Monday, March 7, 2011

Happy Women's Day

Today is International Women’s Day. I wished my friends and acquaintances. Some replied back, some didn’t. Some men and women alike don’t even pay any heed to this day. They say it’s a farce. Well, to each his own.

However, I would also like to put the record straight that Women’s Day isn’t a gimmick that’s started by some greeting card company to sell their cards. It’s real. It is acknowledgement and celebration of the Women who fought for their rights. Women were denied the basic right to vote. Some women had the courage to stand upto the self-righteous governors of this Patriarchal world. They won. Women could vote. We celebrate this day for their victory. For every battle that women have to fight daily to prove to be equals.

I have been blessed to be born in a family where the man and woman divide was not so pronounced. It was there nonetheless. Though I would not call it oppression. But I was always reminded that I was a ‘Girl’ and my brother was a ‘Boy’, and that’s why he could do some things and I couldn’t. Through the years the divide was narrowed. Today I and my brother are looked upon as individuals.

Having said that, this gender inequality is prevalent in our society and country. It is not limited to India alone but also exists in other patriarchal societies.  Having lived in Africa for a while, I have heard horror stories of the way women are treated.  Women have been oppressed for centuries, world across. Not being treated as equals is one point, atrocities against this gender takes it to another level altogether. But why?

Women are a pillar of strength, but that doesn’t imply that we be barraged with abomination. The Hindu text gives Women a place as the extreme power (Shakti) and yet men suppress women. They want them to mould in punctilious roles with no individual identities.

I advocate Women’s rights. It’s not the right to wear what I want or drink what I want or go where I want to. It’s the right to ‘Be’. To be me, as I am.

Basic Education for all

New Series by me
I am working on a new series of paintings. I have decided the donate 20% of the proceeds to an NGO of my choice. Currently, I am working on finding a way to make this auction viable online either host it on my website (which can be tedious task for a one time exercise), or make it available on my FB fan page ( or use a third party auctioning website for this particular exercise. There is so much push and pull to make this possible.

I have always believed in giving back to the society in whatever way I can. I have associated with many NGOs intermittently, if not time, I have contributed money. I have also tried to be a good citizen by adhering to my basic civic duties.
"Basic Education for all" is one of the issues that has been foremost in my mind. Although there are a myriad of issues within the society that can be addressed like atrocities towards women, children and animals etc. I believe that education will help solve a majority of these issues as most of the social issues arise from the lack of education. Literacy being a different expanse altogether. By basic education people are taught many things alongside reading and writing. One is taught self-respect, from that originates respect for others, starting from family and eventually extending to other elements like society, animals, country.

People who are from privileged families take education for granted, including me (at times I feel appalled at people lacking basic civic sense). However, it is a constant battle for the underprivileged to get even basic education. Probably people who have grown up on the streets and are now adults are beyond any scope of persuasion; nonetheless, their children can be educated and can have a hope for a better life. This is the force that drives me to believe in educating children.

Here is my small drop in the large ocean that needs to be created to encompass the huge need of education system and organizations that can support the under-privileged for education. It will not only benefit the needy furthermore benefit every individual and the society as a whole. Lowering crime rate, increasing sanguine individuals. It will eventually impact the country’s many growth hurdles, will help out balance population, and help permeate positivity amongst people.

Amen to the right of Basic Education for everyone!!!