The Women’s Development Cell at Shivaji College a vibrant and incessantly active collaboration of students and teachers, who work the entire year to create a more inclusive, tolerant and gender sensitized community within campus as well as in society in general. Meaningful programmes are organized at International and National level that could bring awareness about women related issues at a very grass-root level. Students are continuously engaged in activities that make them sensitive towards various forms of gender inequality and the urgent need to redress the same.
The Women’s Development Cell, Shivaji College, organized a number of activities in the academic year 2017-18, in keeping with its objective of gender sensitization:
• Services of Dr. Kushal Kaushik, Counselor were made available for all students for two hours each on Monday and Friday every week. This exercise saw very good response from students, many of whom consulted her at length and benefited from it.
• Women's Development Cell in association with Safe city and She The People TV organized a Legal Round table on August 24, 2017. The expert panel consisted of Ms. Ritu Priya, Program Manager with Hanns Siedel Foundation, Ms. Bhani Rachel Bali, founder of Kranti Kali a multi-platform gender innovation lab working for the gender revolution. Mr. Manu Yadav, Advocate, Supreme Court of India. The discussion focused on how to reconcile IPC law for sexual violence with gender neutral UGC guidelines. The role of social media was highlighted, how it can act as a tool to combat lack of awareness of sexual harassment laws in society. Students were sensitized as to how institutions can support students facing any form of sexual violence at college campus.
• WDC organized a workshop entitled, “Gender and Media: From Margins to Mainstream” on September 19, 2017 in collaboration with Breakthrough and Alliance India. Ms. Simran Sheikh, representing the third gender and with expertise in a range of disciplines including HIV, sexual & reproductive health, human rights, resource mobilisation, enlightened the students with her words. She engrossed the audience in her interactive session, starting with a question – “Who am I?” Pointing towards the society and their acceptance of the other gender, she said that they can call her “A woman with a Man‟s voice”, and also said, “Just because I am wearing a sari does not mean I am a woman.” The other guests, Mr. Pavel Sagolsem and Ms. Priyanka Sinha from Breakthrough, enlightened the students about the role of media in gender discrimination in India.
• WDC, celebrated the International Day for The Girl Child on October 11, 2017 by organizing a diverse palette of events under 'Khwabeeda'. The event saw numerous inter-college competitive events like slam Poetry, Slogan Writing and Poster Making. The Slam Poetry Competition based on the theme 'Women' was the main highlight. It witnessed as many as 30 enthusiastic participants from various colleges. The competition was followed by a Movie screening of Girl Rising. It instilled a spirit to challenge conventions and redefine the very concept of women empowerment.
• Women‟s Development Cell organized its annual Gender Fair on January 30 & 31, 2018 in collaboration with UN Women on the theme “Redefining Womanhood- Inspire, Empower, Act!”. The aim of this fair was to address the sensitive issues concerning women’s rights and empowerment in today’s society. The inaugural ceremony was graced by Dr. Satya Pal Singh, Hon’ble Minister of State, HRD (Higher Education), Ms.Swati Maliwal (Chair Person of Delhi Commission for Women) and Sanya Seth (Program Analyst, UN Women).
Principal, Dr Shashi Nijhawan addressed the audience and stressed the need for organizing fairs like these to sensitize the students through the medium of Art, Culture, theatre, Poetry and discussions. The event began with a flash mob performance by WDC students followed by a theme video.
Inauguration was followed by a panel discussion titled ‘Intersectionality and Gender Inequality’. The panel discussion had panelists from diverse fields. The discussion shed light on how gender interacts with other social identities to shape bias and discrimination. It also discussed the fact that oppressive institutions like racism, sexism and gender discrimination do not work independently of each other.
Renowned film-maker Sudipto Sen and RJ Divya (Radio City) engaged the students through their ‘chai pe charcha’ on pressing women issues. Day one also saw some captivating performances by celebrated comedian Vasu Primlani. She enthralled the audience with her comparison of how Americans and Indians would behave in different situations.
Day two began with a theatre performance by Shilpi Marwaha ‘A Woman Alone’. The play by Dario Fo & Franca Rame was able to strike a chord among women who find it hard to express their inner turmoil. The play touched the soul of students and left its imprint on hypocrisy by society towards women.
