Saturday, April 30, 2011

Say no to the new internet censorship law in India!

India Puts Tight Leash on Internet Free Speech
Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

An Internet cafe in New Delhi. New rules require Web sites and service
providers to remove some content that officials and even private
citizens find objectionable.
Published: April 27, 2011

MUMBAI, India ˜ Free speech advocates and Internet users are
protesting new Indian regulations restricting Web content that, among
other things, can be considered „disparaging,‰ „harassing,‰
„blasphemous‰ or „hateful.‰

The new rules, quietly issued by the country‚s Department of
Information Technology earlier this month and only now attracting
attention, allow officials and private citizens to demand that
Internet sites and service providers remove content they consider
objectionable on the basis of a long list of criteria.

Critics of the new rules say the restrictions could severely curtail
debate and discussion on the Internet, whose use has been growing fast
in India.

The list of objectionable content is sweeping and includes anything
that „threatens the unity, integrity, defense, security or sovereignty
of India, friendly relations with foreign states or public order.‰

The rules highlight the ambivalence with which Indian officials have
long treated freedom of expression. The country‚s constitution allows
„reasonable restrictions‰ on free speech but lawmakers have
periodically stretched that definition to ban books, movies and other
material about sensitive subjects like sex, politics and religion.

An Indian state, for example, recently banned an American author‚s new
biography of the Indian freedom fighter Mohandas Gandhi that critics
have argued disparages Mr. Gandhi by talking about his relationship
with another man.

Although fewer than 10 percent of Indians have access to the Internet,
that number has been growing fast ˜ especially on mobile devices.
There are more than 700 million cellphone accounts in India.

The country has also established a thriving technology industry that
writes software and creates Web services primarily for Western

Even before the new rules ˜ known as the Information Technology
(Intermediaries guidelines) Rules, 2011 ˜ India has periodically tried
to restrict speech on the Internet. In 2009, the government banned a
popular and graphic online comic strip, Savita Bhabhi, about a
housewife with an active sex life. Indian officials have also required
social networking sites like Orkut to take down posts deemed offensive
to ethnic and religious groups.

Using a freedom of information law, the Center for Internet and
Society, a Bangalore-based research and advocacy group, recently
obtained and published a list of 11 Web sites banned by the Department
of Information Technology. Other government agencies have probably
blocked more sites, the group said.

The new Internet rules go further than existing Indian laws and
restrictions, said Sunil Abraham, the executive director for the
Center for Internet and Society. The rules require Internet
„intermediaries‰ ˜ an all-encompassing group that includes sites like
YouTube and Facebook and companies that host Web sites or provide
Internet connections ˜ to respond to any demand to take down offensive
content within 36 hours. The rules do not provide a way for content
producers to defend their work or appeal a decision to take content

„These rules overly favor those who want to clamp down on freedom of
expression,‰ Mr. Abraham said. „Whenever there are limits of freedom
of expression, in order for those limits to be considered
constitutionally valid, those limits have to be clear and not be very
vague. Many of these rules that seek to place limits are very, very

An official for the People‚s Union for Civil Liberties, an advocacy
group based in New Delhi, said on Wednesday that it was considering a
legal challenge to the constitutionality of the new rules.

„What are we, Saudi Arabia?‰ said Pushkar Raj, the group‚s general
secretary. „We don‚t expect this from India. This is something very

An official at the Department of Information Technology, Gulshan Rai,
did not return calls and messages.

The rules are based on a 2008 information technology law that India‚s
Parliament passed shortly after a three-day siege on Mumbai by
Pakistan-based terrorists that killed more than 163 people. That law,
among other things, granted authorities more expansive powers to
monitor electronic communications for reasons of national security. It
also granted privacy protections to consumers.

While advocates for free speech and civil liberties have complained
that the 2008 law goes too far in violating the rights of Indians,
Internet firms have expressed support for it. The law removed
liability from Internet intermediaries as long as they were not active
participants in creating content that was later deemed to be

Subho Ray, the president of the Internet and Mobile Association of
India, which represents companies like Google and eBay, said the
liability waiver was a big improvement over a previous law that had
been used to hold intermediaries liable for hosting content created by
others. In 2004, for instance, the police arrested eBay‚s top India
executive because a user of the company‚s Indian auction site had
offered to sell a video clip of a teenage couple having sex.

„The new I.T. Act (2008) is, in fact, a large improvement on the old
one,‰ Mr. Ray said in an e-mail response to questions.

Mr. Ray said his association had not taken a stand on the new
regulations. An India-based spokeswoman for Google declined to comment
on the new rules, saying the company needed more time to respond.

Along with the new content regulations, the government also issued
rules governing data security, Internet cafes and the electronic
provision of government services.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Film festival for works that have received support from foundations, etc - deadline June 6!

Unfortunately there is a $60 application fee, but it's a unique festival so may be worth it for some... See the actual post here.

The Council on Foundations and Grantmakers in Film + Electronic Media (GFEM) are seeking submissions of films and videos for the Council on Foundations' 45th Annual Film & Video Festival, to be held April 29-May 1, 2012, in Los Angeles.


The festival showcases films, videos and television programs that have received support from foundations, corporate giving programs and donor networks with the aim of encouraging grantmakers to use media to advance their philanthropic goals. The festival promotes foundation support of creative, high-quality productions that expand the boundaries of the use of media for the social good.

Submissions may target local, state, regional, national and international audiences. The committee will give special consideration to projects that demonstrate innovative strategies for distribution, outreach, public education and civic engagement such as multi-platform distribution through websites, social networking or mobile applications; distribution through schools, libraries or the meetings and conferences of nonprofit organizations; or other comprehensive distribution/engagement plans.


To be eligible, projects must have received full or partial funding for production, distribution and/or outreach from a private, community, operating or corporate foundation; a corporate giving program; or a donor network. The grantmaker does not have to be a member of the Council or GFEM. The Council will not consider submissions that have been funded solely by public agencies or federal or state grants. The films and videos must have been completed within the two years prior to June 6, 2011. Works may be of any length - from feature length to a brief public service announcement. They can be dramatic narrative or documentary. No works in progress will be considered. All submission forms, DVDs, and entry fees must be received by June 6.


Organizations and filmmakers may submit as many film and video projects as they wish. For each submission, the Council must receive the following by June 6:

  • The submission form, completed online at Print a copy of your form before you submit it electronically.
  • Five printed copies of the submission form, along with five DVD copies of your film.
  • A check in the amount of $60 payable to the Council on Foundations for each submission. This fee helps cover a portion of the program's administrative expenses.

DVD submission instructions:

  • Do not include more than one project on a single DVD.
  • Films in languages other than English must have subtitles or be dubbed. DVDs must be formatted in Region 0 or 1.
  • If submitting a film from a multi-part series, submit only one episode, up to 90 minutes, that stands on its own.

Projects may be submitted by filmmakers, project directors, sponsors or funding sources. If possible, the person or organization submitting the work should provide published reviews of the work, articles about the project or funders, and promotional and outreach materials, such as stills, brochures, press releases, etc.

The Council on Foundations can only be responsible for the safety of your work while it's in our possession - from the time it arrives at the Council's offices to the time it is returned to you. If damage or loss occurs during this time frame, the Council will compensate you for the DVD(s) lost or damaged. Please do not submit original materials. DVDs and submitted materials will not be returned. Please direct all questions to Evelyn Gibson at


Projects will be reviewed by a program curator and a diverse screening committee consisting of grantmakers, filmmakers and media users. Projects will be partially judged on the quality of the storytelling and the film's production values. Foundations are interested in films that can be used to bring attention to important issues, introduce audiences to new or unfamiliar cultures, or provide new information including ideas that counter-balance conventional thinking. In addition to a film's content, therefore, 50 percent of the judging will be based on the quality of a project's outreach or audience engagement plan.

Approximately 15 films are selected to be in the festival. Of those, two films will receive the Henry Hampton Award for Excellence in Film & Digital Media from Grantmakers in Film + Electronic Media. Named in honor of a man who broke traditional molds of documentary filmmaking and put excellence and innovation at the forefront of his work, the Henry Hampton Award honors the very best in foundation-funded media.

