With brave wings she flies — Project WHY.

With brave wings she flies — Project WHY.


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Women are the backbone of the family, the strength of the nation and the flag-bearers of the change we wish to see around us. And, it is, therefore, no surprise when you read about women who not only faced the adversities in Life, but fought their battles singlehandedly and rescued themselves and their families.

Sharing today the story of one such woman, who, when faced with dreadful circumstances in her life, put her fears aside and fought to not only solve the problems but also make a change in the quality of life for herself and her family.

Meet RENU KAROTIA — The Sewing Teacher.

Six years ago, when Renu Karotia joined the Project WHY Sewing Circle, her husband had lost his job due to a work accident, her family had lost their home and incurred huge debts.

After joining the Project WHY sewing class, she started taking small jobs at home. She then grew into the role of the sewing teacher and began taking pride in her students.

She is now paying back her debts and knows that she holds the key to her future, Her children study at the after-school support classes run by Project WHY.

WHAT IS PROJECT WHY?

Project WHY is a flagship program of Sri Ram Goburdhun Charitable Trust, that provides educational support to underprivileged children, This after-school support program goes beyond academics, to include life skills and all-around development.

Project WHY also runs vocational skill programs for women from underprivileged homes. Every year, this nonprofit reaches out to 1200 children and 160 women.

Since 2007, over a 1000 women have been trained at the Project WHY Sewing Circle.

WHAT IS NEEDED

Today Renu, the sewing teacher, is looking at developing the skills of her students through a six-month programme. This will enable them to find employment in the garment industry.

To this end, Project WHY needs the following:

Iron 1000/-

Interlocking machine 4400/-

Pico machine 5600/-

Ironing board 2000/-

Cutting table 4000/-

6-month salary for Renu 60,000/-

WHY YOU SHOULD DONATE

Women are true agents of change and helping them find the means to earn a livelihood goes a long way in transforming the lives of their families. At Project WHY, Renu and her students not only practice sewing but also learn to read and write. When women are empowered, domestic violence drops and the next generations gain access to better education.

Read the story of Project WHY at www.projectwhy.org

If you are donating from India, your donation is 50% tax deductible under section 80G, and the entire account would be put up on the project WHY website once the amount is raised.

Join the Project WHY family by supporting Renu so she can help women like herself. No amount is too small and every little bit would help make Renu’s dreams become a reality!

So, go ahead and make a difference in someone’s Life. You never know how your help could change a person’s destiny!

Donate here

Love,

SHILPA…

You are The Man!

You are The Man!

On this Women’s Day (2018) sharing this post from last year. Saluting Woman Power!

Metanoia

I admit, I am late in discussing this event, but did you watch the controversial ‘Koffee with Karan’ episode, two weeks ago? The one where the uber-talented Kangana Ranaut and Saif Ali Khan were Karan Johar’s guests on his famous couch, sipping coffee along with him? Did you notice Kangana’s confidence and her sassiness?   Do you remember her repartees, her jibes, her ripostes that were well-aimed at Mr. Johar? How fearlessly she spoke her mind without mincing words! And, she was in conversation with one of the Big Daddies of Bollywood!

I am an admirer of Ms. Ranaut, and I was blown away by her candour. The fact that she gave two hoots about diplomacy, and about the men in power in the hindi film industry,  shows how self-assured she is. She wasn’t born into the industry, with a silver spoon; she entered the industry as an “outsider”, who…

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The first man to wear a sanitary pad. #WATWB

The first man to wear a sanitary pad. #WATWB

Imagine this – you get your period and there are no sanitary pads available where you live. Or, worse – the ones available at the chemists  are far beyond your means and threaten to burn a hole in your pocket. If you were to buy those pads, your kids  go without food! And, thus you settle for some rags, or maybe some leaves, or, brace yourselves, some ash!

Can you visualise yourself in such wretched conditions? We, who take our comfortable lifestyle for granted, cannot even imagine the plight of millions of women for whom even basic amenities are luxuries they can’t dream of affording!

So, when a man comes up with a brilliant idea of a machine that manufactures low-cost sanitary pads, it’s like manna to the women living in the developing countries.

The Menstruation Man.

Sharing today, at #WATWB, the story of Arunachalam  Muruganantham, the first man  to use a sanitary pad!  A school drop out from Southern India, his courage, perseverance and dedication  brought about a change in the lives of countless women  in rural India, as well as other developing countries.

Do read the inspiring story of  ‘The Menstruation Man’,   here. 

We Are the World Blogfest, or #WATWB, created by Damyanti Biswas and Belinda Witzenhausen aims to bring hope through stories that spread positivity in the darkness that surrounds us. 

Do join in with stories of real life heroes who go beyond the call of duty to make a difference to our world. 

#WATWB is held on the last Friday of every month. Share the stories on your blog and on social media and help spread the love!

Replacing the negativity with positivity through social media is the need of the hour. Let us all do our best and focus the spotlight on people who work towards bringing about a change in our society and a ray of hope to the world.

 

The man who shone a spotlight on mental health. #WATWB

The man who shone a spotlight on mental health. #WATWB

 

For me and my family, as for  countless others, he has been an angel in disguise. For,  the ability to not only treat patients of mental illness, but also offer ceaseless support and encouragement to their caregivers with love and warmth is something only an angel can carry out, isn’t it?