The major highlight of the event was the felicitation of Jijabai Achievers Awardees by WDC to celebrate, and honor the contributions of those who fight all odds to uphold the dignity and integrity of women. The award ceremony was graced by dignitaries like Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani (Hon‟ble Minister of Information and Broadcasting & Minister of Textiles, Government of India), Ms. Kamla Bhasin, South Asia Coordinator, One Billion Rising, Smt. Nayana Sahasrabuddhe, Vice President, Bhartiya Stree Shakti.
The Awardees for the current year are Dr Mandakini Amte, Sister Lucy Kurien, Ms Sumita Ghose, Dr. Girish Kulkarni and Dr. Radhike Khanna. Dr Mandakini Amte.
The Jijabai Award ceremony began with a band performance by Nari Gunjan musical band. It is the first all-female band from Bihar. The name of the band literally translates to 'the humming of women'. Drumming gives a sense of empowerment and liberation to these dalit women who, just a few years ago, barely made Rs. 100 a day working as daily-wage laborers.
WDC also released a coffee table book – ‘The Change Makers’ that talks about the life journey of nine exceptional women with iconic vision, who endured adversity, fought misfortune, restructured themselves and transformed the core of society for good.
The gender fair ended with a musical night by Indian Idol singer Mohit Chopra, who through his energy and foot tapping numbers mesmerized the audience. Gender Fair marked a number of inter-college competitive events like Rangoli making, Slam Poetry, Debate, Face Painting and an art exhibition. The exhibition by Masooma Rizvi, showcased a woman's journey from restriction to freedom.
• WDC celebrated International Women’s day on March 8, 2018 with a series of competitive events like photo talk highlighting body image myths and Open Mic – a forum where students could discuss about current women issues. The highlight of the event was a talk by renowned novelist Ms Nasira Sharma talking about women’s right across religion
Women’s Development Cell (WDC) of Shivaji College aims at creating awareness and mobilizing youth to achieve the objective of gender equality. The cell ensured active participation of male faculty and boys of the College towards gender related issues in all the activities endorsed by WDC during the academic year 2016-17.
Women’s Development Cell collaborated with many organizations such as One Billion Rising (OBR), Maitri India, MenEngage Delhi, Centre for Advocacy and Research (CFAR) and Nazariya for organizing various awareness programmes throughout the year.
With the objective to condemn violence against women WDC organized an event “AB AUR NAHIN” on August 26, 2016. The event commenced with a workshop on Domestic Violence conducted by Maitri India followed by an interactive session on Engaging Men for Social justice by Mr. Ahmed Faraz from MenEngage Delhi. Street play Mera Wajood organized by Centre for Advocacy and Research challenged the patriarchal systems prevailing in Modern India. The event concluded with poster making competition.
In its earnest attempt to advocate gender equality, WDC organized an event “Mera Wajood” on 7th October, 2016. The event included many sessions with our collaborators. Nazariya, conducted a talk on ‘Exploring the Self through the Lens of Gender’ which was followed by an interactive session on ‘Exploring the layers of masculinities’ by MenEngage Delhi and One Billion Rising.
Women’s Development Cell, in its efforts to generate awareness against gender related discrimination, organized a National Symposium , sponsored by UGC, on the theme ‘Being a Woman’ on February 2nd & 3rd, 2017.The event highlighted WDC’s resolve to transform the rigid mindsets that are plagued with patriarchal overtones. This two day event comprised of panel discussions and talks by eminent activists working for gender equality, followed by events like flash mob, cultural performances etc. The event was inaugurated by Ms. Kamla Bhasin, South Asia Coordinator, One Billion Rising and famous wrestler cum coach Sh Mahavir Singh Phogat and his wife Smt. Daya Kaur. The inauguration was followed by a panel discussion on “Gender Identity: Myth or Reality” which aimed to critically deliberate on socially constructed perceptions of masculinity and femininity. The fair featured plays by Asmita Theatre Group and Breakthrough along with session by MenEngage, OBR and various inter-college competitive events. The fair concluded with the presentation of Jijabai Achievers’ Awards 2017 and release of coffee table book and a documentary. The awards are conferred upon individuals with extraordinary contributions in the field of women safety, health, social security, education, skill enhancement, etc.
