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Ela Bhatt is the founder of the Self-Employed Women’s Association of India (SEWA), an organization synonymous with promoting grassroots entrepreneurship.
Ela Bhatt was born in 1933 in Ahmedabad. She went on to study Law and was struck by the fact that although a large number of women were economically active as self-employed workers, few were protected by laws since they did not fall under the category of industrial workers. Thus she decided to start SEWA, in an effort to reach out and bring together such self-employed women.
Today SEWA works towards ensuring that self- employed women obtain work security, income security, food security as well as social security including healthcare, child care and shelter. Ela Bhatt is also one of the founding members of the Women’s World Banking which provides support to microfinance institutions and banks who offer financial assistance to low-income entrepreneurs in developing countries, especially women.
Ela Bhatt has won many prestigious awards such as the Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan, the Indira Gandhi Peace Prize and the Ramon Magsaysay Award, among several others.
Why we find her inspiring:
– For helping women realize their potential and for channelizing their efforts into productive outcomes
– For helping rural women become self-reliant, well-informed and confident leaders
– For believing in the power and enterprise of Indian women
*Photo credit: The Hindu.
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Shows like Indian Matchmaking only further the argument that women must adhere to social norms without being allowed to follow their hearts.
When Netflix announced that Indian Matchmaking (2020-present) would be renewed for a second season, many of us hoped for the makers of the show to take all the criticism they faced seriously. That is definitely not the case because the show still continues to celebrate regressive patriarchal values.
Here are a few of the gendered notions that the show propagates.
A mediocre man can give himself a 9.5/10 and call himself ‘the world’s most eligible bachelor’, but an independent and successful woman must be happy with receiving just 60-70% of what she feels she deserves.
At one point, she confesses to her mother that the beatings are no longer physical, they have started affecting her mentally as well, and she wants to break free of this cycle of abuse.
Trigger Warning: This deals with domestic violence and may be triggering for survivors.
I recently watched Darlings on Netflix. It’s a quirky, dark satire featuring the dynamite duo of Alia Bhatt and Shefali Shah. The movie depicts domestic violence and the psychology of abuse.
Even though the subject matter is dark, there are light moments and humour, which make it immensely watchable. It stands out for its powerhouse performances and unique storyline.