If your film or video is selected for the festival, it will be promoted to funders and screened during the Council on Foundations' Annual Conference, the Fall Conference for Community Foundations and the Family Philanthropy Conference. By submitting an entry, you certify that you have copyrights to the film that authorize you to permit the Council to screen the film at its events. The Council will only show films on a non-commercial basis. Only the winners of the Henry Hampton Award, however, will be invited to attend the Annual Conference. A short clip of the festival selections also will be shown on the Council's Film & Video Festival website at


Formed in 1949, the Council on Foundations is a nonprofit membership association of grantmaking foundations and corporations. Members of the Council include approximately 1,800 independent, operating, community, public and company-sponsored foundations, and corporate giving programs in the United States and abroad. The Council's mission is to provide the opportunity, leadership and tools needed by philanthropic organizations to expand, enhance and sustain their ability to advance the common good. Visit the Council's website at


GFEM is an association of grantmakers committed to advancing the field of media arts and public interest media funding. It serves as a resource for grantmakers who fund media content, infrastructure and policy, as well as for those who employ media to further their program goals. GFEM members reflect a wide range of interests and approaches, but share a common interest in the key role media play in building public will and shaping civil society. GFEM is an affinity group of the Council on Foundations. For more information please visit


Winners of the Henry Hampton Award for Excellence in Film & Digital Media:

Budrus · Crime After Crime

Other festival films:

Dirty Business: "Clean Coal" and the Battle for Our Energy Future · Home Across Lands · Inside Islam: What a Billion Muslims Really Think · Living Downstream · Lost Angels · Off and Running · Pressure Cooker · Rachel Is · War Don Don · William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe

Minor Foundation competition for communicating climate change through graphics

The Minor Foundation for Major Challenges, a Norwegian nonprofit organizations has launched a competition called “Communicating the Future – Explaining Climate Change through Graphics.” The competition aims to select an extraordinarily good way of communicating the issue of man-made climate change.

The competition aims to inspire participants that have the ability to communicate a complex message in a way that might surprise or even awaken people.

If you can illustrate man-made climate change, its causes or consequences in a way that brings the response

- Aha!

- So this is what it is all about!

- Something has to be done about it!

- We have to reduce our emissions of CO2!

A jury will select three concept notes out of the submissions received by the Foundation. These concept notes will each receive a sum of 100,000 Norwegian kroner. The winner of the competition will receive a sum of 500.000 Norwegian kroner that is meant to finance the completion and implementation of the idea.

Proposals have to be submitted online. The deadline to make the submissions is 1 May 2011.

Source Link:
Copyright©FUNDSFORNGOS.ORG. Do not remove this link.
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

An interesting article about why Indians are still starving by the wonderful Vandana Shiva

Hunger, by design
By Vandana Shiva
Mar 03 2011

Why is every fourth Indian hungry? Why is every third woman in India
anaemic and malnourished? Why is every second child underweight and
stunted? Why has the hunger and malnutrition crisis deepened even as
India has nine per cent growth? Why is "Shining India" a "Starving

In my view, hunger is a structural part of the design of the
industrialised, globalised food system. Hunger is an intrinsic part of
the design of capital-intensive, chemical-intensive monocultures of
industrial agriculture, also called the "Green Revolution".

India's Green Revolution from 1940s to 1970s was neither green, nor
revolutionary. It merely created a market for corporations by
transforming war chemicals into agrichemicals and breeding crops to
respond to high chemical inputs. It increased production of a few
commodities - rice and wheat - at the cost of the production of
pulses, oilseeds, vegetables, fruits and millets. It focused on one
region, Punjab, and pushed the agriculture of other regions into

This is a design for scarcity.
Hunger is also designed into a non-sustainable production system in
which costs of inputs are higher than the price of outputs. The farmer
gets trapped into a negative economy with debt, and suicide is an
inevitable consequence. The 2,00,000 farmer suicides since 1997 are
part of the genocidal design of corporate-driven high-cost

There is now talk of a second Green Revolution in India. This one is
based on genetic engineering, which is being introduced into
agriculture largely to allow corporations to claim intellectual
property rights and patents on seeds. The floodgate of patenting seeds
was opened through the Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights
(TRIPS) agreement of World Trade Organisation (WTO).

When seed is transformed from a source of life into "intellectual
property" which becomes a source of super profits through royalty
collections, both biodiversity and small farmers disappear. We have
seen this happen with Bt. Cotton.

The Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) of the WTO was designed to allow
Cargill and other agribusiness corporations access to world markets.
This was done by forcing countries to remove import restrictions and
using $400 billion to subsidise and dump artificial cheap food
commodities on the Third World. The case of dumping of soya and
destruction of India's domestic edible oil production and distribution
is an example of how the global reach of multinational corporations
creates hunger, driving down farm prices and destroying local

Indian farmers are losing $25 billion every year to falling prices.
While farm prices fall, food prices continue to rise, creating a
double burden of hunger for rural communities. This is why half of the
hungry people in India and the world are farmers.

Globalised forced trade in food, falsely called free trade, has
aggravated the hunger crisis by undermining food sovereignty and food
democracy. With the deadlock in the Doha round of WTO, forced trade is
being driven by bilateral agreements such as the US-India Knowledge
Initiative in Agriculture on the board of which sit corporations like
Monsanto, Cargill/ADM and Walmart.

Sadly, the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, is trying to use the
food crisis that his trade liberalisation policies have been creating
to hand over India's seed supply to Monsanto, food supply to Cargill
and other corporations and retail to Walmart, in line with the
US-India AoA signed with President Bush in 2005. Speaking at a
conference on food crisis and food inflation on February 4, 2011, Dr
Singh said, "India needs to shore up farm supply claims by bringing in
organised retail players" (read Walmart). Research shows that
globalised, industrialised retail is destroying farmers' livelihoods
and leading to wastage of 50 per cent food. This too is hunger by

Both the US and Indian governments are supporting US agri-business
corporations to expand markets and profits. Farmers' rights and
people's right to food are extinguished as corporate rights to
limitless profits design "the market". Instead of the right to food
being sacred, "the market" becomes sacred.

When the Supreme Court of India told the government to distribute the
food grain that was rotting in godowns, Dr Singh said that giving food
away free will kill the farmer's incentive to produce and adversely
affect prices and wages. When the National Advisory Committee (NAC),
headed by Sonia Gandhi, drafted a Food Security Act, the Prime
Minister-appointed Rangarajan Committee said that stepped-up
procurements could "distort" open market food prices. In other words,
corporate rights to profit through creation of hunger must be
protected even as people die.

Planning Commission vice-chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia invited Gulf
countries to farm in India and export food to their countries during a
visit to Muscat. A Bahrain firm, Nader and Ebrahim Group, recently
tied up with Pune-based Sanghar to grow bananas on 400 acres. Indian
laws do not allow foreigners to buy land. So the Planning Commission
chief is encouraging foreign corporations to partner with Indian
companies for contract farming.

Diverting land from food for local communities to cash crops for the
rich in US, Europe and the Gulf countries is not a solution for
hunger; this will aggravate the food crisis. This is not investment in
agriculture, it is land grab and food grab. To get rid of hunger we
need a paradigm shift in the design of our food systems.

We need to shift from monocultures to diversity, from chemical
intensive to ecological, biodiversity-intensive, from
capital-intensive to low-cost farming systems. We need to shift from
centralised, globalised food supply controlled by a handful of
corporations to decentralised, localised food systems that are
resilient in the context of climate vulnerability and price
volatility. Such system could feed India's population.

Industrial monocultures produce less food and nutrition per acre than
biodiverse ecological farms. Biodiversity organic farming, if adopted
nationally, could provide enough calories for 2.4 billion, enough
protein for 2.5 billion, enough carotene for 1.5 billion, and enough
folic acid for 1.7 billion pregnant women. We must end hunger by
building food democracy, by reclaiming our seed sovereignty, food
sovereignty and land sovereignty.

* Dr Vandana Shiva is the executive director of the Navdanya Trust

Source URL:

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Great new movies by and about women from US-based Women's ENews

This article was written in March but it's still worth sharing the movie recommendations since these films are made by and about women... Click here.

Wouldn't it be good if we could watch these in India? Promote independent cinema by hosting screenings!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The need for a 5th World Conference on Women (hasn't been one since Beijing in 1995!)