The recipients of the Jijabai Awards for this year are as follows:
• Dr. Rani Bang, Social Activist and researcher working for community health in Gadchiroli
• Dr. V. Rukmini Rao, Executive Director, Gramya Resource Center for Women
• Ms. Chetna Gala Sinha, Founder / Chair, Mann Deshi Bank
• Ms. Manjula Pradeep, Former Executive Director, Navsarjan
• Ms. Binalakshmi Nepram, Founder, Manipuri Women Gun Survivor Network, Manipur (MWGSN)
• Sh. Ajeet Singh, Director and Founder, Guria
• Dr. Chhavi Rajawat, Sarpanch, Village Soda, Rajasthan
WDC released a coffee table book “Udayan: A New Beginning” compiled by students and teachers of Shivaji college. This book is a reflection on metamorphic life journeys of ten ordinary individuals, who promoted gender equality in a way that has transformed the rigid and patriarchal definitions of masculinity. Their incredible contribution to women empowerment aptly defines the role of men as real agents of change in the process of gender equity. This book celebrates the contribution of unsung heroes who have made dedicated efforts in their distinct ways to end the gender stereotypes plaguing our society. It also explores the contribution of transgender community in recognizing perspectives beyond socially constructed gender-norms.
WDC also released a documentary ‘Tera Wajood’. It showcases the journey of four Jijabai Awardees, who in spite of facing all odds did a commendable job in their respective fields.
The WDC and NSS unit of Shivaji College worked in close tandem in the academic year 2015-16. A group of teachers and students visited Gurgaon Gramin Mahila Mandal in Gurgaon for spreading health awareness amongst the female population. A Blood and sugar test along with bone densitometry was done for the female population of the village.A Personality Development workshop, a Plantation Drive and a Blood Donation Camp were organized in the college.
Select students were sent to AIIMS to attend a workshop Mansik Rog: Pahchaan aur Ilaaj (Mental Disorder: Identification and Treatment). A one-month Self-Defense workshop was conducted for girl students by the Delhi Police.
An Awareness Campaign was organized to spread awareness regarding wearing helmet during driving motorcycles. Khadi Diwas was organized to take up the cause of reviving handicrafts in Indian Society. A lecture followed by a discussion was organized on the same day on Relevance of Gandhi Today. Faculty members were sent to interact with administrators in a Delhi Police workshop, where the Commissioner of Police interacted with women NGOs and Help groups. Soft Skills Program was organized for spreading the awareness amongst students. A Cancer Awareness Program was organized, so that many misconceptions regarding the disease could be questioned and negated. An Essay Competition on Shivaji: A Role Model was also organized on Shivaji Jayanti for the students.
A National Seminar on Women, Crime and Law: Protection or Assertion? was organized on March 31, 2016. The Chief Guest for this event was Ms. Sarika Chaudhary, Member, Delhi Commission for Women and the Guest of Honour was Ms. Anju Pandey, Programme Head, UN Women MCO for India, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka, respectively.
The Women’s Development Cell at Shivaji College, was named ‘Urjaa’ from this current academic session. A Medical Awareness programme was organized on 26th Aug 2014. Representatives from Cipla came and talked about adolescent health issues. This was followed by a cancer-awareness session by doctors of Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute and Research Centre. Some types of cancer screening were done for faculty members.
Faculty members from Aditi Mahavidyalaya carried out a workshop related to their Innovation Project titled ‘A journey from just a Girl to an Individual: Adolescent life experiences’ on 16th and 18th Sept 2014. This included sessions by the teachers as well as the counsellor, gynaecologist and Delhi Police for self- defence sessions. This workshop was attended by 50-60 female students.
“Paths less tread” was a motivational programme held on 26th Sept, 2014 to give students an insight into non-conventional professional journeys. The speakers for the session were Ms. Chandan Chaudhary (DCP, Traffic, Western Range) and Ms. Jyoti Verma (Chief Copy editor Times of India Digital i.e., toi.com).
