WOMEN

“In 2013, a woman called Geetha came to our studio. She thanked us profusely for making her life peaceful as her husband had stopped drinking because of the work of Anna Community Radio,” recalls Malliga Kaliappan, who has been an RJ at Anna FM for 22 years. "Geetha's husband had learnt about the ill-effects of alcohol consumption due to the anti-liquor awareness programmes we carried," added the RJ. Airing at 90.4 MHz, Anna FM is a social initiative taken up by the Educational and Multimedia Research Centre (EMRC) of Anna University since 2004. The community radio has touched the lives…

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Archana Yadav of Mumbai is an excited soul today. In just a few days, she will be starting classes under a free skilling programme offered in Kandivali under the Skill India initiative and hopes that it will help her secure a much-needed job in the domain of nursing. Archana knows the trials of having to look for a job without formally acquired skills or certification. Pre-pandemic she had been working as an unpaid trainee in an orthopaedic clinic in Mumbai, in the hope that the skills acquired in this position would help her get a better job in the future.…

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On January 10th, a 19-year-old teenager shared an incident of domestic violence in Mumbai on the city-based website Safecity, which encourages citizens to report all kinds of violence. “My friend has an abusive household where her mother was always beaten up. It hasn't changed and due to lockdown, things had gotten worse as they couldn't get out,” she said. Like her, many others have been reporting and sharing incidents of violence on the website. So far in 2022, over 20 citizens have reported domestic violence cases in Mumbai anonymously on Safecity. Indeed, domestic violence cases in Mumbai have risen. In the…

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This is the second of a two-part story looking at how women construction workers are disproportionately affected by air pollution and other work place related issues. Read Part I here Women workers in the construction sector, whom the Mahila Housing Trust spoke to in connection with a report they are working on, said they preferred construction work over other occupations for a variety of reasons, one being the higher daily wage rates it offers as compared to other occupations. According to a woman construction worker from Bakkarwala, “we prefer to work at construction sites since we get a daily wage…

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This is the first of a two part story looking at how women workers in the construction industry are disproportionately affected by air pollution and other work place related issues. Women workers in the construction sector, the second largest employer of women after agriculture, are disproportionately affected by issues like air pollution. Not only at their work place but also at their homes. Many women construction workers suffer from illnesses like breathlessness but delay treatment due to the lack of options before them. “There have been no studies carried out about the health impact of construction activities on the workers,”…

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A little discussed but horrifying statistic is getting lost in all the analysis of the effects of the total lockdown during the 2020-21 pandemic. Over 5000 women had complained to the National Commission for Women (NCW) of facing domestic violence in 2020. As compared to 3369 domestic violence complaints during 2019-2020. An NCW report adds that during 2020-2021, the number of such complaints had risen to 6049. The reason was obvious — more women faced abuse and violence as they were confined to their homes with their abusers. Globally, fewer than 40% of women who experience violence seek help of…

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“The idea is to make Chennai, a welcoming city, as far as all genders are concerned,” says Raj Cherubal, CEO of Chennai Smart Limited. He was talking about the ‘Gender Lab’ initiative of the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC), which is aimed at improving the safety of women and other gender minorities in public spaces and ensure easy accessibility for all, in these spaces. In the words of Raj, it aims to make public places in Chennai more “gender sensitive”.  On September 30th this year, the Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank had formally approved a $150-million programme to…

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There are two kinds of childbirths, a ‘normal’ childbirth - vaginal  - and a ‘lower section caesarean section’, more commonly known as a C-section.  A C-section is a surgery performed to deliver the baby through an incision made on the stomach and the womb. It involves expensive medical bills and the possibility of a medical emergency. The choice between a normal childbirth and a C-section is a burden on every expecting woman for many reasons, primarily, the side effects, the risks and the costs. In 2019, experts said that India may soon have the ‘most caesarean births in the world.’…

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Parcham Collective, an organisation that facilitates football practice sessions for adolescent girls in Mumbra, Thane, organised a wall painting event in the area on October 2nd in the Fatima Bi Savitri Bai sports ground for girls, as an inauguration of the ground that the girls will now use for training officially. “The ground was reserved for the girls by the Thane municipal corporation, and the opposition party arranged for appropriate landscaping of the ground, a first by local authorities and the opposition.” said Sabah Khan, co-founder of Parcham. The name of the ground was an ode to Fatima Shaikh and Savitri…

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"We have lost everything. Who has reaped? still, we are displaced in our freedoms" are the opening lines of the poem ईरपाल (erpal), meaning grievance, by local Koli poet Shahir Pundalik Mhatre; documented by the Tandel Fund of Archives, an archival project run by artists Parag Tandel and Kadambari Koli. The poem hallmarks the many years of displacement of the Kolis of Bombay, and the reclamation of their lands by the city's industries. The city's earliest inhabitants, its vibrant fisherfolk, are now fighting a long battle with their own home.  Morning travels in the Mumbai local trains are usually marked…

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