Joint written Statement submitted by the Women’s World Summit Foundation - WWSF (in special UN ECOSOC consultative status) and endorsed by NGOs in Ecosoc consultative status

Title: The need for a 5th World Conference on Women
The last United Nations World Conference on Women took place in Beijing almost 16 years ago in September 1995. The Platform for Action adopted on this occasion needs a renewed push for implementation as the realization of gender equality, sustainable development and peace for the women in the world is still lacking.
The undersigned organizations recommend to the 54 ECOSOC Member Governments to decide on the convening of a UN 5th World Conference on Women, preferably in 2015. Such a UN World Conference would be the first in the 21st century and would not renegotiate the Beijing decisions but deal exclusively with the new and emerging issues in the world, i.e. the food, water, financial and fuel crisis and nuclear challenges, as well as the promising information technologies and social networks, available today, that can bring issues and solutions into global awareness, empowerment and unprecedented participation around the world.
UN Women headed by Under Secretary-General Michelle Bachelet and a UN NGO 5WCW will generate awareness of both this new super agency and the conference, raise consciousness, media-coverage and funds for both.
The proceedings of delegates
can be transmitted via live-streaming, webcasts, smartphones and other technologies that will emerge by 2015, to reach every woman, man and youth throughout the world, catalyzing a societal transformation, confronting the challenges and creating a new future.
Another positive result will be the empowerment of the next generation of global and local women leaders who will get to know one another during the 5th WCW, share experiences, programs for the future, and stay connected. With the Millennium Development Goals coming up for review in 2015, which touch essential aspects of women’s well-being and need women’s empowerment for their full realization, the mobilization of women has been the most effective and often the only reason for gains made so far. Great solidarity and international cooperation is also needed to achieve the shared objectives of the International Conference
on Population and Development (ICPD) by 2015. The need to have women involved at every level of decision-making has become a prerequisite for the achievement of the UN objectives.
A 5WCW will also raise concern about the world’s children and youth and for the need to create of a world fit for children and youth, especially in creating a culture of prevention of abuse and violence.
Women want a UN 5WCW
Once the decision to have this conference is made, the news will spread from women to women via geometric progression and the world will be better for it. Indicators: a grassroots petition has over 11’000 signatures standing behind a 5th WCW. women.html
Thank you for your attention.
Elly Pradervand, WWSF Founder/CEO
Women’s World Summit Foundation -

Earth Day - Earth Charter - Gender

Via Womensescr google group:

EARTH DAY - April 22, 2011
Celebrate Earth Day EVERY DAY.
The Earth Charter

11. Affirm gender equality and equity as prerequisites to sustainable development and ensure universal access to education, health care, and economic opportunity.
a. Secure the human rights of women and girls and end all violence against them.
b. Promote the active participation of women in all aspects of economic, political, civil, social, and cultural life as full and equal partners, decision makers, leaders, and beneficiaries.
c. Strengthen families and ensure the safety and loving nurture of all family members.

The Earth Charter


We stand at a critical moment in Earth's history, a time when humanity must choose its future. As the world becomes increasingly interdependent and fragile, the future at once holds great peril and great promise. To move forward we must recognize that in the midst of a magnificent diversity of cultures and life forms we are one human family and one Earth community with a common destiny. We must join together to bring forth a sustainable global society founded on respect for nature, universal human rights, economic justice, and a culture of peace. Towards this end, it is imperative that we, the peoples of Earth, declare our responsibility to one another, to the greater community of life, and to future generations.

Earth, Our Home
Humanity is part of a vast evolving universe. Earth, our home, is alive with a unique community of life. The forces of nature make existence a demanding and uncertain adventure, but Earth has provided the conditions essential to life's evolution. The resilience of the community of life and the well-being of humanity depend upon preserving a healthy biosphere with all its ecological systems, a rich variety of plants and animals, fertile soils, pure waters, and clean air. The global environment with its finite resources is a common concern of all peoples. The protection of Earth's vitality, diversity, and beauty is a sacred trust.

The Global Situation
The dominant patterns of production and consumption are causing environmental devastation, the depletion of resources, and a massive extinction of species. Communities are being undermined. The benefits of development are not shared equitably and the gap between rich and poor is widening. Injustice, poverty, ignorance, and violent conflict are widespread and the cause of great suffering. An unprecedented rise in human population has overburdened ecological and social systems. The foundations of global security are threatened. These trends are perilous—but not inevitable.

The Challenges Ahead
The choice is ours: form a global partnership to care for Earth and one another or risk the destruction of ourselves and the diversity of life. Fundamental changes are needed in our values, institutions, and ways of living. We must realize that when basic needs have been met, human development is primarily about being more, not having more. We have the knowledge and technology to provide for all and to reduce our impacts on the environment. The emergence of a global civil society is creating new opportunities to build a democratic and humane world. Our environmental, economic, political, social, and spiritual challenges are interconnected, and together we can forge inclusive solutions.

Universal Responsibility
To realize these aspirations, we must decide to live with a sense of universal responsibility, identifying ourselves with the whole Earth community as well as our local communities. We are at once citizens of different nations and of one world in which the local and global are linked. Everyone shares responsibility for the present and future well-being of the human family and the larger living world. The spirit of human solidarity and kinship with all life is strengthened when we live with reverence for the mystery of being, gratitude for the gift of life, and humility regarding the human place in nature.
We urgently need a shared vision of basic values to provide an ethical foundation for the emerging world community. Therefore, together in hope we affirm the following interdependent principles for a sustainable way of life as a common standard by which the conduct of all individuals, organizations, businesses, governments, and transnational institutions is to be guided and assessed.



1. Respect Earth and life in all its diversity.
a. Recognize that all beings are interdependent and every form of life has value regardless of its worth to human beings.
b. Affirm faith in the inherent dignity of all human beings and in the intellectual, artistic, ethical, and spiritual potential of humanity.

2. Care for the community of life with understanding, compassion, and love.
a. Accept that with the right to own, manage, and use natural resources comes the duty to prevent environmental harm and to protect the rights of people.
b. Affirm that with increased freedom, knowledge, and power comes increased responsibility to promote the common good.

3. Build democratic societies that are just, participatory, sustainable, and peaceful.
a. Ensure that communities at all levels guarantee human rights and fundamental freedoms and provide everyone an opportunity to realize his or her full potential.
b. Promote social and economic justice, enabling all to achieve a secure and meaningful livelihood that is ecologically responsible.

4. Secure Earth's bounty and beauty for present and future generations.
a. Recognize that the freedom of action of each generation is qualified by the needs of future generations.
b. Transmit to future generations values, traditions, and institutions that support the long-term flourishing of Earth's human and ecological communities.

In order to fulfill these four broad commitments, it is necessary to:


5. Protect and restore the integrity of Earth's ecological systems, with special concern for biological diversity and the natural processes that sustain life.
a. Adopt at all levels sustainable development plans and regulations that make environmental conservation and rehabilitation integral to all development initiatives.
b. Establish and safeguard viable nature and biosphere reserves, including wild lands and marine areas, to protect Earth's life support systems, maintain biodiversity, and preserve our natural heritage.
c. Promote the recovery of endangered species and ecosystems.
d. Control and eradicate non-native or genetically modified organisms harmful to native species and the environment, and prevent introduction of such harmful organisms.
e. Manage the use of renewable resources such as water, soil, forest products, and marine life in ways that do not exceed rates of regeneration and that protect the health of ecosystems.
f. Manage the extraction and use of non-renewable resources such as minerals and fossil fuels in ways that minimize depletion and cause no serious environmental damage.

6. Prevent harm as the best method of environmental protection and, when knowledge is limited, apply a precautionary approach.
a. Take action to avoid the possibility of serious or irreversible environmental harm even when scientific knowledge is incomplete or inconclusive.
b. Place the burden of proof on those who argue that a proposed activity will not cause significant harm, and make the responsible parties liable for environmental harm.
c. Ensure that decision making addresses the cumulative, long-term, indirect, long distance, and global consequences of human activities.
d. Prevent pollution of any part of the environment and allow no build-up of radioactive, toxic, or other hazardous substances.
e. Avoid military activities damaging to the environment.

