Madhuri Pawar, 33, used to be awestruck watching her brother fly kites when she was a child.
On Wednesday, she will be the one holding the kite string for the first time.
With her will be 200-odd women, most of them have never stepped outside, flying kites. A non-governmental organisation, Akshara, along with Savitribai Phule Gender resource centre of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, has organised a Makar Sankranti event with a difference.
The idea, the organisers say, is to send out a message that public open spaces are as much a woman’s, as much they are for a man. “The private public divide in the society has ensured that most women stay indoors, and as a result, be devoid of any interaction with these spaces. Hence, the aim is to make women feel confident about reclaiming that lost space,” said joint director, Akshara, Nandita Shah.
Urmilla Salonkhe, programme officer for the project, said: “Stepping out of their homes is not possible for the women. Even if they do, there are various factors, which don’t allow them ownership of public open spaces as much as men do.”
Pawar agreed. “Currently, any public open spaces that you see will have next to no women participating in any activity. Daughters are discouraged from continuing their sports, after they attend a certain age. This initiative will help changing that.”
Shah said the initiative will include women from all age groups, “from daughters to their mothers”.
Actor Amritha Rao will be a part of the initiative, which will be held on Wednesday, at the Lalit Kala Kendra, in Lower Parel. Entry is open to all.