Image courtesy Google (pic by Prassanna)

I met Dr. Anand Nadkarni around 20 years ago. He treated my mom-in-law, who was a patient of schizophrenia. The anxiety I experienced on learning about her condition eased quite a bit after I met him.  The most important reason behind it being, I knew he would always be there to help us and support us as we traversed the rough terrain life can be with a sick family member.

But, the instance when my belief in him grew profoundly was when I discovered my hubby suffered from bi-polar disorder. I remember we were out of town when hubby had an attack. He had been suffering since some days, but I was not aware of the storm brewing in our lives.

I called up the good doctor at an ungodly hour from the resort we were staying at, and he made all the arrangements for hubby to be treated by another doctor at a hospital where hubby had to be admitted, till he himself took over hubby’s case.

Dr. Nadkarni not only treated hubby, but ensured I went in for counselling as I was under enormous pressure. The fact that I am here today, sane and stronger, is all thanks to Dr. Nadkarni.

Dr. Anand Nadkarni has been practicing psychiatry since 30 years now. He began his journey towards bringing the concept of mental health in the spotlight 27 years ago. He established the Institute of Psychological Health, an NGO at Mumbai, where mental health professionals work towards treating mental illness patients, as well as organise  support groups and conduct community projects that help spread awareness regarding mental health.

He not only consults patients, but also conducts training programs for corporate executives, and mentors young athletes, artists and players to optimise their performance. He conducts training for elite commando forces and is also the founder and trustee of Muktangana de-addiction centre at Pune, Maharashtra. He is also a prolific writer with 17 award-winning books to his credit.

For a man who is so deeply immersed in his work, it will come as a surprise to many to meet this warm, friendly person, who has the knack of putting you at ease the  instant you meet him. The time he gives you as a doctor, a counsellor, or even a friend/guide, is all yours, without any distractions whatsoever. I would like to add, simplicity and humbleness are this wonderful man’s forte!

I remember pouring my heart out to him – how I feared losing my sanity from all the stress I went through at home – to which he  smiled, kindheartedly, and said, “You are doing absolutely fine, my dear. And, you really need not fear, I am here for you!” These words – spoken almost 15 years ago –  echo in my mind as I type this post today.

A man who has spent so many years of his life working towards sensitising the public about mental health; who has made it his life’s mission to bring awareness about mental illness deserves to be called a Hero, isn’t it?

Damyanti Biswas   Shilpa Garg   Simon Falk, Eric Lahti, Lynn Hallbrooks, and Guilie Castillo   are co-hosting the We Are The World Blogfest this month to share a snippet of positive news that shows our essential, beautiful harmony, and restore our faith in humanity.

Do join in with a real life story that speaks of something positive in a world that can be quite a scary place with all the negativity we see around. 

The brave heart who helps nab perverts. #WATWB

The brave heart who helps nab perverts. #WATWB

The Mumbai locals (Railways) may be the lifeline for millions in the City of dreams, but they also happen  to be the bane of the lives of its travellers, especially the women. Imagine  travelling in crowded compartments, from far flung suburbs, to work and back, spending almost four hours doing so each day.

Now, add to that the everyday torture and harassment by perverts who pass lewd comments, molest, harass without a fear in the world, and no one to guard you, or assist you in fighting the rowdies off!

A nightmare, isn’t it?

Law enforcement officers often (sadly) turn a blind eye and  a deaf ear to the protests and the complaints made by some women who gather the courage to come forward. So, whom do they turn to? Or, do they go about their lives, living in fear each time they step onto the train?

Fortunately, for them, there are a few brave hearts , who put their lives at risk and come forward to help. They know what it must be like being at the receiving end of all the abuse. They have female family members/friends  who travel and complain about the daily fight they have to put up with.

Like Mr. Dipesh Tank, from Mumbai. The man, who has taken it upon himself to nab molesters in Mumbai local trains and do his bit to help the police.

Dipesh Tank

DIpesh, who began working at an early age, saw how perverts teased and harassed women in local trains. It reminded him of his mother who had to travel at odd hours to work. And, that’s when he decided to do something to help.

He bought a special pair of glasses with built-in HD video recording camera to record and nab the perpetrators and report to the police. He began a campaign in 2013 along with his friends, WARR (War Against Railway Rowdies) and collected evidence to present to the police.

In the past six months, the police nabbed around 140 eve-teasers, all thanks to Dipesh’s efforts.

It is not an easy task Dipesh has set out to do. But, he persists in doing it, each day, every day. The one thing he rues, though,  is  women’s reluctance to come forward and file a complaint, or raise a voice each time they fall prey to the molesters which encourages the perverts to carry on with their sickening ways.

Do read  the story of  the  brave man who helps Mumbai police to nab eve-teasers here.

 

Damyanti Biswas  co-hosts the We Are The World Blogfest on the  last Friday of every month to share a snippet of positive news that shows our essential, beautiful harmony, and restore our faith in humanity.

Do join in with a real life story that speaks of something positive in a world that can be quite a scary place with all the negativity we see around. 

 

Image source: Google