NEW DELHI: At a function organised by Social Development Foundation on the death anniversary of Savitri Bai Phule, the foundation’s activists from different parts of Uttar Pradesh showcased their work. Women of manual-scavenging communities, who had left their ‘traditional occupation’ and are now engaged in stitching, sewing and tailoring work, were also present. A surprise visitor was author Tasleema Nasreen, who listened to the struggles of the Dalit and Muslim women and saw how the foundation’s work was complementing their activities and strengthening their efforts. Babu Gogineni and Narendra Nayak also spoke in the programme. About 50 activists, who belong to the most marginalized communities, shared their experiences. There was Rehana from Saharanpur who displayed her beautiful works of stitching and natural colours. She had fought with the dominant groups for her rights and acquired her ancestral property. There was Sangeeta who explained SDF’s work in the Deoria region with the most marginalised communities. Activists, academics, lawyers based in Delhi also participated. -Vidya Bhushan Rawat
‘Mountain man Dashrath Manjhi a source of inspiration’
GAYA (Bihar): Aamir Khan, who has carved out a niche for himself in the Hindi film world through his innovative initiatives and Uday Shankar, CEO of Star TV India, described Mahadalit late Dashrath Manjhi as a source of inspiration and saluted his indomitable courage. The Bhuvan of Lagaan, who visited the Gehlor valley in Antari block of Gaya district on 11 March to shoot an episode of Satyamev Jayate Season-2, met the family members of Manjhi and said that Star India team would soon take an initiative to help them. Earlier, the Mr Perfectionist and Uday Shankar visited Manjhi’s memorial in Gehlor valley.
In a related development, on 1 March, Bihar RJD leader Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav also reached Dashrath Nagar in Gehlor valley to present Rs 1 lakh to Manjhi’s son Bhagirath and daughter-in-law Basanti Devi. He also assured them that Rs 10,000 would be provided to the family every month through Maan-Mati trust run by his wife and former MP Ranjita Ranjan -Ashish/ Pappu Yadav
Published in the April 2014 issue of the Forward Press magazine
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