21st June 2020
The Changing Narrative in Literary Fiction
#India – Many ‘Englishes’ !!
Do regional nuances tinge a story?Does the name of a character define him/her ?How does a writer underscore the central idea of a story? In the past decade, the resurgence of ‘re-telling’ folk tales and mythological stories through a main character, is very popular in India, given our oral tradition. This is a ‘comfort zone’ that wins over the readers, with the right amount of empathy and fresh perspective. Dystopian tales are a favourite too.
I asked : “How have you changed the narrative?”
Writers from Academia, the Foreign Service, Education -International Programmes of Study, the Media & the Military Services at #KLFBhavaSamvad
17th May 2020
Poetic Reflections in Challenging Times.
Celebrating Women Writers – Literature in the present Context, held on March 14th 2020 at the India International Centre, Delhi.
Is a poem is meant to be overheard ? How do you know it is ready to ‘stand-alone’? Are our words ‘moments of truth’?
Appreciate Sahana Ahmed’s blog that highlights our event:
Adult Literacy – Facts & Fiction , held on September 8th 2016 at the India International Centre, Delhi.
Moderator: Smt Jayshree Misra Tripathi, Independent Consultant, International Education & Adult Women’s Literacy.
The complexities attached to Literacy in rural India – Facts & Fiction
Speakers: Captain Indraani Singh, Founder Literacy India & Senior Air India Pilot; Ms. Purnima Gupta, Nirantar; and Dr. Aapga Singh COO of Rotary International Literacy Mission
The dichotomy between private, state and rural educators – their training qualifications and teaching methods; the shortage of trainer teachers in rural areas – immediate actions by Government
Speaker: Dr. S.Y. Shah, Director, International Institute of Adult and Lifelong Education, Vice- President, Indian Adult Education Association
Andragogy – Teaching Adults is very different from teaching children – Training the Trainers
Speakers: Dr. Shalini Advani Director Pathways World School, Noida; and Ms. Meeta Sengupta Education Strategist
The Global Learning Crisis also includes the acute shortage of teachers at all levels (UNESCO report) – What may India propose?
Speaker: Ms. Meeta Sengupta
The difficulties of implementing and sustaining adult literacy programmes for women with disabilities
Speaker: Smt Priyo Lall , Director, Special Education, Raphael Ryder Cheshire International
#HELP HER WALK FORWARD held on March 30 th 2016 at the India International Centre, Delhi. Twitter @iicdelhi
Post-Event feedback from some of the panelists on what they think is feasible to “help / support / encourage / enable /empower” women from distressful circumstances and go forward with strength :
Dr. Monica Das –Associate Professor in Economics, Gargi College, Delhi University (formerly).Taken voluntary retirement in the year 2011 after a tenure of thirty five years of service. Currently Fellow at DCRC (Developing Countries Research Centre), Delhi University. Visiting scholar at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada in the year 2000. Member IAFFE (International Association for Feminist Economics), Nebraska, USA . Fields of special interest: Gender studies focusing on Gender Justice;Chairperson/Managing Trustee of Fakir Mohan Foundation (FMF), New Delhi.Authored Books on Gender/Girl Child/Women’s issues pertaining to Economics. Published by Penguin and Harper Collins
“Ms. Jayshree Misra Tripathi’s initiative of holding a discussion session under the title ‘Help Her Walk Forward’ held at India International Centre, Kamladevi Complex, Seminar Hall-2 on Wednesday, March 30th, 2016 is a definite step towards the goal of mobilizing people’s thoughts for a consolidation of efforts in containing the issue of gender inequality.
UN women believes that it is critical to address the structural causes of gender inequality, such as violence against women, unpaid care work, limited control over assets and property, and unequal participation in private and public decision-making.The problem of gender inequality I believe is due to the universal phenomenon of what I call the ‘Apartheid of Gender’. To begin with, I feel that the crucial question is when all policies and programs are in place, why are things not happening in the way they should? The answer to this according to me is, what is not in place is an effective outreach programme, lack of women’s work participation and women not coming out of the mind-set of considering themselves inferior. My suggestions are the following.Various women’s groups are actively engaged in making a dent on the problems but operate in a scattered manner. Consolidating all these initiatives in a collective effort will go a long way in improving the situation- so far as women are concerned. A gender sensitization module interwoven with an environmental sensitization component can be put in place & implemented for added effectiveness. This should be carried out across schools on a pan- Indian basis. This is a must for “Gender sensitization refers to the modification of behavior by raising awareness of gender equality concerns” (wikipedia).Gap between research and field work is something which needs to be filled up.Men’s support for women’s issues is of crucial importance. This should go hand- in- hand with structuring civil societyparticipation. Despite the plethora of policies & programmes, there is still a lack of data & statistical substantiation of facts in many areas of economic and political inquiry. Surveys & procuring data is of utmost importance.United Nation Development Programme (UNDP)’s ‘Sustainable Livelihood Approach’s (SLA) program should take to account the cultural milieu of the geographical area in question. Bio village eco technical model would go a long way in asset creation and taking care of inequality issues.A chain of training institutions, at the regional, provincial and national levels, could be mandated to develop the capacities of elected representatives and government officials with a special focus on gender responsive governance.The era of globalization has resulted in the merger of global capital with Indian monopoly capital, resulting in a steep rise in the potential and strength of the corporate sector. Whether there has been any trickle- down effect, is a moot point.Grassroots realities must be understood for the sake of transformational politics and economics. Decentralization is the instrument through which democratization can be effected and granting more power to grass roots governance bodies (the panchayats) is key to the success of the whole process of decentralization and democratization.The fact of the potentially unequal fallout from India’s underlying growth strategy, by attaching a premium to market-driven as opposed to state-driven growth, is disquieting. The ‘second generation’ of reforms has yet to be undertaken in any significant measure and this is imperative for a consummate solution to the whole problem.”
