5. One day workshop with Bitiya club members and Community Representatives – 13 october 2012
The Gwalior Chapter of ‘Bitiya’ organized a one day workshop on the theme ‘My Daughter, My Pride’ for Bitiya club members and community representatives on 13-10-2012 at the Galab Auditorium, situated on the campus of Jiwaji University, Gwalior.
The overall objective of this workshop was to orient members towards the objectives & activities of the organization, and to listen to the views of community representatives on the same.
Mr.P.Narhari, Collector, Gwalior was the Chief Guest and Prof. A.P.H. Chauhan, HOD, Political Science and Public Administration department, Jiwaji University, Gwalior was the Guest of Honour. Renowned Writer and Poet, Mr. Rajesh Joshi who is also the President of ‘Bitiya’, presided over the workshop.
The programme started with a floral welcome of the Honorary Guests & the present office-bearers of Bitiya club.
Ms. Shilpi Agnani, the Secretary of the organization, gave the welcome address, wherein she talked about the idea behindthe inception of the organization and purpose of this workshop. She made a special reference of technical and financial support from UNFPA for attaining the objectives of Bitiya.
In his inaugural speech the chief guest of the workshop, Gwalior Collector, Mr. P. Narhari lauded the efforts of ‘Bitiya’ for organizing the workshop and placing before the gathering the opinions of the religious scholars and community representatives in favour of gender equality and importance of daughters. Further he stressed the need for social and religious organizations to work together to bring about the social change. He said that it is necessary that the message of save the girl child should go loud and clear from here. He said that the efforts of ‘Bitiya’ and UNFPA are quite significant and positive.
Islamic Scholar City Qazi Janab Abdul Hammid Qadari illustrated through verses of Holi Quran that in Islam it is established that those who have only daughters , they find place in heaven. He stressed the need for good education of daughters and said that for the sake of gender equality, it is necessary to save girls. He further said that the custom of Dowry is totally unnecessary in present society.
The representative from the Kirar Society Smt. Neelam Yadav proudly said that she has only one daughter and has set up the befitting example before the society in spite of all the odds against her. She suggested that the necessary message may be sent to the village community through local influential people who would communicate in the same simple language that people would understand. She lauded the efforts of Bitiya and committed to give her support in disseminating the message of Bitiya club in her community.
The leader of Gurjar Society, Mr. Dharmendra Singh, from Dabra, Gwalior while accepting the fact that there are many evil practices prevalent in the society against women today, which was not the case during vedic period. The main reason for fall of women’s status is lack of education and sense of insecurity. He stressed the importance of education among girls and said that efforts for gender equality should be encouraged. In this respect along with the government the social organizations also have to play their effective role.
Dr. Nivedita Chaturvedi of Brahman Samaj argued for independence of women and inculcating feeling of self respect and greatness in girls. She emphasized the strong will power and great capability of girl child who is capable of making her parents proud. A daughter can become identity for family andsociety at a large. It is necessary that the girls should realize their own power and should not consider themselves inferior due to faulty conditioning over a long period.
Mr. Narayan Singh from Dhanuk Samaj addressed the need for equal opportunities for daughters. He shared his own experience of educating his daughter despite all odds. He himself did not discriminate between his son and daughter and gave them equal opportunities at all levels. Today his daughter has made him proud by getting admission in medical college. He said that normally he shuns such gatherings but he could not resist the call of Bitiya organization as it is engaged in the most important work of changing the mindset of the society to bring about gender equality. This work is not less than bringing about a social revolution.
Dr. Manohar Agnani, member of ‘Bitiya Club’ explained to the families gathered the motto of ‘Bitiya’ organization - “My Daughter My Pride”. He said that it is necessary that all members of the ‘Bitiya’ family work together to achieve the objectives of the organization, so that the daughters do not feel neglected but feel equal and wanted. He said that it is unfortunate that today son preference is converting into activedaughter discrimination which needs to be changed. A daughter can also be a source of joy and a pride for parents.
Some of the daughters from Bitiya Club, also kept their views before the audience in the form of dialogue, poems and through dance. Ms. Kumkum Shukla put on a wonderful dance show while Ms. Tanya Bhargava, Ms. Aadhya Dixit and Ms. Bhavna Madan read out poems on daughters.
Ms. Samanvay Shrivastav who has recently completed her studies from National Law Institute, Bhopal, discussed about the laws for women and also expressed her ideas for empowerment of girls and women where she said that males should come forward on such occasions and encourage women towards empowerment.
Professor A.P.H. Chouhan an eminent scholar and guest of honor, dwelt on the work done by ‘Bitiya’ and said that creative literature can play an important role in changing the mind set which considers girl child as a liability. He further stressed the need for translating the relevant literature of various languages by UNFPA & Bitiya into Hindi language so as to reach common masses.
Mr. Rajesh Joshi President of ‘Bitiya’ dwelt on the myths and misconception that have gathered around the question of gender equality and son preference. He cleared many lingering doubts on the issue of importance of daughters and said that a woman has a civilizing effect on man. Men behave in a better manner in the presence of women. The level of sensitivity of the society can be measured on the basis of the status that a woman enjoys in the society. ‘Bitiya’ is committed to change the mindset of the society. He specially thanked UNFPA and all those who had made this workshop possible.
In the end there was an open discussion, wherein the experts answered the queries of participants. Each community representative was given a memento. Mr. Vijay Bhargav who is the nodal person of Bitiya Club in Gwalior and also the organizer of the workshop, expressed his gratitude to the management of Jiwaji University Gwalior for providing the venue for the program and UNFPA for their consistent support to ‘Bitiya’.