7. Adopt patterns of production, consumption, and reproduction that safeguard Earth's regenerative capacities, human rights, and community well-being.
a. Reduce, reuse, and recycle the materials used in production and consumption systems, and ensure that residual waste can be assimilated by ecological systems.
b. Act with restraint and efficiency when using energy, and rely increasingly on renewable energy sources such as solar and wind.
c. Promote the development, adoption, and equitable transfer of environmentally sound technologies.
d. Internalize the full environmental and social costs of goods and services in the selling price, and enable consumers to identify products that meet the highest social and environmental standards.
e. Ensure universal access to health care that fosters reproductive health and responsible reproduction.
f. Adopt lifestyles that emphasize the quality of life and material sufficiency in a finite world.

8. Advance the study of ecological sustainability and promote the open exchange and wide application of the knowledge acquired.
a. Support international scientific and technical cooperation on sustainability, with special attention to the needs of developing nations.
b. Recognize and preserve the traditional knowledge and spiritual wisdom in all cultures that contribute to environmental protection and human well-being.
c. Ensure that information of vital importance to human health and environmental protection, including genetic information, remains available in the public domain.


9. Eradicate poverty as an ethical, social, and environmental imperative.
a. Guarantee the right to potable water, clean air, food security, uncontaminated soil, shelter, and safe sanitation, allocating the national and international resources required.
b. Empower every human being with the education and resources to secure a sustainable livelihood, and provide social security and safety nets for those who are unable to support themselves.
c. Recognize the ignored, protect the vulnerable, serve those who suffer, and enable them to develop their capacities and to pursue their aspirations.

10. Ensure that economic activities and institutions at all levels promote human development in an equitable and sustainable manner.
a. Promote the equitable distribution of wealth within nations and among nations.
b. Enhance the intellectual, financial, technical, and social resources of developing nations, and relieve them of onerous international debt.
c. Ensure that all trade supports sustainable resource use, environmental protection, and progressive labor standards.
d. Require multinational corporations and international financial organizations to act transparently in the public good, and hold them accountable for the consequences of their activities.

11. Affirm gender equality and equity as prerequisites to sustainable development and ensure universal access to education, health care, and economic opportunity.
a. Secure the human rights of women and girls and end all violence against them.
b. Promote the active participation of women in all aspects of economic, political, civil, social, and cultural life as full and equal partners, decision makers, leaders, and beneficiaries.
c. Strengthen families and ensure the safety and loving nurture of all family members.

12. Uphold the right of all, without discrimination, to a natural and social environment supportive of human dignity, bodily health, and spiritual well-being, with special attention to the rights of indigenous peoples and minorities.
a. Eliminate discrimination in all its forms, such as that based on race, color, sex, sexual orientation, religion, language, and national, ethnic or social origin.
b. Affirm the right of indigenous peoples to their spirituality, knowledge, lands and resources and to their related practice of sustainable livelihoods.
c. Honor and support the young people of our communities, enabling them to fulfill their essential role in creating sustainable societies.
d. Protect and restore outstanding places of cultural and spiritual significance.


13. Strengthen democratic institutions at all levels, and provide transparency and accountability in governance, inclusive participation in decision making, and access to justice.
a. Uphold the right of everyone to receive clear and timely information on environmental matters and all development plans and activities which are likely to affect them or in which they have an interest.
b. Support local, regional and global civil society, and promote the meaningful participation of all interested individuals and organizations in decision making.
c. Protect the rights to freedom of opinion, expression, peaceful assembly, association, and dissent.
d. Institute effective and efficient access to administrative and independent judicial procedures, including remedies and redress for environmental harm and the threat of such harm.
e. Eliminate corruption in all public and private institutions.
f. Strengthen local communities, enabling them to care for their environments, and assign environmental responsibilities to the levels of government where they can be carried out most effectively.

14. Integrate into formal education and life-long learning the knowledge, values, and skills needed for a sustainable way of life.
a. Provide all, especially children and youth, with educational opportunities that empower them to contribute actively to sustainable development.
b. Promote the contribution of the arts and humanities as well as the sciences in sustainability education.
c. Enhance the role of the mass media in raising awareness of ecological and social challenges.
d. Recognize the importance of moral and spiritual education for sustainable living.

15. Treat all living beings with respect and consideration.
a. Prevent cruelty to animals kept in human societies and protect them from suffering.
b. Protect wild animals from methods of hunting, trapping, and fishing that cause extreme, prolonged, or avoidable suffering.
c. Avoid or eliminate to the full extent possible the taking or destruction of non-targeted species.

16. Promote a culture of tolerance, nonviolence, and peace.
a. Encourage and support mutual understanding, solidarity, and cooperation among all peoples and within and among nations.
b. Implement comprehensive strategies to prevent violent conflict and use collaborative problem solving to manage and resolve environmental conflicts and other disputes.
c. Demilitarize national security systems to the level of a non-provocative defense posture, and convert military resources to peaceful purposes, including ecological restoration.
d. Eliminate nuclear, biological, and toxic weapons and other weapons of mass destruction.
e. Ensure that the use of orbital and outer space supports environmental protection and peace.
f. Recognize that peace is the wholeness created by right relationships with oneself, other persons, other cultures, other life, Earth, and the larger whole of which all are a part.


As never before in history, common destiny beckons us to seek a new beginning. Such renewal is the promise of these Earth Charter principles. To fulfill this promise, we must commit ourselves to adopt and promote the values and objectives of the Charter.

This requires a change of mind and heart. It requires a new sense of global interdependence and universal responsibility. We must imaginatively develop and apply the vision of a sustainable way of life locally, nationally, regionally, and globally. Our cultural diversity is a precious heritage and different cultures will find their own distinctive ways to realize the vision. We must deepen and expand the global dialogue that generated the Earth Charter, for we have much to learn from the ongoing collaborative search for truth and wisdom.

Life often involves tensions between important values. This can mean difficult choices. However, we must find ways to harmonize diversity with unity, the exercise of freedom with the common good, short-term objectives with long-term goals. Every individual, family, organization, and community has a vital role to play. The arts, sciences, religions, educational institutions, media, businesses, nongovernmental organizations, and governments are all called to offer creative leadership. The partnership of government, civil society, and business is essential for effective governance.

In order to build a sustainable global community, the nations of the world must renew their commitment to the United Nations, fulfill their obligations under existing international agreements, and support the implementation of Earth Charter principles with an international legally binding instrument on environment and development.

Let ours be a time remembered for the awakening of a new reverence for life, the firm resolve to achieve sustainability, the quickening of the struggle for justice and peace, and the joyful celebration of life.


We need to recognise housework as contributing to our economy as women's time is spent at home instead of earning outside...

Has the paradigm for women labour changed?
Ranchi: Across millions of households in India, straddling the rural and urban, there seems to be a tacit understanding that women of the house including girls should put in long hours of work to ensure the functioning of the house and the comfort of all members.

This assumption invariably is followed by another one that the work done by women across millions of households across the country does not amount to a contribution to the family or society or the economy. In a nutshell, the hours of cleaning, cooking, rearing children, looking after the sick and elderly, fetching water, cattle rearing and a multitude of tasks especially in agricultural based homes is simply unrecognised.

The term for it is 'service', in the larger ambit of 'family and social duty' and is perceived to be different from the contribution of men, which is 'labour'.

This view pervades across society. In a personal or subjective sphere, this would amount to an undervaluing of women, leading to discrimination. In a larger arena or a more objective sense, this engenders an erroneous evaluation of the women''s contribution to society, and a miscalculation of her worth to the economy.

If one were to calculate or put a figure on it, the picture could change drastically. The wheels of social progress, the growth of the economy is today dependent on the labour of women. This needs to be quantified so that it is recognised and due value given to it. It should also lead to changing social perceptions, which view women''s role in society as 'unproductive'.

Apart from domestic or household work, more women are likely to be involved in 'undocumented' or 'disguised' work like farm labourers, domestic or artisan. According to a 1991 World Bank Report this could be 90 per cent of working women.

Women are also less likely to be counted into the official workforce as many of these overlap with the ''household'' work category. In fact it is crucial that such errors are dispensed with and the leaders in society and indeed the political leadership in any region or country factor this in while planning for economic growth and social development.