The Women Development Cell has also re-arranged for the availability of the counsellor Dr Kushal Kaushik on Mondays and Fridays between 12 and 2 pm for students, as well as staff members.
Students and some faculty members went on an excursion to the slum area located at back of the college. It was titled as “DASTAK”. This initiative taken by WDC, was to hit at the mentality of the people. It was intended to give the young adults a hands-on experience, of the practical life, being led by the majority of Indians. Student competitions organized under the WDC were a painting, an extempore, a song/poem recitation and a slogan writing competition.
The annual event of Women Development Cell slated held on 31st March 2015 was titled as Gender:- Biological or Sociological? Some significant reflections. This had been organized with the idea of addressing the issue of woman in sociological terms. Jijabai awards were given to Ms. Sushma Bhadu, Dr Sharda Jain, Ms. Meenu Vadera, Ms Upasana Makati and Mr Subhash Mendhapurkar.For the first time in its history, one of the Jijabai Awards was given given to a male who has done outstanding work for the womenfolk in and around his area.
Organ Donation Campaign was organized on 4-5 th September 2013. A walkathon was organized on 4th September, 2013. Flagging off was done by Actor politician Ms. Jaya Prada and famous Cricketer Murali Kartik. On 5th September awareness seminar were held. Dr. Ravi Mohanka, Senior Consultant Liver Transplant, Medanta and Dr. Muneent Kaur Sahi, Transplant Coordinator, Mohan Foundation enlightened the students and staff how they can contribute towards this noble cause. A pledging desk was step up. Large number of students and staff pledged to donate.
A self-defense workshop was successfully conducted in association with the Delhi Police from 17-19 September 2013. Self Defense tricks and tactics were taught to the students. Women Development Cell celebrated “International Day for the Girl Child” on 11 October 2013. A slogan writing competition was held on the theme Save Life : Save Girl Child.
On February 7, 2014 WDC Celebrated Womanhood by organizing a panel discussion to identify reasons both social and psychological, which exist behind reluctant attitude and moral indifference towards the swelling number cases of sexual assault. The event was followed by presentation of Jijabai Women’s Achievers Award and release of the Book “Anujivami : I Survive“, an anthology of real life accounts of some women, who have left a distinctive mark on Indian society, by their unique contributions.
The Women Development Cell held collage making and slogan writing competitions on the occasion of Teachers’ Day on the topic, “Literacy: A Gendered Reality”. A second self-defence workshop was successfully conducted in association with the Delhi Police.
“International Day for the Girl Child” was celebrated on 11 Oct 2012 by Women Development Cell with a lot of enthusiasm. An informative and interactive session “Its time we talk” was organized in association with Youth Concepts (Wellness Division, Pfizer) and FOGSI. A senior doctor engaged the students and faculty of the entire college and addressed their queries on women’s well-being and reproductive health. She also made a powerpoint presentation on the same. A Blood Donation Camp was organized with the aid of Blood Connect, a student initiative (IIT Delhi and University of Delhi). In addition a lecture presentation and signature campaign for eradication of female foeticide were organized in association with Centre for Social Research.
The First International Conference on “Empowerment of Women in Developing Countries” will be held from 06 Feb to 08 Feb 2013 in collaboration with Women’s Studies & Development Centre, University of Delhi, National Institute for Disaster Management, Ministry of Home Affairs, Women’s Federation for World Peace, and Women’s Initiative of Peace in South Asia at Conference Complex, University of Delhi, Delhi 110007. The conference aimed at bringing together voices to elucidate the nature of various efforts at empowering women, as well as the relative success and limitations of these measures. It was a huge success in providing impetus to our endevours.
Some of our efforts in the academic year 2011-12 include a poster designing competition on the theme, “Beti bhi apni hai”; a debate on the topic, “Empowerment of women: Mirage or Reality”; a cervical cancer awareness camp with a talk by the Gynecology Head of Medanta, The Medicity, Gurgaon; a self-defence workshop for female students and teachers in association with the Delhi Police. In addition, a counselor was made available for all members of the college for two hours, twice a week.