E-newsletter Aug-Sept 2009
A communications initiative for a balanced, planned and stable population
Women’s concerns find a voice in rural Maharashtra
PF organises Mahila Gram Sabhas in Shahapur
The focus of Population First’s (PF) interventions under the AMCHI project has been to increase the demand for effective services, thereby improving service delivery and making the providers more accountable. We have been successful in doing this particularly in the fields of health and education by motivating youth and women’s groups in the villages.
Bhajans take Laadli''s message to Ganesha
It’s that time of the year when the city seeks favours from its favourite elephant-headed deity Lord Ganesha. This year Population First appealed to Him to save the girl child through a Laadli Bhajan Sandhya- a presentation of religious songs.
The Chetana Musical Troupe’s Prem Rawat penned the lyrics of the songs infused with messages of gender discrimination, stop sex selection and violence against women. They describe the high status accorded to women in mythology drawing references to the Goddesses and Devis. He questions why this is not reflected in our present society and uses informative placards with facts and figures of the sex ratio and how it is falling due to female foeticide and misuse of technology. There were seven bhajans in the Laadli Bhajan Sandhya presented by the team of eight members. The programme duration was approximately an hour and included information on sex ratio and its consequences.
It was held at the following Ganesh pandals:
This is the fourth year Population First has adopted this strategy of tying-up with Ganesh Mandals to adopt the Laadli theme
during the 10-day Ganesh festival. In the previous years, mandals have either adopted Laadli as the theme for their audio-visual tableau, allotted space for street play performances by PF’s theatre groups, film-screenings or helped organised theme-based competitions and open discussions with women on the issue of sex selection and gender relations.
Laadli Antakshari by Maheshwari community
We are happy to report that following our ward level Consultative Meeting ‘SOS to Stop Sex Selection’ on February 4, this year we have successfully implemented one of the community-level action points. The Laadli Antakshari was suggested by a representative of the Maheshwari Yuvak Pratishtan, which is a Community-Based Organisation (CBO) of the Maheshwari Marwari (MYP) community. The youth group took this initiative to create awareness about the issue of sex selection in their community where son preference continues to be strong.
The Laadli Youth Fest 2009 is back!
Population First’s (PF) Laadli Youth Fest is being held in over 55 Mumbai colleges starting September 14, 2009. We have been actively working with the college youth under the Laadli campaign, particularly with the support of the National Service Scheme (NSS) cell of the University of Mumbai. So when we approached the NSS programme officers (POs) they promised their whole-hearted participation. Laadli is recognised as a university-level project for the NSS, thus giving us access to many colleges of Mumbai and Thane. Besides, the Women’s Development Cell and Sociology departments of many colleges are supporting the Laadli campaign and will participate in the event.
The PF team oriented the POs about the Youth Fest and the objectives of the campaign. A kit including posters announcing the various competitions, a handout with the rules and a letter from the NSS cell has been sent to each college.
Last date for competitions
Oct 5 * Street play script submission
Oct 12 Essay, short story, slogan, poster, photography
Oct 19 Short films, radio jingle, promotional material
* Inter-collegiate street play competition will be scheduled in the second or third week of October, 2009. Exact date and venue will be advised separately.
The Laadli Youth Fest was envisaged as a means to understand how the youth perceive gender issues by giving them an opportunity to expresses themselves through creative competitions. Students participated in the previous Fests with great enthusiasm and we were able to reach out to over 10,000 college students in Mumbai. The most important thing is we have set the students thinking on issues like gender discrimination, inequality of the sexes, female foeticide etc – issues that were hitherto nowhere on their radar. The quality of some of the entries in terms of both creative concept and execution has been excellent, and some of them have been used and mass-produced for the Laadli campaign. As promised, the respective student has been credited with the work, which has motivated colleges to encourage student participation.
Let’s see how Mumbai’s youth respond to the Call for Entries to the Laadli Youth Fest 2009. For more details please contact: Ms. Bhavika on 98677 53554 or Ms. Nivedita on 99694 26028 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Shetty House, 3rd floor, 101 M.G. Road, Mumbai 400 001, India
Tel: 91 22 2262 6672 / 76 Fax: 91 22 2270 2217