From the four walls of domesticity, this view pervades the larger labour market. Invariably women get lower wages than men. It is true that in modern economies, the opportunities for women have opened up and they ''man'' or perhaps to use a more appropriate term, they ''woman'' diverse fields from agriculture, construction, healthcare, banks, schools, marketing, science, research, infact practically every field or endeavour of human activity.

Yet they remain marginalized; and are a category of citizens who provide equal work on lower wages.

Given the entrenched systems of thought and practice, it has been a long struggle by women''s groups and social activists of questioning fundamental attitudes of discrimination towards women, one that reflects in economic disparities and of course in social mores.

Women in India are gradually becoming aware of their rights, but the pace is painfully slow. That the odds are heavily stacked against them is a given; the challenge is how to go around it.

Movements that demand 'Equal Wages for Equal Work' is one. Clarity and vision needed to give women their due place in the social, economic and political spheres of the country.

Understandably this is a huge challenge. It calls for not only changing stereotypes, but also evolving policies, allocating funds and ensuring implementation. One of the crucial areas, which are crying out for this kind of attention, is the issue of women labourers working in the unorganised sector.

According to 1991 census, alarming 95 per cent women belong to this category. Do they get equal wages for their labour as men? What about facilities which women workforce requires and infact is an agenda for many social and political movements. Maternity benefits, crèche or day-care facilities for children, toilets form this agenda which governments are then pressured to adopt. Again, the extent to which women are taken care of shows the maturity of not only the women''s movements but the stage of evolution of any society across the world.

We are sadly not very high on this scale. A report prepared by the Lok Sabha Standing Committee on Labour under Sudhakar Reddy in 2006 outlines the unorganized labourer social security. Women who do not get salary, wages or benefits from the market are excluded from the term 'labourers'. Nor does it provide for labour rights, or social security rights, for women.

It then seems preposterous to say that women, the large unorganized, unrecognized workforce is at the crossroads.

Terming the 'labour' of women as 'service' or 'devotion' or 'shramdaan' does not hide the calumny; it brings it out in even sharper ways. The Constitution of India seeks to promote and sustain democratic values, social justice and equity.

The Government of India is meant to take this as the foundational guideline and evolve policies to further a prosperous, just and equitable society. So why are women sidelined in countless ways as she goes about her business of living, earning, nurturing, and contributing to society?

Why this endemic discrimination, both at the work place and at home, her supposedly safe haven? Infact, the Charkha Development Communications, feels the safe haven needs to extend beyond the home to the larger society and nation. Only then can our society and this nation really evolve.

Sify news

March 2, 2011

Waver Kalki Subramaniam interviewed on Radio Netherlands!

Congratulations Kalki, wish you more and more success in advocating for transgender rights!

Listen to Kalki's story here.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A great example of humourous writing about a political issue

Hats off to Bachi Karkaria's witty editorial 'Kaun Banega Corruptpati?'

Salient features of Jan Lokpal Bill - let's demand that this be implemented!

Drafted by Justice Santosh Hegde, Prashant Bhushan and Arvind Kejriwal, this Bill has been refined on the basis of feedback received from public on website and after series of public consultations. It has also been vetted by and is supported by Shanti Bhushan, J M Lyngdoh, Kiran Bedi, Anna Hazare etc. It was sent to the PM and all CMs on 1st December. However, there is no response.

An institution called LOKPAL at the centre and LOKAYUKTA in each state will be set up

Like Supreme Court and Election Commission, they will be completely independent of the governments. No minister or bureaucrat will be able to influence their investigations.

Cases against corrupt people will not linger on for years anymore: Investigations in any case will have to be completed in one year. Trial should be completed in next one year so that the corrupt politician, officer or judge is sent to jail within two years.

The loss that a corrupt person caused to the government will be recovered at the time of conviction.

How will it help a common citizen: If any work of any citizen is not done in prescribed time in any government office, Lokpal will impose financial penalty on guilty officers, which will be given as compensation to the complainant.

So, you could approach Lokpal if your ration card or passport or voter card is not being made or if police is not registering your case or any other work is not being done in prescribed time. Lokpal will have to get it done in a month’s time. You could also report any case of corruption to Lokpal like ration being siphoned off, poor quality roads been constructed or panchayat funds being siphoned off. Lokpal will have to complete its investigations in a year, trial will be over in next one year and the guilty will go to jail within two years.

But won’t the government appoint corrupt and weak people as Lokpal members? That won’t be possible because its members will be selected by judges, citizens and constitutional authorities and not by politicians, through a completely transparent and participatory process.

What if some officer in Lokpal becomes corrupt? The entire functioning of Lokpal/ Lokayukta will be completely transparent. Any complaint against any officer of Lokpal shall be investigated and the officer dismissed within two months.

What will happen to existing anti-corruption agencies? CVC, departmental vigilance and anti-corruption branch of CBI will be merged into Lokpal. Lokpal will have complete powers and machinery to independently investigate and prosecute any officer, judge or politician.

JAN LOKPAL BILL will act as deterrent and instill fear against corruption

(This movement is neither affiliated nor aligned to any political party)

India Against Corruption: A-119, Kaushambi, Ghaziabad, UP | 09718500606 | |

Friday, April 22, 2011

Another picture from Wave's advisory board meeting

From left: Karon Shaiva, Nina Sabnani and trustee Sapna Shahani discuss Wave's future at an advisory board meeting recently.

Wave first advisory board meeting in Bombay recently

From left: Advisory board members Himanshu Vyas, Nina Sabnani, Karon Shaiva and trustee Angana Jhaveri.

What was discussed: Financial matters, upgrading the website, film festivals, membership, cameras, Wave's blogathon event for International Women's Day, continued impact, outreach, interns and adding board members. If anyone would like to volunteer with Wave, do let us know.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

WAGGGS girl guides from around the world!

Sapna Shahani speaks at World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts in Pune

Content of her speech at the closing ceremony of a multi-centred girl guides conference:
The reason I think blogging is important is because it's a way to express something which will not be censored and can influence someone's point of view in your community, in your country or somewhere else in the world. It's a way of getting your voice heard and adding your voice to those of others and collectively making a CHANGE. What's more is that as women, our voices are hardly heard in the mainstream media or on the internet. In fact, only 24% of the people interviewed, heard, seen or read about in mainstream broadcast and print news are female. So it's important to add our perspectives online as women who are privileged in a way to be educated, have access to technology and have participated in international trainings like these.

now I'm going to tell you a bit more of my story and why I set up an organisation related to videoblogging. My name Sapna means dream in Hindi and I'm happy to say that I set up my dream project two years ago called WAVE - Women Aloud Videoblogging for Empowerment - which is the only country-wide network for young women videobloggers in the world. We did this because we wanted to hear what young women thought about education, health, democracy, the environment, and we wanted to encourage young women to participate more in solving local problems. We selected one young woman from each of India's 28 states, trained them in video and gave them cameras so they could participate in a 9-month long mentorship program.

Altogether, we helped this group of 30 girls make 175 videos so far which you can see on our website - We have had over 14,000 different people visit our website and our videos have been seen over 70,000 times on YouTube and other video sites. We have won national and international awards like the Stockholm Challenge this year which is for innovation in the field of information and communication technology or ICT. Some of the videos have won international film festival awards and earned money for the girls who made the videos. For example, just yesterday, I heard that our youngest participant who is 19 years old from a state called Rajasthan made a video about a female rickshaw driver, won an award at the New York based Women's Voices Now film festival and won $3000! Besides the girls benefiting from this program, many people in India and abroad have become aware of issues on the ground in remote areas of India, successful models of NGOs, inspiring women etc.

So earlier I asked how many of you had heard about community media and not many put your hands up so I'll explain what it is. The idea is that ordinary citizens should have access to public airwaves also so that it's not just controlled by few elite types or by the government. So at Berkeley Community Media where I worked, residents of the city could get a membership for not too much money, take some workshops, borrow a video camera from us, shoot a TV show, and we would air it on one of our two channels without censoring it. So people could make a stand-up comedy show or a cooking show, it was up to them! We also recorded and aired all the government meetings so that citizens knew what rules were being made and could have a say in democratic processes! In India, community radio had been introduced and many NGOs and colleges have radio stations. But we don't have community video or TV yet.