Reena Puri – is currently working with the publishing company ACK-Media as Executive Editor of Amar Chitra Katha, the comic-magazine series on mythology, folklore, classics and history, for children. She has led the team in creating titles since 2008. She has also created a new range of picture storybooks for younger children in the narrative format. Reena was Associate Editor of Tinkle, the comic-magazine for children in Mumbai from 1991 to 2005. She worked with and learned about comics, and more importantly about writing for children, from the legendary Anant Pai. Her special concerns are the environment and animal rights and she has worked towards raising awareness in children about the natural world around them, their responsibilities and their rights. She has worked in the field of care and rescue of street animals for the last 15 years.
“Encouraging and empowering women to walk forward should be an involuntary act, a natural part of our lives. Most of us come across a thousand opportunities to reach out and help other women. We can do it – naturally, without aggression, without the roll of drums or the announcing of a crusade. Women who have faced abuse often see themselves as lesser than their husbands, fathers or brothers. We must help them raise their heads and see themselves as individuals with rights. We must help them recognise their desires, and enable them to fulfill those desires.Most Indian women shy away from confrontation. They also hesitate to rock the boat. They are happiest in their families where they can nurture and care, and in turn are cared for. What they need is the power of decision-making, economic independence and self-confidence. Those of us who are lucky to have these must reach out and help other women achieve the same. It could be just time spent talking, motivating, opening new avenues, introducing them to concepts like saving, making them aware of their rights.Women in distress learn to be silent. They are told that their suffering is justified and it is best to keep quiet about it. The stories of women need to be heard. They cannot be swept under the carpet, wished away, unacknowledged. We need to help make their voices heard. Writers, poets and publishers need to take up these stories and put them out for the world to read and take notice.Most women who work as domestic helps and live difficult lives, dream of a better future for their children. We can make that happen by supporting the education of a child. And this, not by merely paying the fees at school but by following up, befriending the child and seeing that the education adds up to something. Communities that employ housemaids should provide restrooms and toilets for them. These should be separate from the ones for drivers and other male staff. Sexual harassment is rampant in such situations. There should also be a place to rest if there is a time gap between houses. A place where they can eat their lunch and stretch their legs. There is a tendency to see these things as being too luxurious but they are not. They are basic needs. (I am including housemaids as I do believe that most of them come from distressful backgrounds. Their place of work should also be a getaway for them to recuperate and feel stronger.)There has to be some legislation that allows a child to be admitted to school without having to provide the father’s name. In my brief interaction with sex workers in Pune this was the main complaint. These children were being deprived of education just because they could not produce a father. As a result the girls were forced to follow the same profession as their mothers even if they did not want to, and the boys drifted into crime or became pimps themselves. The practice has changed in a few private schools but it needs to be implemented everywhere. A mother’s name should be enough. Start a petition, talk at forums about this problem, research it and write about itwe could at least start something.”
Alpana Chaturvedi – is General Manager, Big Spring Client Service- Alpana oversees trainings and client interactions to ensure high service standards. She has over 2 decades of experience in the aviation industry and has been actively associated with training for almost 15 years. Prior to Big Spring, Alpana headed IATA’s Regional Training Centre in India. She started her career with Air India, moved on to Airports Authority of India and then the Bird Group, where she helped establish an IATA accredited academy.
“Swami Vivekananda, once said, the best thermometer to measure the development of a nation is in its treatment of its women. Thank you, Jayshree, for waking us up (or at least waking ME up!) and for pushing me to participate in this till I said yes! Frankly, I am neither a women’s activist, nor am I involved with women’s organization. But does one really have to be an activist, or be involved with women’s organizations, or lead marches against injustice meted out to women to know that a large number of women need help, support, empathy from us ?I don’t think so. Even when one leads a normal routine life, reading the newspaper, or watching tv, or talking to the young girls who work in your house, you realize that even though the world has changed in many ways, we see women heading banks, CEOs of multi nationals, running governments, but at the same time, all around us there are girls and women who need our “Help in walking forward”. There is still a lot of ground that remains to be covered. We cannot be complacent or turn our heads from reality thinking that “all is well” as words like “help”, “empower” are demeaning to women”.