A Liberal Point of View to Life

Archive for the ‘Poverty’ Category

Satyamev Jayate – A candid review

When I first saw Aamir’s casual look and approach in the ads of Satyamev Jayate, I told my husband “This is going to be a flop. Aamir is trying too hard to be casual. This is going to fall flat on his face”

In fact, the ad where he claims that this show will change your life and comparing his show to stalwarts like Mughal-e-azam saying,”If a film like Mughal-e-Azam can beat all norms and barriers, why cant our show!” That ad was too much for me to take. I felt it reeked of desperation – a last resort to make people watch the show!

As you can say, I wasnt too positive about the show. So, when I switched on my TV to watch the first episode, I was ready and willing to confirm my initial prophecy.

I was wrong.

So wrong.

I watched the show last night. And totally loved it.

Also, because I feel very strongly about Female Foeticide and Infanticide situation in India. What Aamir said about the issue did not come as a surprise to me since I had already read about Mitu Khurana’s case and even blogged about it, but I am certain it was a definite eye-opener for the whole of India.

Female foeticide is a gruesome fact which is a big dark blot on the canvas of modern India. The fact that the educated and well-to-do are so heavily involved in this crime is a testimony to the fact that this is not just an affliction of the less privileged! In fact, Bharati who lives in the slum of Vastrapur area is a shining example of that! I am determined to look her up in my next trip to Ahmedabad and tell her to keep going strong!

Some of my famous lines from the show:

Atyachar karna jitna paap hota hai utna sehna bhi paap hai (It is as much of a crime to put up with torture as it is to commit one) – Parveen Khan

Zindagi hamein bahut kuch sikhati hai, kabhi hasati hai to kabhi rulati hai… par jo har haal me khush rehte hain, zindagi unke saamne sar jhukati hai (Life teaches us a lot, it makes us laugh sometimes, it makes us cry. But those who remain happy in all circumstances, life bows down in front of them) – Parveen Khan

I would like to reach out to all of you and implore you to watch the episode. You will not be disappointed.

You can watch it here:

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Lost Children of the Prophet

Madrassas are the cornerpiece of Muslim community life. In a disturbing twist, some of them are being used as transit shelters for child trafficking. Or worse, doubling up as sweatshops themselves. NEHA DIXIT reports

Lost Children of the Prophet
PHOTO: VIJAY PANDEY

IN SHAKURPUR Basti, a teeming Muslim-dominated, workingclass neighbourhood in North Delhi, there is a four-storey building with a mosque on the ground floor. This is the Darul Ujloom Nizamia Ghausul Uloom Madrassa. On the face of it, there is nothing to set this madrassa apart from an estimated 35,000 madrassas in the country. But unknown to the community, the Darul Ujloom madrassa is subverting its foundational pact with both Allah and his followers.

In many ways, madrassas are a cornerpiece in Islamic community life. They are seminaries where children go for religious education, and in poor neighbourhoods, for non-formal schooling. Most madrassas in India are affiliated either to the Deobandi, Barelvi or Ahl-i-Hadith sects and are funded by zakat — the com- passionate Islamic practice of people donating 2.5 percent of their income to support hospitals, charities or Islamic schools. Zakat donated to madrassas is meant to pay for maulvis’ salaries and free meals, clothing, books and lodging for children.

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Fight against Anti-Trafficking

Dr Sunitha Krishnan, co-founder of Prajwala, an Anti-Trafficking organization, gave a talk at TED India Pvt Ltd. The talk was very inspiring and it brings forth the awareness of the condition of women being trafficked in India.

It is my earnest request to all my readers to contribute to her organization in every way you can. After all, it takes several drops of water to form an ocean.

When life ends at twelve.

Cross posted from Indian Homemaker’s Blog.

(Yemen) …”a 12-year-old girl died in childbirth after an agonizing 3-day labor.  …young Fawziya was pulled out of school and married to a man twice her age.

She isn’t the only one.

The issue of Yemeni child brides came to the forefront last year, with 8-year-old Nujood Ali who “was pulled out of school and married to a man who beat and raped her within weeks of the ceremony.

To escape, Nujood hailed a taxi — the first time in her life — to get across town to the central courthouse where she sat on a bench and demanded to see a judge.“  [Full story]

Yemen is full of child brides. Roughly half of Yemeni girls are married before 18, some as young as eight. Child marriage, common in South Asia, sub- Saharan Africa and Middle-Eastern countries such as Yemen, is dangerous for brides and their children…”

India is not too different. I have met a few, all unhappy.  One of my maids once confessed that she had a daughter who she had left in her village near Ferozpur. She was devoted to her son, dropped him to a ‘private school’ everyday and bought Bournvita for him. Didn’t she worry about how her other child was doing?

She said her husband hated the girl and she felt the child was safer with her maternal grandmother. When I conveyed my disapproval, she confessed that the daughter was from an earlier marriage to an older man, and although her husband had promised to take care of her, he treated her cruelly.

When she was 12 her family had married her to a 40-year old widower. He raped her and beat her. She escaped and came back to her village. She told her family she would hang herself if they tried to send her back. She was pregnant with that daughter at the time. She never went back and was married again when she was older.

Her daughter was more like a sister to her, she thought of her grandmother as her mother.

Not all girls escape or die, many stay married and live to have many children (healthy or unhealthy) over whom they have no rights. Women in such marriages are another generation, and much younger, and since our society associates wisdom with age, the husband’s word is the last word in all important matters. Dead or alive, they have no life.

Girl for Sale!

In this age, women trafficking is as prevelant as ever! People are shamelessly putting their daughters for sale on websites!

A recent addition to this sorry tale is Rafiq Qureshi, father of Rubina Ali, the child actor who played the role of young Latika in Slumdog Millionaire. He wants to move out of the slums in Mumbai and hence is cashing in on the fame of the innocent 9-year old.

For more info, read here!

Life of bar-dancers!

Bar dancers 

Came across a truly revealing article and thought of sharing some excerpts from the same with you all. The article by Varsha Kale, the president, Bharatiya Bargirls Union, brings out the true picture on life of these girls… The idea behind the whole act of banning the dance bars is indeed very noble. But, is that helping anyone? Or is making matters worse for these people? What surprises me is the fact that govt only plans to (or rather has) ban the dance bars… There are no plans for rehabiliation of the 75,000 bar-girls! This, after snatching away their only source of livelihood!

What is interesting to note here, is that, a lot of these “bar-girls” do not even indulge in body-trade or prostitution. A whole lot of them work as waitresses, singers or dancers!

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Dharavi to be re-furbished!?

Dharavi

It is tough to some times believe that Dharavi is a slum, considering the kind of publicity it receives. Not to mention, even wiki has a page devoted to Asia’s largest slum!

Dharavi has all that a typical slum has – unending stretch of narrow, dirty lanes… open sewers, no access to direct water supply, cramped huts and all kinds of garbage strewn all over… Its difficult to fathom considering the fact that until the late 19th century, this area of Mumbai was mangrove swamp inhabited by Koli fishermen.

Not many know, that Dharavi has large number of small scale industries that produce embroidered garments, export quality leather goods, pottery and plastic. Most of these products are made in tiny manufacturing units spread across the slum and are sold in domestic as well as international markets. The annual turnover of business here is estimated to be more than $650m (£350m) a year – Now thats quite something… But, the deplorable conditions in which the people there live, is, to say the least, inhuman!

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