So to sum up, I hope my example shows you that one person can start something that makes a difference. I hope you will all find what you are passionate about, and then plan a way to implement it because it will make you very happy and be a great contribution to the world. I hope you will also contribute your ideas on the internet - blog, edit wiki pages, add your comments on videos or news stories, whatever way you prefer to have a voice! There are a lot of problems in the world and each of us can make small or big changes. It just depends on us.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Know of a mobile phone innovation for social change? Apply for this award before April 30

Greetings from the mBillionth Award South Asia Secretariat here at New Delhi, India! The mBillionthAward South Asia 2011 ( recognizes and felicitates Mobile & Telecom technology based initiatives & innovations.
The mBillionth Award is endorsed by Govt. of India's Ministry of Communication & IT and many prominent associations and organizations in South Asia like IAMAI, MINT, NIXI, ICTA in Sri Lanka (host for the Jury), DNet from Bangladesh, Bytesforall and so on. We are seeking nominations from 8 South Asian countries for their innovations in making mobile reach the masses with meaningful content and services.
We are keen to hear from you if you have one or more telecom or mobile-based products, solutions and implementations that are beneficial to the masses.
Inviting you to participate in this mission to celebrate innovations and help spread the word about this initiative and join us at and
The categories for nomination are: m-Business & Commerce/Banking, m-Culture & Heritage, m-Governance, m-Education & Learning, m-Entertainment, m-Health, m- Environment, m-Inclusion, m-Infrastructure, m-News & Journalism and m-Travel & Tourism. The last day for nomination is April 30, 2011.
Apply online at OR download and email us filled-up form to looking for interns

JOIN INDIA Redefined C.U.R.E INDIA Campaign - Citizen United for Redefining & Empowering.

INDIA Redefined is a Non Political Citizen Empowerment Movement

All over world the Govt. sector, corporate sector, NGO sector are working but INDIA Redefined is bringing the fourth sector i.e. Common people working for country on one platform . That too in masses!.

INDIA Redefined is asking for ISR Individual Social Responsibility

Create an India of tomorrow which is
· Awakened, informed and educated
· Clean, green and sustainable
· Healthy, prosperous and happy

Empower citizens of India by bringing about a behavioral change in the masses towards discharging their Responsibilities and exercising their Rights, which are:
· Constitutional
· Social
· Societal

India Redefined Internship is for two months. If anyone is interested in internship then please send resume on
after joining on
All Interns are required to wear INDIA Redefined Identity Card during any activity being carried out. Identity card and Joining form can be downloaded from by clicking on "Download" link.
For further information about India Redefined visit –

"India Redefined" is seeking motivated and committed individuals, to work on voluntary basis and to form Working Committee of India Redefined movement, Form Working Members Committee in your area,colleges with people who have expertise, passion, interest and skill in any one of the following areas

1) Information Technology
2) Writing and Communication
3) Events organizing
4) Project conceptualizing and project writing (for participatory projects)
5) Speakers
6) Unity and Peace Groups

Hope you must have read the one year Journey of INDIA Redefined, which has inspired so many citizens.

People around the Globe have supported INDIA Redefined, for Awakened INDIA,Educated INDIA, Clean INDIA,Green INDIA,Healthy INDIA which results to Prosperous INDIA,Peaceful INDIA,United INDIA &ultimately leads to Happy India.Also helped in reaching media,corporates,people for more resources to make it successful.

Thousands of Indians are everyday putting their ISR – Individual Social Responsibility-on this platform of INDIA Redefined,a platform for ordinary citizens by ordinary citizens,which has no membership fees. But needs a donation – of your TIME.

We have left governance to people who are not really our representative, policy to people who do not feel they are accountable to us, and we have left all the other problems like slums, literacy, environment etc to NGOs and social workers who struggle without Citizen's support.INDIA Redefined,a non political citizen’s empowerment movement creates responsible,empowered citizens.

INDIA Redefined has created many Responsible and Empowered Citizens. And still needs many more in leadership roles for creating a Happy India. INDIA Redefined is a vision created by ordinary people like you and me who understood this simple concept of making a difference in the lives of others and our Indian society by bringing in a fourth sector – to harness the power of the people. .

The idea is to mobilize these masses and bring them together,By creating an opportunity for them, to achieve small successes in doing something for the society… Something within his resources and available time– a simple successful activity, that would not only be beneficial at a larger scale but also provide the motivation to strive for bigger changes. Developing this behavioral change across Indians of all strata, INDIA Redefined plans to tackle problems, leveraging the power of individual. What makes this movement unique or even different? Well, there are many wonderful organizations, NGO, Charities which do a lot of wonderful work - But it never seems to be enough. Most of them work within a context or for a specific cause that the overall positive effect ….. is lost in the gaps. One of the biggest reasons is that we have not tapped efficiently into the potential of the individual. INDIA Redefined is a platform for people from different, different social class, having different outlooks and opinions to come together and work towards redefining India. That is why INDIA Redefined’s vision is created by an amalgamation of different visions that ultimately leads to a HAPPY INDIA. It is important to understand that we are not affiliated with a single political party or motive. But do not hesitate to work with any and every political party, business houses or NGO for the right cause. By bringing drops of people together on a common platform INDIA Redefined creates an ocean – Ocean strong enough to make government, politicians, public servants not only accountable but also make each Indian an Awakened Citizen The idea has not only got support of people but also was adjudged “The Best Humanitarian Initiative” in December 2009. In this long journey of redefining India, we have taken only a few baby steps. But then again, a journey of thousand miles begins with a single step…This idea…of a movement that is trying to tackle most, if not all, social issues asks you for only one thing – DONATION OF TIME.

Please talk to me or write me once you make some people join this initiative in your area or colleges with whom you can plan some events under INDIA Redefined banner in your area/college and write the details of it.

INDIA Redefined Event details should be in a format like

Name of the Responsible INDIA Redefined member:

Contact details:

Objective of the Event:

No of days Weeks the Event will be conducted:

The Audience or participants for whom the event is being organised
... number of beneficiaries

The application form for the participants or audience (can even be
just a list of names, email ids, phone nos)

Remarks or feed back note book for the participants or audience ....
at least ten percent participants feed back to be taken.

INDIA Redefined needs help in generating resources and funds for our future projects, in which many NRIs will also participate like " March for Happy India", " Develop your own village", " Clean- Green Campaigns", "I Care for India", , "I Donate- 6 months of my life"-all these causes (we need your suggestions for these and even names of these projects also) by selling INDIA Redefined T Shirts, Mugs, Bands, Caps or any other way you can think. Some creative people are already designing these T shirts . Please help in contacting people from Rotary, Lions, Lionness, schools, colleges, corporates, NGO, or any other organization who can help INDIA Redefined in selling these Tshirts or other things.

March for Happy India has got great response from so many people from different backgrounds like College Professors,Principals, Defence people, Students, RTI people, Corporates, NGOs, Police people, Politicians, Judges, Bureaucrats, NRIs, Lawyers, Media. Lets see how many of them actually support. But still now many of us can actually see a faint ray of hope at the end of long dark tunnel for making India a Happy Country.

