November 2016

Gender Equality

Miserable, wretched, neglected and unwanted. Her mind is a dark room, missing the true source of life, missing the light. Many of us have read articles or posts with such daunting introductory lines on gender inequality but the question is what do we do about it? What do we do about the rural women of today, who are disconnected from the very term called feminism, those in the workplace who are working tirelessly and yet face difficulty in getting the fair pay that they deserve, the mothers who cook food for the whole family, then wait for them to start first and indulge only on the leftovers, the daughters who restricted from going anywhere after dawn especially and the unborn girl child who hasn't even entered this world and still isn't safe.
The bitter truth is that today, nearly every woman in India has gone through some form of gender inequality. Our Indian constitution indeed has special rights to safeguard the interests of this afflicted gender like The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956, The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 (28 of 1961) (Amended in 1986), The Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986 and The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005. We also have special days for women and children like The National Girl Child's day to spread awareness about the gender inequality in our country. But, why do we need special privileges and days to spread awareness about girl child? Why is it that even today one gender finds it tough to be part of mainstream society?
One answer to these age old questions is negligence. You see the children on the streets working with the rag pickers, you go to offices everyday in the local trains cramped and suffocated in the crowd, you are aware about our flourishing economy yet unaware about the increasing prices of everyday commodities, you complain about corruption then bribe your way through the system to get jobs, you worship women goddesses yet consider the raped and the widows to be impure, you are aware about the women trafficking and yet turn a blind eye to them and you complain about child labor yet pollute the society by buying crackers. You are the ignorant and the hypocrites. You are the accusers and the guilty. But thankfully you're not the only ones who are called The India of Tomorrow.
There are many organizations and individuals today who refuse to oversee this harsh and gruesome reality and are fighting these social evils tooth and nail. One such organization is Enactus. Here, the students coming together to influence the world around them by entrepreneurial action and business innovation. Spread across 98 colleges in India it works while keeping in close contact with the 17 United Nations Sustainable goals. Enactus targets a backward or a socially neglected community through its intensive and collaborative projects. It teaches the people skills and how to utilize these skills to make products in order to bring about sustainability and a means of stepping into a new world. The products are then sold and all the money is re-invested in the betterment and upliftment of these communities.
Mumbai, often called the city of dreams, hides a very dark social evil.
It is a two-faced, unforgiving and an unyielding city especially for women. This dark social evil goes by the name sex workers. Forced into the business of selling their bodies, it is nearly impossible for these women to find a way out. And once they are out, then what? How do they earn? How do they start a living? Patched, a project of Enactus MPSTME fights this very fearful and neglected social evil. It is working rigorously in giving these women a means to earn and lead a new life. Women are taught skills like tailoring to make folders, notebooks and laptop sleeves in order to be self dependent.
But Enactus doesn't stop there, there have been various social media campaigns and other activities and collaborations which have helped along it its way.
The occasion of Women's day in 2014 saw the inception of the offline campaign #WontBowDown, a drive inside college to spread awareness amongst students about the human rights, in Women's Day 2015, in collaboration with MUN Society, Enactus recognized Women Of MPSTME, who have achieved exceptionally, worked against obstacles, driven change and proven their worth, Enactus collaborated with Wallmart for Womens Economic Empowerment Project 2015-16 Grant, they organized a self defence workshop for women (by instructors from Indo-ryu Karate Federation), on the Women's Day 2016 Enactus gave the girls of the college an opportunity to discuss their ideas an interact with the alumni who have achieved success through an Executive dinner with them. Patched also won the KPMG Ethics Grant in 2015. It has worked in close collaboration with a number of organizations like Kranti Mahila Sanstha and Rescue. Apart from all the campaigns and the fund raisers, the members also went to the slums in order to get up close and personal with the living conditions of the women and to understand their lives.
The dedication and effort of this 61 member squad is unparalleled as they work rigorously to bridge the gap between the genders in every possible way. For Enactus MPSTME, there are many skies to conquer in their fight against gender inequality. They go into the fight undeterred and unflinchingly. But they are nothing without your encouragement and support.
Don't pull your eyes away from these evils, they won't.

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