Synopsis of the Panel Discussion Organised by VamaIndia on “Women issues and Laws in India”

 VamaIndia organized a gripping panel discussion on Women Issues and Laws In India on 31st July 2017 at Holiday Inn, Jaipur.

This event was beautifully moderated by Mrs. Anita Hada Sangwan, an established journalist, and educationist. The afternoon commenced with Mrs. Anita introducing the esteemed panel members and handing them plaques, thus showing gratitude for their presence in the event. The Chief Guest of our panel was Princess Diya Kumari. She is not only Royalty but also MLA of Sawai Madhopur and the Rajasthan brand ambassador of ‘Save The Girl Child’ Initiative”

We were also grateful to be in the presence of Mrs. Suman Sharma-Chairperson of Rajasthan State, Women Commission, Mrs. Ranoo Srivastava-Entrepreneur and Chairperson of All Ladies League, Dr. Meeta Singh-a powerful social activist and Kalyani Sharma, Advocate in Rajasthan High Court.

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First and foremost, a brief keynote speech was delivered by Princess Diya Kumari, emphasizing that the women who move beyond the realm of privileges show their true, pure character. She stressed on the fact that empowering events likes these will be successful only when we see change booming around us.

She also stated that women at the grass-root level are not aware of the laws attributed to them by the government. The problem also lies where women fear coming forward against men doing wrong to them. She encouraged everyone to speak up and make a change in their surroundings by being bolder and smarter.

“Times have now changed. Women should always be seen as equal counterparts. The world is moving forward at an extremely rapid pace. We should too and so should our men.”

Princess Diya Kumari also said that young girls should not be overly aggressive and that a woman quiet, but tactful is more effective than the one who shouts for no reason.

Mrs. Suman told us that she has contributed to the betterment of our society by speaking elaborately with girls in schools and colleges. She has handed out free chapbooks to girls in 28 colleges by now. These chapbooks enable girls to know their rights and the laws that have been made to keep them safe and secure.

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Amid the discussion, the question of the police staff being sensitive to women issues also came up. The fact that a Woman Desk in police stations is adequate FOR NOW was stressed upon. However, our wise ladies also lobbied whether these female police officers have become rather insensitive to other women in their line of duty over the years.

Dr. Meeta stated that every female should have right and plentiful knowledge of the laws and the types of FIR’s she can file and whom she can file against. All this information should not only exist in books but also on boards in police stations.

Ms. Ranoo added an extremely brilliant point about women of high status being unable to approach the Police. They do not do so because their character will be perversely scrutinized and they will be looked down upon by the society and their families.

She came up with an effectual solution right away. If women feel that they cannot approach the police in person, they can always email them or send their problems by post.

Dr. Meeta told the engaged audience that in the case of emotional abuse occurring in their household, women have the Right To Residence i.e they can seek a new home on their own or even consider partnering with a non-governmental organization (NGO) in the case of a catastrophe.

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Mrs. Suman spoke against negative women empowerment and proudly announced that she has rectified hundreds of cases where the affected women were given plentiful counseling. In other cases, she has also called both the parties to her organization and solved their differences. She also enlightened us in the form of presenting a helpline number (1091) to us which is always active and ready to help those in need.

Dr. Meeta motivated the ladies to speak up, reflect on the current state of women in India and not waste time in gossiping about inconsequential things.

The panel was later joined by Mr. Nishit who told us that if a husband is found to have a criminal intent when it comes to a joint-business owned by a couple, he will be convicted no matter what.

“Are we afraid to ask finance-related questions to our husbands, assuming that they won’t give us a straightforward answer?”

Mrs. Suman interjected by saying that rural women are in danger of owning no property at all because they do not have lands registered in their name. Therefore, if the marriage crumbles, they will not be given anything after separation. Our cerebral panel came up with the option of looking at anyone’s property online so that neither party has to stay in the dark.

The threat of being bullied on the internet was also taken up and Mr. Nishit assured us that we can have Cyber Security Malware installed which will protect our mobile devices from being hacked or misused in any way.

Dr. Meeta later gave us some note-worthy points that will always be at the forefront of our minds. She stated that no woman should be pressured to have a son, educated us on the existence of the Anti-Rape Law and Medical Termination of Pregnancy. She also told us that if a pregnant couple asks their doctor the gender of their baby, the doctor can take legal action against them by pressing a red button installed on the Ultrasound machine.

Ms. Kalyani insisted that all the articles that are exchanged before a wedding should be documented somewhere so that neither party can protest or complain later. Lastly, she said that Dowry should not even exist under the Dowry Prohibition Act but while it does, it is imperative that we make a list of each article bought or received.

Ritika Joshi, Founder of VamaIndia delivered a vote of thanks to the Panelists and audience and later, thanked her mother-in-law-Mrs. Kusum Joshi, her husband and her entire family for being so supportive and positive during her endeavors.

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The event concluded with an intense question-and-answer round after which everyone proceeded for High Tea. Everyone took back home not only the gloriousness of the event but also the message of women empowerment with them !!

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