Women empowerment


The Delhi University Students’ Union    (DUSU) remains to be the umbrella students’ union for the University of Delhi (DU). It is an integral part of a DU student’s life, and thus, it’s only fair that the DUSU elections carry a lot of weight and hype. It allows a DU student to exercise their right of universal adult franchise, and elect members they believe would be accountable for them. 

In Rajasthan, a state often characterised by low sex ratio and an arid climate, the villagers of Piplantri in Rajsamand have resorted to planting 111 trees with the birth of every girl child to battle female foeticide and climate issues.

In Piplantri, whenever a girl child was born, the family pushed a hard, jagged grain into her mouth to cause infection and ensure her death. Shyam Lal Paliwal never understood this practice.He had always loved his daughter. So when Sarpanch Shyam Lal Paliwal’s 16-year old daughter Kiran died in 2006, he planted a burflower tree in her remembrance and vowed that no one would mourn the birth of a baby-girl in Piplantri anymore. Instead, it would be celebrated with the planting of trees.

Before 2005, Piplantri had been a drought-prone area. Shyam Lal recalls that once in 2005, the drought had been so bad that the government were forced to send water trains to the village. But it all ended with Kiran’s tree and Shyam Lal’s vision.

Alongside planting 111 trees, whenever a girl child is born in Piplantri, donations are collected so that INR 31,000 can be saved and put aside, so that with investment, there is a sum to match a potential dowry, allowing the families to become financially independent and in turn, be able to send their daughters to school, not marry them before they turn 18, and care for the planted trees as well. Along with this, getting inspiration from his wife, Shyam Lal also helped establish an aloe vera business in the village. After training, women can make and market aloe vera gel, juice and pickle, and some earn up to INR 6,000 a month.  The Sarpanch has also started a rainwater harvesting plant in the village.

Aloe Vera gel made by the women of Piplantri village. image Credits: Lifegate
Aloe Vera gel made by the women of Piplantri village.
image Credits: Lifegate

The government of Rajasthan, which has been shamed with a concerning sex ratio for years, decided to introduce a yojana (scheme) inspired by Paliwal’s work. Under the policy, the family receives INR 2,500 on her birth and the same amount on her first birthday. This is doubled to INR 5,000 if she finishes class five and class eight. When girls complete their senior secondary education i.e. class 12th, they get INR 35,000, making an overall total of  INR 50,000.

Piplantri has become an inspiration to various villages in rural India and holds itself up to be an important symbol of not only women empowerment, but also sustainable development in India.

Feature Image Credits: Procaffenation

Shreya Juyal

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These women are magazine editors, models, researchers, engineers, writers, and more. They promote feminism and support an array of causes all the while being extremely good at what they do. Follow them for a daily dose of inspiration.

