Showing posts from March, 2020

Covid19 Action Alert: What You Can Do At The Community level for Promoting Social Solidarity With Physical Distancing

COVID 19 Action Alert Promoting Social Solidarity With Physical Distancing: What You Can Do At The Community level Over the past one month, the COVID19 Pandemic has slowly but surely found its way into our everyday lives and existence. It is a time of great uncertainty and insecurity, not just for our own health, but also our social and economic lives. In a country as diverse and unequal as India, the impact of the virus and also measures such as the on-going lockdown which are meant to combat the pandemic will be differential, with the most marginalized also being the most vulnerable. We have been thinking about ways in which we can continue to provide physical, mental and social support to each other, and especially to those in our communities who need this the most, in this unprecedented situation. This note outlines actions that can be taken at the community level, using devices such as a smart phone, given the strict mobility restrictions that we are being subjected to. H

If only Behind Every Successful Woman there was a Man

In the last couple of days, I met with Rupa Sardar, Babita Naskar and Shubhra Karmakar three young women leaders in their thirties. You would not have heard of them because they are not the women achievers who are on the TV or magazines celebrating International Women’s Day. When we hear stories of successful women, we also learn of their struggle against numerous odds. Their struggle to complete their education, to balance their home and work responsibilities, of how they faced numerous jibes from family, friends and colleagues to achieve success. While the story of successful men is often   summarised as ‘behind every successful man is a woman’, that of women could very easily be ‘behind every successful woman is a struggle’.   What I found remarkable in the stories of Babita, Rupa and Shubhra was how in each of their leadership journeys their spouses played a central supportive role. When we met Babita at about 1 pm in the afternoon she was waiting for us eagerly because she

The Panic of Proof

Nowadays one is often faced with the smug opinion "What is the big deal, why this big hue and cry about CAA? Citizens of India have nothing to fear." Most people making this observation are sitting in comfort and in the security of their own homes and other middle class privileges. Homes they are either paying EMI for or may have been handed down from the earlier generation. There is no such security among the poor. The young woman who comes to clean in our house shared that her father in Medinipur was uncertain because they had been settled by the local landlord and they were originally weavers from Odisha. Also, his name had been wrongly written as Ramakrishna in their Aadhar Card while he was actually Radhakrishna and known as such in the community. We know that in Assam the gaps in the documentation and mismatch in proof of identification and residence has not only made thousands of people un-citizens overnight but sent many people to detention centres. But the cho