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Legalisation or De-criminalisation? Sex workers speak their mind

Dec 12, 2014 04:05 PM Sex work has traditionally been seen as a form of violence against women. Over the last two decades, however, the global sex workers’ rights movement has consistently argued that while there is violence within sex work, consensual adult sex work does not constitute violence. While the present law is meant for prevention of trafficking, it does not really apply to adults voluntarily working as sex workers. After all, there is no relation between solicitation and being forced into the trade. In fact, when these women have to evacuate their ‘homes’ and forcefully go to ‘rehabilitation centres’ or undergo medical tests it amounts to violation of their basic human rights.

Little Akangsha loves her ‘Big’ school

Dec 03, 2014 06:04 PM In Dausa district, 55 kilometres east of Jaipur city, the state capital of Rajasthan, Akangsha More, 4, is registered in the nursery class of a local public school under the reserved quota. With her eyes tight shut, she sits to meditate along with her classmates on the terrace of their school, which is still under construction. Both her parents work as labourers in Jaipur and the little one stays with her grandparents, who are cobblers. Akangsha has got a shot at gaining good quality education thanks to a provision under the Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009, which has sought 25 per cent reservation in private schools for children coming from impoverished homes.

Mumbra’s muslim girls kick out stereotypes

Nov 28, 2014 06:07 PM They started off as a secret sports club. What brought them together was their shared love for football, a game they couldn’t dream of playing owing to their conservative family backgrounds.

A model farmer, Savitri shows off her special skills

Nov 22, 2014 08:00 AM Savitri Devi from Jhanji village in Jharkhand’s Deoghar district is a model farmer today. She has been able to successfully incorporate Sustainable Integrated Farming Systems (SIFT) techniques on her 60 decimals (one decimal=1/100 acre) of farmland to produce bumper crops of maize, paddy, chickpea, millets and potatoes.

These brave Kashmiri doctors risked their all to save young mothers

Nov 17, 2014 11:28 AM It’s been a few weeks since Dr Shahnaaz Teing, who works at Lal Ded, the lone maternity hospital in Kashmir, was rescued from the floods in Srinagar, yet she breaks down every time she talks about the desperation she witnessed for the four days she kept the critical medical facility going in the absence of electricity, medical supplies and food.

Silver screen to dispel misconceptions about disability

Nov 14, 2014 02:40 PM ‘We Care’ film fest screens films on disability to audiences across India with the aim of changing attitudes and behaviours.

Manju is friend and confidante to sex workers

Nov 07, 2014 09:00 AM In a room somewhere in Kushinagar in eastern Uttar Pradesh, women in the age group of 20-45 years troop in energetically. They know each other and share a camaraderie that suggests an intimate bond. Patting their saris in place and adjusting their buns and plaits, they take their places on the floor mat, sitting in a circle.

Climate change: Afghans on the front line

Nov 06, 2014 02:35 PM A new UN report warns that "irreversible" climate change is affecting more people than ever, writes Joe Dyke.

On air: Padmini, India’s first transgender newsreader

Nov 03, 2014 12:45 PM As India celebrated her 67th year of Independence, Padmini Prakash, 31, freed herself from social and personal demons to become the first transgender news anchor in the country.

Of women, for women: welcome aboard Chennai’s tech savvy ride

Oct 26, 2014 08:05 AM If you were to land in Chennai, Tamil Nadu’s state capital, one of these days, do not be surprised to see sari-clad women with khaki jackets zipping around the city ferrying passengers in black-and-yellow autorickshaws. These women have been trained and employed by Makkal (people) Auto, a transport service that runs a high-tech and safety-centric auto fleet for women, by women.

Upasana’s white print brings lifestyle news in Braille

Oct 23, 2014 08:00 AM Can you imagine life without your daily dose of celebrity gossip, fashion forecasts or restaurant reviews? What’s Shah Rukh Khan doing off screen these days? How is Priyanka Chopra doing up her new home? How does Daya, the popular star of the television series CID, face everyday challenges? What’s the best way to cook up a delicious biryani? For the majority population, there are several lifestyle magazines and online options available in every Indian language to catch up on the latest news and trends.

