Glimpses of Asia: Success!

GLIMPSES OF ASIA   FUNDRAISER FOR APNE AAP Friday April 11 A great night for  Glimpses of Asia and a great event for Apne Aap.      One hundred and fifty people crowded the house and garden near Khan Market graciously offered by one of our AWA members. Every photo was auctioned and 38 lucky guests came away high bidders. Our colleagues from Apne Aap offered news of the organization and provided inspiration for further bidding, though we missed Apne Aap founder Ruchira Gupta who had to be in New York that night. Apne Aap works in Delhi, West Bengal and Bihar; today…

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It’s All Local – and Global

Women in India, those living on the equivalent of $2 a day, often struggle to advance in education or jobs because of time spend caring for others.  (This  ‘Care Imperative’ has been noted recently by UN Women.)  Their lives are too constrained by the human imperatives of unpaid care for others to be able to take advantage of better opportunities. And India is not unique among developing countries. But what about elsewhere, in richer countries? No surprise: a persistent gender pay gap persists due to guessed it...women’s responsibilities for care.  American culture often shames women into care giving responsibilities…

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The Care Imperative

Women and the MDG (Millennium Development Goals) What About All That Unpaid Labour? Two ideas are promising, both for proponents of gender equity and for policy makers looking to boost economic growth: Women's empowerment is now widely seen as central to reducing poverty and creating better health outcomes. Countries with greater gender equity in employment and education have higher rates of human development and economic growth. Super, you think.  Everyone will now have an interest in greater gender equity throughout society. So, the logic goes, to improve overall economic growth and human development, get those women jobs and political power. Voila.…

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Feedback from NGO Connect

Great feedback from the NGOs who participated last Thursday!  I came away with a brain full of new ideas and a bag full of business cards.  I know others did as well. Comments included: useful and thought provoking I enjoyed meeting super dedicated people who work so hard really good for other people in the NGO, not just the project leader such a great day useful notes afterward; so glad to have them roundtable participation so valuable when is the next one? thanks for the opportunity to be part of a very meaningful NGO connect the platform opened doors for…

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The Poop Guy – Sanitation in India

For good reason, India is often called the open defecation capital of the world.  The fact that toilets are intensely stigmatized has a huge, deleterious impact on public health.  On an personal level, the burden and cost of this preference for public urination and defecation falls disproportionately on women and girls. For all intents and purposes, public spaces in much of India belong to men. Women are not welcome, whether or not they are overtly banned.  They may be stared at, groped, verbally hassled, or worse, but they also have no place to relieve themselves.  In India a woman cannot…

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Field Trip – Holy Family Asha Niwas

An outing: six of the girls from Holy Family, a visiting colleague from the US, and yours truly went to the Nehru Museum and Planetarium last Saturday.  I take as many girls as my car can hold (six if they're older, eight if they're little) on different outings when they are not in school. On other days we've been to factories, parks, the Purana Quila, restaurants, offices, historical sights, a hotel and a very cool indoor climbing wall. But this time we chose the Nehru Museum, had a picnic, and visited the Planetarium for a sky show.  It was a…

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NGO Connect

The first "NGO Connect" gathering of Delhi-based NGOs was held today at the Eros Hotel, Nehru Place.  I have been working with colleagues on this initiative for nearly a year and we are thrilled at the results.  I presented my findings and recommendations on NGOs in the Marketplace. The purpose of the workshop was networking and learning from each other. Thirty NGOs (see list below) participated in four sessions: - Using Volunteers - NGOs in the Marketplace: Income Generation or No Income Generation? - Best Practices - Challenges: Panel Discussion This event was organized by a consortium of the American…

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Apne Aap

Yes, that's Gloria Steinem and yes, this is a link to Apne Aap. But the connection is apt. Steinem is 'mother' to many a feminist organization, and Apne Aap is a fitting daughter.  This book of Steinem's writings was edited and annotated by Ruchira Gupta, head of Apne Apt, with the goal of spreading Steinem's works to an Indian audience. Apne Aap was founded by twenty-two women from Mumbai's red light district, with a vision of "a world where no woman could be bought or sold."  Those twenty-two women had been part of an award winning documentary (The Selling of Innocents,…

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New Facts

New facts: - The Nehru Museum is free, but the Planetarium Star Show (Hindi or English) is not. I discovered this today with six girls from Holy Family Asha Niwas. - The first Indian in space was in a Soyuz capsule. - You can picnic on the lawn in FRONT of the museum, but not in back.  There is no apparent reason. - Elements (i.e. helium, hydrogen, carbon - think early universe formation) seem to have no Hindi translation. - Flowers appear in parks that seemed nothing but trash merely weeks ago. Tiny vest-pocket pieces of greenery have exploded in…

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President Jimmy Carter

President Jimmy Carter and the Carter Center have a long history of diving into unpopular causes.  His diplomatic efforts stretch from the Sudan to the Middle East, Haiti, Bosnia, and North Korea.  He has taken on, and stuck with, programs to eradicate Guinea Worm and schistosomiasis in West Africa, two diseases which are incredibly debilitating and can be prevented but do not make it to the priority list of governments and foundations looking for sexy, technology-oriented new initiatives. He has supported legalized abortion in the US and demonstrated that a deeply religious person can support that position. He has promoted…

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