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Empowering women with hope

Women have finally chosen their path of self-reliance and are bringing constructive changes in society. NGOs like Katha provide impetus to their efforts, writes Latika Gupta.

art and culture Updated: Mar 26, 2009 19:01 IST
Latika Gupta
Latika Gupta
Hindustan Times

A few years ago Neena (name changed) was an underprivileged girl, but now she runs her own beauty parlour and helps her mother in running their family.

She says the parlour business gives her an opportunity to provide better life to herself and her family and also helps her in securing her rights as a woman that have long denied.

Speaking in an event organised by an NGO Katha, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit discussed how women have chosen their own path of self-reliance and brought constructive changes in the society.

"We started working in 1990, and at that time our aim was to provide education to kids living in slums. But eventually we realized that kids were not allowed to study, instead they were forced to work to increase the family income. So we shifted our concern from children to their mothers who were working women. We found a large part of their income was usurped by their husbands and wasted in alcohol and gambling," Geeta Dharamrajan, founder of Katha said.

"We started working with these women and gave them teacher training, so that they can teach children and make some money as well for their livelihood," she added.

Sheila Dixit especially pointed out issues concerning women living in slums. She was impressed how women have empowered themselves for their welfare and upbringing in spite of their hardships.

Offering all kinds of assistance to women for their empowerment, she said, "If any woman has any personal problems, they can visit me at my place (3 Janpath) in the morning and I would be ready to sort out their problems."

She also highlighted the condition of women, especially the widowed and the aged, in our society. "Our government will provide pension of Rs 1,000 per month to widows and aged women," she said.

Katha had organised a series of events to celebrate womanhood called 'Dilli ki Shaan' from March 8-25.

First Published: Mar 26, 2009 17:12 IST