Ranjana Kanti's Profile

Ranjana Kanti is the co-founder, visionary and a grassroots worker behind INDIA Redefined which is a non-political Citizen’s Empowerment Movement. Thousands of people have come together on this common platform INDIA Redefined, irrespective of their religion, political affiliations, language, state, caste etc. She is also a co-founder of E-dutainment Unlimited, providing training in animation & graphics. Ranjana earned her bachelor’s in English from Delhi University, by training an Animator and Graphic Designer and is also a post graduate in social enterprise management from Mumbai University. She has been working for the social causes for the last two decades which includes:
Under Ranjana’s leadership, INDIA Redefined the non political a citizen’s empowerment movement, is actually becoming people’s movement day by day, creating responsible, empowered citizens by bringing about “Behavioral Change” throughout the country and awakening people to take up local causes like environmental, education, health, governance etc. She has identified many people, motivated them and made them committed individuals, to work on voluntary basis with Central Advisory Committee and Working Committee of India Redefined movement, who have expertise, passion and skill in Information Technology, Writing and Communication, Events organizing, Project conceptualizing and project writing (for participatory projects), Speakers, Peace and Unity Group. In different cities she is guiding people to set up such Working Committee for India Redefined movement. She has made Coordinators in different cities and Student coordinators in many colleges.
And motivated many ordinary citizen’s to instill a sense of citizen’s responsibility (ISR- Individual Social Responsibility) and awareness of citizen’s rights. Under her guidance students have participated in India Redefined's Youth campaign for Green, Clean, Peaceful, United India . Thousands of ordinary Indian Citizen's participated in "I Care" Project. Youth, studying in colleges, are helping to implement “EDUCATE INDIA", a dream of Ranjana. By giving a structure to those who 'Desire to do Something', by creating an opportunity for Indians to achieve small successes in doing something for the society… something within their own resources and available time – a simple successful activity, that would not only be beneficial at a larger scale but also provide the motivation to strive for bigger changes – Ranjana is motivating ordinary citizens to be the CHANGE they wish INDIA to become. “Clean Home Competition for Slums”, Flood Relief works, Tree plantation Projects, Free Eye Check-up camp, awareness about the pollution level in RIVER, campaigns to sensitize the local people about their heritage and culture.
Providing free training in graphics & animation to economically weak youths . On an average, every quarter 5-10 such youths were trained for free. Free seminars, lectures & workshops to increase awareness of Multimedia as a career at various organizations e.g. YMCA, Schools & Colleges. Assistance in placement of these students after successful training completion, to make them economically independent.

Social Work for Blinds, Making audio cassettes from books which are not available in Braille. Motivating others to do the same. Selection of relevant articles, news items for Braille Press. Counseling and problem solving for visually handicapped persons. Coordinating with the Principal & Staff on behalf of visually handicapped children for admissions in normal schools and overseeing a smooth subsequent transition & integration with other normal children. Teaching and reading to visually handicapped students due to lack of books in Braille. Arranging writers for blinds for their exams.
Providing non formal education to street children and the children of migratory construction workers. Working all alone initially developed a rapport with a group of 85 such children and their parents. Conducted basic education through games, books & activities like story telling, craft etc. in open public spaces like Stations, grounds, public garden etc. Arranged for a proper classroom from a school for social causes and involved organizations to take over the responsibility of providing teachers for structured education process. Assisted in developing syllabus and activities for these children till such time that the whole process was running smoothly. Providing guidance and helping to conduct cultural and craft activities in Underprivileged Schools. Organized numerous Folk Dances, Qawwali and Drama for these schools. Guided/ assisted students and teacher in model making, theme decoration. Assisted teachers in concept and execution of tableau of various themes. Presided as judge for various competitions in such schools.
Free tuition for children from illiterate parents who are not able to cope up with the studies at school.
Free computer literacy for senior citizens in E-dutainment Unlimited.
Helped set up training and later business for economically deprived housewives in "Saree Fall Stitching", "Tailoring & Hand Embroidery", "Spice Grinding & Packaging" “sweets making”, “Snacks making, packing and supplying to local shops” etc.
Initiated Vermi-culture projects in housing societies, including training on garbage segregation etc. Conducted seminar, programmes & campaigns on Environmental conservation, relocation of street hawkers, vegetable vendors at a designated place, extra garbage collection dumps & dustbins placed at extra location for improved cleanliness.
Represented economically weak parents in school for fees concessions.
Undertook awareness programs in slums regarding importance of vaccinations, cleanliness & hygiene, education etc.
She has organized street plays to give visibility to common causes as communal harmony and lives of riot affected people, population, anti plastic, corruption.
Awards & Coverage:
'The Best Humanitarian Initiative of the Year' award for INDIA Redefined in Dec. 2009.
Global Youth Leadership Award 2009 (Sole awardee under Social Work category).
Women of Substance award by “Stree Shakti” in 2007.
Have been covered as an Individual by various Newspapers, Magazines and TV channels for her works for economic empowerment of urban slum youth and INDIA Redefined.
Have been invited to various forums like Rotary, Events, Conferences, and institutions for giving a talk on INDIA Redefined. Invited as a Chief Guest in different colleges, schools to give speeches to youth in different cities. Her talks are on these topics:
“Creating India of tomorrow”.
“Inspiring Citizen’s “
“An Idea worth Spreading”
“The Journey of My Life”
“ISR-Individual Social Responsibility”
“Citizen Empowerment”

TEAM INDIA Redefined

Filmmakers Residency in Canada

The Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT) is seeking
applications for its residency program. LIFT is an artist-run production and
educational media arts organization dedicated to celebrating excellence in
the moving image.

LIFT's residency program focuses on the production of film-based works with
equipment and facilities to which the artist would not have access in their
local region. Artists are expected to be at an established point in their
practice (although not necessarily working predominantly with film).


International (non-Canadian) artists.


 Proposal/Artist statement (including how they intend to engage the local
community during their stay
and how LIFT can help create access to equipment or facilities not available
at their home location)
 Curriculum vitae
 Proposed budget (including funding sources for materials)
 Visual support material of past work (do not send originals, documentation
will not be returned)

Mail applications to:
International Artist Residencies 2011/12 Application
c/o Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT)
1137 Dupont Street
Toronto, Ontario


The maximum cash funding for projects is $3,000 (CAD) for travel,
accommodation and per diems. Equipment and facilities will be provided by
LIFT to a maximum of $3,000 (CAD), LIFT equipment rates can be found at The artist is responsible for the costs of all film stock,
chemicals, lab fees and other expendables.


Ben Donoghue, Executive Director

for more information:

Monday, April 18, 2011

Open Society Documentary Photography grant due May 11

Five to eight grants of $5,000 to $30,000 will be awarded to encourage new ways of presenting documentary photography to the public. More info here.

Women Deliver Blogging competition - April 22 deadline

“Women Bloggers Deliver” will award two female bloggers with a trip to Kenya to learn about clean water and women in development...

More info here:

Friday, April 15, 2011

Japan Charity Short Film Project: Let's Make "EGAO (Smile)" Short Film with your pictures!

Dear All, short film lovers,

Hope this email finds you all well. Thank you so much for your kind words and thought to us in Japan.

We, at the Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia, as the Japanese people are facing unprecedented suffering and hardship while striving to begin the process of healing and recovery from the Tohoku Region earthquake and tsunami, have had repeated soul searching discussions and deliberations on what we could do as a festival to help in these efforts.

As a result, we’ve come to the decision that in order to bring even one smile and even a tiny bit of inspiration to as many people as possible through the power of the stories and images of short films, our mission will be to make a short film with you, our supporters, that will give people the inspiration and strength of heart to take that first step towards recovery and the future. We will, with your help, create a short film using your pictures that reflect your feelings of empathy and desire to support those in need.

Yes, we need your help! We are now gathering so many pictures from all over the world and will make a short film using your picture along with a Japanese pop music provided by a Japanese famous singer (TBA).

The theme of the picture is: Capturing the Moment - Bring a Smile to Someone -
Anything would be acceptable, ANYTHING!!
More details can be found here:
How to participate:

Twitter: Follow us @ssff_en and send us the direct mail (@ssff_en) with picture with hushtag #EGAO

Facebook: Put your picture on the wall on

Email: Send the picture to

Send us your picture for this charity project! Believe the power of images! Be part of this project and cheer up Japan!

Best wishes from Tokyo,

All Staffs from Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Call for papers about sexuality in Muslim context before April 25

Women Living Under Muslim Laws is inviting papers for its forthcoming Dossier 32: Sexuality in Muslim Contexts. Since the 1980s, across the globe and in many Muslim contexts women have witnessed and contested a rising tide of politico-fundamentalist movements, in which social conservatives and actors linked to the religious right invoke Islam to control the expression of women’s sexuality. This control comes in myriad forms and includes restricting women’s mobility, socialisation and modes of dress, and their autonomous control of reproductive rights, as well as women’s ability to make free choices concerning marriage and sexual partners.

Young women are often denied access to comprehensive sexual education and sexual health services. Within marriage, women are also often denied the right to use contraception and protection, even when their husbands may have HIV or other STIs. This control of women’s sexuality is increasingly being legitimated across Muslim nations by legal means; through strict legislation and the creation of moral police forces charged with the right to reinforce, often violently, adherence to proposed moral codes. Across contexts ‘anti-pornography’ laws are being brought to the table, and sex work remains criminalised and stigmatised. Queerness and transsexuality remain incredibly taboo, though women’s movements in Muslim contexts are increasingly taking up the challenge of breaking these silences.

