background to Patkar’s activism took place during the 1960s and early ’70s, when the Indian government was promoting dam building as a route to modernization. The harnessing of river water was to provide water for drinking and irrigation and for generating electricity in impoverished areas. It would also, however, displace hundreds of thousands of people. In 1979 the NVDP—which proposed the construction of thousands of dams on the Narmada and its tributaries—was granted approval. In 1985 Patkar visited villages in the Narmada valley that were to be submerged after the completion of the Sardar Sarovar Dam in southeastern Gujarat, one of the largest of the planned projects. There she became aware of indifference exhibited by local government officials toward the people affected by the project. The NBA’s major aim was to provide project information and legal representation to the concerned residents of the Narmada valley.


Navpreet Kaur

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Kiran Bedi - The Iron Lady


Born on June 9, 1949 in Punjab, Amritsar to parents Prakash Peshawaria and Prem Peshawaria, Kiran Bedi attended the Sacred Heart Convent School where she participated in the national Cadet Corps (NCC). An interest in tennis, alike her made her the winner of the junior national Lawn Tennis Championship in 1966, the Asian Lawn Tennis Championship in 1972 and the All India Interstate Women’s lawn tennis Championship in 1976. Known by the name ‘Crane Bedi’ for towing Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s car for parking violation, she showed her dedication to her profession. During her period as the Inspector General of Prisons, in Tihar Jail, she made a number of reforms in the management of the prison. Some of the programs that she initiated include detoxification programs, Art of Living Foundation Prison Courses, Yoga, Vipassana meditation, Murat redressing of complaints by prisoners and literacy programs and she won the 1994 Ramon Magsaysay Award and the Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowship to write about her work in Tihar jail. Her last appointment was of Director General of India’s Bureau of Police Research and Development. In May 2005, she was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Law in recognition of her ‘humanitarian approach to prison reforms and policing’. Her social acts include setting up of Navjyoti India Foundation (NIF) in 1987 along with 17 other police officers. 

The foundation started with a de-addiction and rehabilitation initiative for drug addicts and now the work sphere of this organization has expanded to other issues like illiteracy and women empowerment. In 1994, she also set up India Vision Foundation to bring about police reforms, prison reforms, women empowerment and rural and community development. Her organizations were awarded the ‘Serge Soitiroff Memorial Award’ for drug abuse prevention by the United Nations. This great lady is also a member of the India Against Corruption (IAC) along with Anna Hazaare and Arvind Kejriwal. Her daughter Saina was born in 1975 and following her mother’s footsteps, she is also involved in social service. And in july 1972 she created history by becoming the first woman to join Indian Police Service.

 In 1987, Kiran Bedi launched an NGO named Navjyoti India Foundation (NIF). This NGO aims at de-addiction and rehabilitation of the drug addicts and has expanded to other social issue like illiteracy and women empowerment. She also started India Vision Foundation in 1994 that has been working for police reforms, prison reforms, women empowerment and rural and community development. She was also the host of TV programme 'Aap Ki Kachehri' that aimed to resolve the family disputes of citizens. In August 2011, Kiran Bedi joined the India Against Corruption movement led by social activist Anna Hazare. She was a prominent face of the movement along with Arvind Kejriwal but parted ways with him when the latter decided to establish a political party Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). Kiran Bedi is an Indian politician belonging to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). She is currently the Lieutenant Governor of the union territory of Puducherry.  


Navpreet Kaur

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

LAKSHMI AGARWAL- An Inspiration to millions


Laxmi Agarwal is a teenager acid assault victim of India. Her petition, signed via over 27000 people, had compelled the Indian excellent court docket to take an motion towards the public distribution and availability of acids. She is also the director of an NGO named Chhanv basis, which facilitates the sufferers of the acid attacks. Laxmi Agarwal become born and taken up in New Delhi. At the tender age of 15, she became attacked with the aid of one of the friends of his brother. The person named Naeem Khan became two times her age and kept on proposing her prior to the assault. As she had refused his advances and proposal, she became attacked by means of the man and his other two companions inside the Tughlaq road. She was busy shopping close to Khan market place while the twist of fate had occurred. She turned into rescued through a taxi driving force and changed into taken to the Safdarjang clinic. She had nine predominant operations to reduce the pain of the burn. The closing operation had despatched her on ventilation for 4 lengthy days. But, Laxmi had survived and grow to be the wish of the all acid victims of the arena. Afterwards, Laxmi had raised a petition towards the random sale of the acids which might be main to these attacks. The splendid court docket of India had ordered a regulation within the sale of the acids. Laxmi, and her fellow employees had observed that acids were still distributed very easily.  After that, they'd initiated the ‘Shoot Acid’ campaign which turned into additionally concerning the sale of acids within the diverse districts.

An acid attack survivor, Lakshmi Agarwal have grow to be an activist after she modified into attacked with acid with the aid of the usage of a fixed of men in 2005 because she had rejected one of the guys’s advances. She is director of the Chhanv foundation, an NGO that fights for the purpose of acid assault sufferers in India. She received high-quality appreciation for campaigning in the direction of acid assaults and gathering 27,000 signatures for Public Interest Litigation (PIL) to minimize the sale of acid, which led the last court docket to order valuable and state governments to regulate the sale of acid and the Parliament to make justice greater available for acid assault sufferers.

In a way, acid-assault is just like the act of murder. Inside the homicide, the killer normally kills the body of a fellow human, while, in an acid assault, the attacked kills the soul of the victim. He no longer simplest kills the splendor of the victim, he additionally kills her desires, risk of a regular lifestyles, her aims and desires. As the world is converting, the hopes for a everyday lifestyles are increasing for the Acid attack victims, as they are accepting their circumstance and dealing with the world with a new outlook. A number of them are even becoming the wish for the others.



Navpreet Kaur