Thursday, June 11, 2009

All guns blazing...

Mumbai is lucky to have a woman as Sheriff. Dr. Indu Shahani probably has a fan club that is as big as any movie star's - but her 'performance' is of an entirely different kind. As Sheriff and Principal of a leading commerce college where her father was the founder - principal, here's one woman who plays several critical roles with enormous aplomb.... and efficiency. As Sheriff of India's premier city, she has made the most of her ceremonial, non-executive position, by really pushing for change in areas where it is most needed - like women's issues. I was invited by her as chief guest at a workshop on " Orientation on sexual violence against women ". This was the third in an on- going series that sees over 7o NGOs participating and working together for a common cause - a rare enough feat. Last year, Indu started "1298 Women's Helpline'' with the assisstance of these NGOs and also launched Ambulance Access For All, which provides a 24x7 service. 1298 has received over 8000 calls from women in distress. There is also a directory for women launched by Sachin Tendulkar some time ago.
I was there to listen and learn. My take- away is that all these initiatives are excellent in themselves, but would be far more effective if they were to work still more closely together and harness their energies collectively. Shweta Mangal, along with 5 others has succeeded in replicating the ambulace model in 3 cities and now runs 91 such, well- equipped units that can reach a person in trouble within 15 minutes. She sagely says that since people don't always value a free service, her company charges fees depending on the person's financial capacity to pay.
Our Mumbai police have done a fairly good job with their 103 Helpline for Women. I was happy to note the presence of three women cops who were attending the workshop.
As in most such non-profit ventures driven by idealism and little else, funding remains the number one priority. There are enough charged up young volunteers offering time and expertise. But additional money would definitely help.
For all those of you who are interested in contributing time\effort\money, here are the relevant contact details - dial 1298 for the ambulance service. And the Sheriff can be accessed on email : There's also a website:
Like I said in my short speech, women need to know they aren't alone. That is key.Everything follows from the reassurance that help is but a phone call away.

I'll be away at our home in Alibag for the weekend. The next post will be on sunday night. Inshaallah!
I shall leave you with a little titillation - Bipasha wants her curves back!! She has said with the panache of veteran sex symbol that in her estimate Indian men go for curvaceous women. Honey.... how right you are! Well, Bipasha lost her curves for a commercial. Now she is getting them back - also for a commercial??? Watch this space. The Waxing and Waning of Bips may generate as much media interest ( more, in all likelihood) than the solar eclipse next fortnight.


ZiLliOnBiG said...

absolutely right on the womens issues. Thanks for sharing this info.

Re:Bips, since long i have eliminated her from my list of desirable sexy women. She has looked increasingly plastic since her evolution ( of the way she looks) from the Zakhm Days.TC:)

The abstract scientist said...

Hi ZB, its Jism not zakhm I think.

She was a good role model to youngsters because she worked hard on her fitness to lose weight unlike many ladies who crash diet.

I like her especially her legs.

AnjuGandhi said...

women are the women's biggest enemy. till the root cause of all women's problem is dealt with , we will go on adding to helplines and other aid centres. Why don't women realise that if the status of women in our society has to be changed then they themselves should stop harrassing , torturing other woman and also stop aiding and abetting men who victimize women

Anon said...

Womankind needn't suffer in silence any more
Now help & support can be there for sure.

Just knowing it's there can help oh so much.
Like a gentle whisper, a reassuring touch.
To know there is help which can come very soon.
Or else you believe you are facing your doom!

How many women live through immense amounts of pain of pressure?
Nobody knowing, or caring what happens to such a treasure?

Each girl child born to this world is a blessing a boon.
Not to be manhandled, beaten, humiliated by some goon.

Speak up lovely ladies, speak out loud for sure.
Let the world hear this message, it could save a life so pure!

ZiLliOnBiG said...

Well, i came to correct myself on Jism, and realized i have already been corrected!!

Thanks Abstract:))))

kala said...

You have gone clinical now and the ambulance idea is good to save time. Domestic violence and other sorts of violence is there in 90 percent of our homes and outside, only the women dont complain for the sake of family and children. District Collectors must come out of their offices and do something positive to make their districts liveable for women and children and also decent males. Unfortunately, most of their time is taken by the politicians leaving them tired and anxious. It is left to NGOs to do the needful.

krish said...

hy thr

Just a though.....(not a counter argument) the number of men who go through bad marriages bec of women (u know wht i mean) wht about v ever think of any kind of social security for thm.....domesitc voilence is a complete no --no--we must uplift these women........and punish the men involved (and yes women torture women more if not the husbands...)



URVI said...

Yeah Dr Indu shahani has a very a progressive outlook and its grt tht she is Mumbai's Sheriff. I can say this as i hv been her student.

anamika said...

Effort made by Dr Shahani is appreciable and celebrities and social activist publicizing it defines the path and direction more.Women have been facing violence since ages and there are many reason behind it be it lack of education,family pressure ,social insecurity and what not and as said above women is an enemy of another women.If every women helps the other women facing violence this indeed can make lot of difference..

I am glad bollywood has started thinking of curves again which includes Kareena and Bipasha now because it has almost come on most of the women psyche to be thin instead being healthy..

will catch u on sunday.Happy weekend:)

numerounity said...

Wish Kolkata Trafiic police too pay heed and makes something as "helpful" for Females here too!!!

The auto wallahs and taxi operators are pathetic!!

Manjusn said...

Talking about gender sensitivity and gender equality only on platforms where a similar thinking group meets is useless untill it is obviously seen 'out there' in every area including the highest 'working committee'(Lok Sabha,Vidhan Sabha etc).
And that aint happening till there are 50% women representing half the population[seats for men are not snatched :)].
Therefore elect a man and a woman from each constituency. Bharatiya Stree Shakti (NGO) is already working towards promoting this idea.

Sidhusaaheb said...

If I remember correctly, Bipasha Basu was accused, not so long ago, by a plastic surgeon of non-payment of the bill for silicon implants in


God speed to the sherrif's initiatives!


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