Besides papers that explore such topics, we are also interested in receiving short reports (1,000 words) on various initiatives that women have taken up to promote women’s sexual autonomy or to counteract and resist limitations imposed on women by state or non-state actors.

Possible topics to explore include:

· Violence against women as a mechanism of controlling women’s sexuality (‘honour’ killings, stoning, femicide, female genital mutilation, etc.)

· Sexual politics of human rights

· Transsexuality

· Anti-pornography legislation

· Sex work

· Moral policing

· Sexual orientation

· Dress codes

· Women’s autonomous control of their reproductive rights

· HIV and sex education

· Autonomy in marriage and divorce

· Marital rape

The above list is not exhaustive and we are also open to other relevant suggestions.

Articles should be 4,000-7,000 words including references. We would like to have abstracts submitted by 25 April 2011, with full papers received by 20 June 2011. We will also consider published papers which are not freely available on the internet that may be relevant to activists focusing on issues concerning various aspects of sexuality.

Please email abstracts to the WLUML Publications Officer:

Women Living Under Muslim Laws
International Coordination Office
WLUML Facebook page

Wluml-news-en mailing list

Marevic H. Parcon

Programme Officer - Asia

Women's Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR)

Red Mundial de Mujeres por los Derechos Reproductivos

Réseau Mondial de Femmes pour les Droits Reproductifs
13 Dao Street, Project 3
Barangay Quirino 3-A
Quezon City, 1102 Philippines

Tel.+ 63 (2) 913 6708
Telefax: + 63 (2) 7093193;;

Marius van Bouwdijk Bastiaansestraat 56
1054 SP Amsterdam

Tel. +31 (0) 6 27549863

WGNRR is southern-based global network that builds and strengthens movements for sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and justice. We are working towards realisation of full sexual and reproductive health and rights of all people, with a particular focus on the most marginalised. WGNRR is not a funding agency nor funding activities and projects. We work in collaboration with other networks and partners.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Short Takes Film Festival - deadline May 10

Fundraiser with Asha Bhosale in Mumbai April 15 - help build girls toilets in schools!

FICCI FLO Mumbai Chapter invites you to ‘PHIR WAHI SHAAM – Asha ke Naam’ – a fund raiser for the SGS Abhiyaan programme that provides hygienic sanitation facilities in schools for girls. This special musical evening on April 15th, 2011 at SRI Shanmukhananda Auditorium will feature a selection of vintage classics from Bollywood. The Program is conceived and presented by the premier Vintage Musical troupe – Musicolor.

We believe that the cause is as close to your heart as it is for us and it is indeed important for us to garner support for the event and the project from organizations and individuals such as yours to promote and implement these plans going forward.

80G certificates will be provided for Sponsorship and Advertisements. Donor passes and project details have been attached for your kind perusal and action.

For FICCI FLO Mumbai Chapter

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Women bearing the brunt of social prejudice, conflict in Kashmir

By Zeenat Zeeshan Fazil - This article won an award for Media Reporting on Development at Development Networks.

Yes, many aspects of normal civilian life are compromised in Kashmir, as in any area of conflict. But in Kashmir, there is an overlay of this reality with another one; of women being treated with insensitivity, callousness and being subjected to all manner of discrimination, and in extreme cases-violence.

The rape and killing of two young women in Sopore has drawn the ire of many in Kashmir’s multi-layered society and polity. The last few months have been a period of relative quiet after the spiral of violence last summer and killings that have now erupted are once again a reminder of how tenuous this peace may be.
The incident is no doubt horrific and highly condemnable, but it also depends on the lens one is looking at such acts of violence. Is it only an incident triggered by a particular set of circumstances at a particular time or is it symptomatic of a larger malaise affecting society in Kashmir, that of degradation of women in many spheres of life and in the larger society and polity?
Yes, many aspects of normal civilian life are compromised in Kashmir, as in any area of conflict. But in Kashmir, there is an overlay of this reality with another one; of women being treated with insensitivity, callousness and being subjected to all manner of discrimination, and in extreme cases-violence. There is an inherited tapestry of Kashmir’s societal norms which are discriminatory, that are then exacerbated by the over two decades of conflict Whatever the provocation for this incident and the steps to prevent such attacks in the future, the fact still remains that women in pre-conflict Kashmir have suffered in different ways.
The problem is deep-rooted, pervasive. Social prejudices reinforce the woman’s identity as being subordinate to the male. Domestic violence is more widespread than is reported. Dowry is an ugly reality with ceaseless demands leading to a high degree of stress. According to Dr. Mushtaq Margoob, well-known psychiatrist in the Valley “Women's physical and mental health is often permanently damaged or impaired. In some cases there can be fatal consequences as in the case of dowry deaths.”
In Kashmiri society, women are generally repressed. The region over the decades has witnessed tremendous change with the processes of industrialization and modernization ushering in enhanced levels of economic prosperity and education. The traditional role of women in society has also changed but it has also brought about new areas of stress within the old mould. Pre-conflict, the suicides amongst women can be said to reflect this but there has been an alarming rise of suicides over the last two decades with some 12000-18000 persons committing suicide. According to leading sociologist, Dr. Bashir Ahmed Dabla suicides amongst women are more. He cites the ongoing conflict as the major underlying factor.
It is not always easy to discern how the existing patterns of societal norms and attitudes towards women, reach a point of conflagration but they feed each other. A woman who has been abused either at home or has been a victim of attack, molestation or worse rape by any of the players operating in the conflict zone finds it difficult to register her complaint with the authorities. She finds very little support from the family or society and often carries a stigma for a wrong that has been done to her. The Minister for Social Welfare, Sakina Itoo agrees with this view and holds the police accountable for negligence in registering their complaints. “Hundreds of women have informed me that police refuse to register their complaints of domestic violence,” states Itoo.
The environment for women in Kashmir is far from conducive and the fall-out of the conflict has taken a huge toll not only on the physical security of women but their psychological well-being, mental peace. People anywhere in the world exposed to benumbing violence in any situation of armed conflict are prone to developing psychological disorders and this is equally true for Kashmir where the incidence of Post Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD) has grown. According to Dr. Margoob, “Women constitute more than 55% of the patients seeking treatment at Kashmir's only mental health hospital in Srinagar. Most are suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD).” Margoob says women are more prone to PTSD than men. Whether this is a reflection of the odds stacked against them or their coping mechanisms can be debated but there are no simple answers.
The atmosphere of conflict pervades all of society and within that what women endure, what are the points of breakdown, what are the factors both underlying and immediately provocative, which lead to their suffering and in a sense their marginalisation? The answers need to be urgently sought.
Margoob believes that hundreds of women do not approach medical help because of illiteracy and social taboos attached to the mental health hospitals. “They continue to suffer silently,” he says. Abdul Rashid Hanjoora, a committed social activists says, “Women are often caught in a vicious circle of economic dependence, a sense of insecurity, a lack of awareness about their rights” These factors effectively keep a woman trapped in circumstances that maybe harmful to her physical or mental health but the shroud of privacy or so-called sanctity of a home often stops outside agencies from knowing about let alone acting upon the problem. Hanjoora also reiterates the belief that it is social stigma that prevents many cases of domestic violence being reported thus giving a false picture of the situation. He says “We need to ponder on how degradation of women can be stopped. It needs support from all quarters, be it government, NGOs and women themselves,”
What could signal hope is that the police acknowledges that violence against women gets ‘least’ attention and seeks to correct its image as being negligent by taking firm action. Says the state’s police chief, Khuldeep Khoda “We are aware about most cases not getting registered in police stations not only because our administration mechanism is weak but other reasons as well. “ He says increasing the number of women’s police stations was a step in the direction “ In order to control crime against women, we have established two women police stations - one in Jammu and another in Kashmir, exclusively headed by women officers. These have helped police a lot in controlling the crimes against women. Our target is to establish women’s police stations at all district headquarters of J&K”
That women have got a raw deal over the ages in Kashmiri society is now being accepted as a credible view within enlightened sections. It is vital that in the larger ramifications of seeking solutions for the region’s way forward politically, economically and culturally, this is not ignored.
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