Fighting gender-based violence requires women to be empowered, but equally important is encouraging men to never resort to violence against women. Parivartan, an ICRW programme, aims to reduce gender-based violence by working with men and boys through cricket. The results are encouraging, as Madhumita Das of ICRW says in an interview to Vani Viswanathan.
February brings images of pink hearts and ribbons, and a certain narrow form of love that we like or detest. Two campaigns, one ongoing and one just completed, do their bit to start a conversation about the innumerable forms of love there could be – and how, if we open up our eyes just a little bit, we’ll know that each one of them is worthy of our respect. Interviews on Tathapi Trust’s “Pyaar ki Gutargoo” campaign and Zehen Collective’s #RedefiningLove campaign.
SOCIAL LENS | Therapy for child sexual abuse survivors is an aspect often ignored when it comes to responding to abuse. Shreya Sen, with the Therapeutic Intervention team at Arpan, an organization that works to prevent child sexual abuse, talk about the various ways therapy can help heal.
GUEST COLUMN | When Chetan Bhagat writes ‘I’d like Indian men to have an open mind about choosing their life partners and revise their ‘ideal woman’ criteria’, one expects that he is exhorting many Indian men to finally realize that women are equal ‘partners’ in a marriage, and are also humans with their own ideas and aspirations both within and outside the home, which are not tied to being someone’s wife or mother. But no, Mr. Bhagat fails miserably, as in his narrow view of the world that ignores disturbing everyday realities for much of India’s population, women’s lives still revolve around men. Shreya Sen tells us why this is not just pissing off, but also extremely problematic, and hardly “progressive”.
SOCIAL LENS The internet not just revolutionised our lives, it brought revolution to our doorsteps. How has activism benefitted from the internet, and what constitutes online activism? Is it effective at all? Vani Viswanathan speaks to two online activists, Kamayani Bali Mahabal of ‘Kractivism’ and Archismita Choudhury of ‘Being Feminist,’ in search for some answers.
SOCIAL LENS | VOICE OF THE MONTH In an interview to Vani Viswanathan, poet-feminist-activist Kutti Revathi opens up on what prompted her to write poetry, her focus on the woman’s body as a means of fighting against the patriarchal Tamil society and her contribution to the Tamil literary space through her publication Panikkudam.
SOCIAL LENS A reality check shows that the socioeconomic status of women in India is at abysmal levels, despite reservation policies for women to enter politics, a state that is active in terms of providing welfare, all set in the backdrop of a growing economy that is unfortunately not being inclusive. Padmini Swaminathan, eminent feminist economist, comments on the scenario, as Vani Viswanathan listens in.
Hollaback! is an international initiative that aims to spread awareness about street sexual harassment. It is currently active in 16 countries around the world. In India, Hollaback! operates in Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh, and the Chennai chapter was launched in December last year. Aishwarya S, a project associate with Hollaback! Chennai talks about street sexual harassment and what she has learnt and done as part of Hollaback! Chennai.
Venkatesh Krishnamoorthy, co-founder of a funding organisation, Social Investment Foundation of India, talks about the importance of reaching out to women to put India on a definite track to development.
Keerthi Kiran, Co-founder, Grassroutes, speaks to Vani Viswanathan about how Grassroutes began, how the journey has been and how the effort has evolved over the years, among other things. Catch the conversation here.
How many of us read literature in our Indian mother tongue, and how much of it is getting lost as we give way to English taking over our lives in more aspects than one? In conversation with popular Tamil author Sivasankari, Vani Viswanathan discusses these questions and also uncovers more on the author’s effort to bring attention to Indian literature, the Knit India through Literature project.
‘A Free Man’ by Aman Sethi is narrated exceptionally well and combines good journalistic writing with a moving story of an unknown man and his life. That is its winning point, making it a worthy read, says Anupama Krishnakumar.
As an 18-year-old, Shaheen Mistri walked into a slum in Mumbai and began teaching. She then went on to set up Akanksha Foundation, an NGO that works primarily in the field of education. Today, she is the CEO of Teach For India, a nationwide movement that aims to end education inequity in India. In an interview to Spark, Shaheen Mistri talks about her personal journey with Akanksha and Teach For India, her views on the Indian education system and the relevance of social entrepreneurship in today’s world. Excerpts from her interview to Anupama Krishnakumar.
In an interview to Spark’s Vani Viswanathan, Mallika Dutt, CEO of Breakthrough, talks about her journey with Breakthrough and one of their most successful campaigns, the Bell Bajao campaign.
In 1984, Urvashi Butalia co-founded India’s first feminist publishing house, Kali for Women, and then went on to establish Zubaan Books in 2003. In an interview to Spark, she talks about her journey with Kali for Women, about Zubaan and about feminist literature and publishing in India. Anupama Krishnakumar listens in.
In her interview to Spark, popular blogger Indian Homemaker speaks on issues that she deals with on her blog, her views on feminism in India and the state of women in urban India today. Vani Viswanathan listens in.