Killing Girls, Buying Brides

Oct 19, 2014 08:00 AM The women from the village don’t quite open up. They have a lot to say but something holds them back. I try to tell them that the more they talk, the more the world will know of the truth, but the fear of reprisal is too overwhelming. With time and a lot of probing, however, the stories on female foeticide come forth quietly. Even as the women share this horrific reality that challenges the very existence of girls within their community, what is quite apparent is that no one admits to having gone through with it; it’s always a friend or a relative that they use as a reference.

Being old and alone in the city

Oct 17, 2014 06:12 PM “I am old, widowed and living all by myself. I am financially secure but I have one serious problem and that is loneliness. My children are settled outside state and are busy chasing lucrative careers while my grandchildren are caught in their studies. Brief, weekly phone calls are all the time I get with them. Every year, I fervently wish that they would come for a visit but that has not been possible yet,” says Archana Mohanty, 65, with moist eyes.

Rampyari loves her unique tribal school

Oct 12, 2014 08:35 AM As soon as Rampyari Tulegam, 16, sits behind the wheel of the tractor, with her two friends by her side, the confidence and happiness she exudes cannot go unnoticed. It looks as if she is ready to take on all of life’s challenges head on. While across the Indian countryside it is not uncommon to find women toiling away in the fields as agricultural labourers, it’s certainly rare to see young girls like Rampyari driving the tractor and tilling land. States the youngster, “Despite the fact that most of the back-breaking agricultural work is done by women we were constrained because certain key activities like tilling, for instance, has traditionally been done by the men only.

In this Bihar village girls shine as activists

Oct 09, 2014 02:52 PM Manisha Bharati, a Class Eight student of Government Middle School in Bhalui village of Vaishali district in Bihar, has only recently discovered the joys of using soap and knows the merits of washing hands to maintain hygiene. She has been telling everyone in her neighbourhood about it with the result that soap sales have gone off the charts in the village. Her classmate, Nidhi Verma, has taken on the task of talking to young mothers about immunisation. Although they find it awkward when she confidently approaches them to make inquiries about their children’s vaccination schedule they listen to what she has to say on the importance of proper and timely immunisation. Then there is Preeti whose pet cause is sanitation. She wants to make sure that every home in the village has a toilet so that no woman is vulnerable to violence or ill health due to open defecation.

Celebrating Mary Kom and Manipur on celluloid

Oct 04, 2014 09:10 AM As I watched the premier of the new Hindi film, ‘Mary Kom’, for two hours I sat in a packed hall, riveted. I juxtaposed my experiences of Manipur with the film and discovered a resonance.

Hill women lead another unique Green Revolution

Oct 01, 2014 09:00 AM The marriage ceremony is over. The newly-weds step outside and make their way towards a clearing where they plant a sapling. A group of young girls then rushes towards the groom who indulgently digs into his pockets and pulls out a thick wad of notes that he hands over to the eager teens.

Spiraling violence, disappearing women

Sep 28, 2014 08:15 AM On August 23, 2014, an elderly woman was returning home when she saw a group of men cowering over a girl beating her up. That was all she could make out from her car. She asked the driver to stop at once. Without a second thought she got down, rushed to the girl to shield her with her own body. That’s when the group turned on her; a woman accomplice of theirs lunged at her and began raining blows.

Actor-educator Swaroop Rawal teaches girls to dream

Sep 24, 2014 11:23 AM Those who have lived through the television era of the 1980s would remember Swaroop Sampat as the young woman who acted in the hugely popular sitcom, ‘Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi’.

'Roof of the world' beckons passionate Indian girls

Sep 16, 2014 01:10 PM A seven-member team of Indian women led by the legendary Bachendri Pal is all set for an expedition to Kharta Valley in Tibet also known as the roof of the world.
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