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Dr. Ginny Shrivastava is a Canadian woman who has been selflessly working for more than four decades for the welfare of tribal people of India, especially for the women of Rajasthan by inculcating in them a sense of power to fight for their rights.
She founded in the region of Rajasthan, The Association of Strong Women Alone, devoted to educate and empower women in search of basic human dignity. There are more than 62 million women in India who have been divorced, widowed or have never been married according to a 2001 census. The association helps the women in counselling, to fight for land and property rights, access government entitlements, organise awareness campaigns and meetings about issues and causes for ‘women alone’, creates an ‘alternate family’ and literacy trains the leaders.
Shrivastava, herself a widow since 2003 when her husband died in a train accident, also heads The National Forum for Single Women’s Rights in Udaipur which fights for resources, land rights, food, social security and health benefits for widowed and low-income women. The monthly meetings takes up issues strategically, discussing issues of security, survival, dignity; widows learn how to access government benefits, retain possession of their land and property, stop mental torture or physical and sexual violence, and fight against social exclusion. It gives them a belief that they are not alone. It now has 50,000 members from all over India.
She also established in 2002 the Budget Analysis Rajasthan Center (BARC), a working structure under Astha, an awareness generation institute set up by her in 1986 in Udaipur. BARC monitors whether and/or how much the Government of Rajasthan is ‘pulling back’ from its public sector duties, and whether the budget provisions are serving the needs of the state’s poor. The BARC monitors education and health, drinking water, tribal sub-plans, women’s development, Dalit development needs, drought relief, employment and livelihood security, food security, etc.
In 2002, Astha initiated a Citizens’ Forum for Communal Harmony (Sadbhawna Manch) in Udaipur to mainstream communal harmony and analyse the reasons of tensions. It works on multiple levels by working around social and environmental issues, women’s rights, education and support structures, budget analyses and collaborating with government institutions.
Her tireless efforts to better the lifestyle of tribal people and single women have not gone unnoticed. She got a nomination for the ‘1000 Women for the Nobel Peace Prize’ in 2005.
Here is a more account of Ginny’s Shrivastava’s life, and here, the official website for The Association of Strong Women Alone, visit:
Why we find her inspiring:
– For giving hope and a sense of dignity, a transformed life to thousands of women in india
– For fighting effectively against the long-set traditions against women in an effective manner
– For devoting her life working for people across borders and nationality
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