  1. Elaine Welteroth is the former editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue. Under her leadership, Teen Vogue has been writing out-of-the-box, political, and revolutionary pieces that provide teen girls the right kind of content in order to grow. Her Instagram features photos of her at Women’s Marches, participating and advocating for the cause of women and minorities.
  2. Imaan Sheikh is a Dubai based Buzzfeed writer. Her social media activity includes sharing hard-hitting pieces along with light content. Given the nature of work-profile, she is updated with the current news. She is witty and has well-formed opinions on most current issues that are expressed with humour.
  3. Dr. Jane Goodall is a British primatologist and is considered to be the world’s foremost expert on chimpanzees. Her work on animal conservation is legendary and her joining Instagram was a way to connect the newer generation with her work. Dr. Goodall is highly respected, acclaimed, and admired. Following her on social media would be a great way to know more about the life and work of a woman of who is regarded as a living legend.
  4. Twinkle R. Khanna is a writer, producer, and columnist. She writes about gender and is outspoken on twitter regarding issues close to her heart. Khanna belongs to a new tribe of Indian celebrities who do not shy from having a public stance on political issues.
  5. IronRing Girls is an Instagram handle that encourages women to pursue STEM courses, especially engineering and gives them tips and tricks to stand out in these male-dominated spheres. Engineers in Canada upon graduation are given an iron ring something that has become a matter of immense pride today, hence the name of the handle. IronRingGirls, run by Civil Engineer Mina Dezz, shares memes on engineering, tips on how to ace interviews, time management, and self-improvement. Women are highly under-represented in the field of STEM and this page tries to motivate women to keep going by sharing relatable and motivational content.
  6. Aranya Johar is a 19-year-old slam poet and social media activist based in Mumbai. Johar is active on Instagram and often uses stories to update people on current issues. What makes following her even more interesting is the fact that she acknowledges her mistakes and willingly updates people after researching on a particular incident if her knowledge of the subject is limited. Her candor and honesty make it easier to grasp the content shared by her.
  7. Michele Obama, the former First Lady of the United States, is a proud South Side Chicago girl. Her activism has not dwindled even after moving out from the White House. She writes about her personal adventures, about the Obama Foundation, all the while bringing up and thanking the strong women in her life on her social media handles.
  8. Paula Brostein is a global photojournalist and author. She posts photos from refugee camps and documents their losses, gains, small joys, and stories. Her work is touching and brilliant and her brand of storytelling puts things in perspective.
  9. Ashley Graham is a model and body positivity activist. She promotes the idea of beauty beyond size and has fiercely promoted a raw and authentic version of herself on social media. Her Instagram includes aspects of her that some would see as “imperfections”, but Graham embraces these aspects of herself and encourages her followers to do the same.
  10. Mindy Kaling is a comedian and actress who actively promotes feminism on her social media handles. Photos from the women’s march, quotes from Cher, along with a healthy dose of humour is what one can expect from Kaling’s Instagram.These women have created a significant impact on the lives of people around them. With the rise of the internet, social media activism is becoming a more legitimate platform to debate and discuss. Following the right people on platforms where we spend a large chunk of our time, can make our idle scrolling educational.


Feature Image Credits: Boston Magazine

Kinjal Pandey
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The Shri Ram College of Commerce chapter of Enactus, under the umbrella of the not for profit international organisation which develops social business ventures to propagate employment and higher standards of living, has conceptualised a mechanism to help rehabilitate the rural women of Karnal, Haryana.

An endeavour to empower the lives of rural women, whose lives are perturbed by the shackles of a patriarchal and oppressive society, Project Sattva aims to ensure financial independence and amplified ambitions.  The Project seeks to influence the lives of 11 women occupying the dairy sector through countering inefficiencies in the dairy supply chain and enhancing the quality of milk and milk products available to local and urban consumers. With an objective of Churning Purity Into Progress¸ the initiative by Enactus SRCC has been a first of its kind in liberating women who are deeply rooted in societal stigma. The strings of patriarchy are deeply knotted in small towns and villages, and hence the plight of women is enhanced and magnified.

Implementing the scheme in the villages of Amritput, Kalan, and Taprana, Project Sattva constitutes reinforcing ideals of economic and social development in a society where women are treated as mere homemakers. To ensure that new milestones are achieved, and the successful navigation persists, they have recently launched a crowdfunding campaign on Bitgiving to raise funds for providing facilities like vehicles, packaging machines, and efficient infrastructure.

Project Sattva has been actively promulgating the empowerment of rural women through its pioneering project in the dairy sector. The Project’s efforts circumvent around providing this section with literary and entrepreneurial training, to help them acquire and build on an educational foundation. Enactus SRCC’s initiative seeks to accomplish progress through bridging the social and economic fallacies in these communities.

To help make a difference, please visit https://www.bitgiving.com/ProjectSattva


Image Credits: Enactus, Shri Ram College of Commerce


Saumya Kalia

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In the wake of mass molestation at Bengaluru which sent shock waves around the nation, colleges in University of Delhi (DU) are going a step ahead by encouraging students to enroll for self-defence classes, and some are even imparting skill development training to empower.

Kirori Mal College (KMC) organised a 15 day long self-defence training camp for girls in collaboration with Delhi Police. “It’s difficult to change the sick mindset in our country. Women empowerment should be more than a slogan. Through this self-defence training, we will enable girls to defend themselves when in need” says Nikhil Agrawal, a third year student of the college. The program which is an initiative of SAHAS – Women Empowerment Cell of the NSS unit of the college started on January 9th.

Hindu College also started a self-defence and skill development program called Project Veerangana. An initiative of Enactus Hindu, the program imparts basic self-defence training for women and also helps them to turn their self-defence skills into a source of livelihood. “The objective of our project is not to just impart self-defence training to women but also help them become young entrepreneurs so that they can market their skills for a basic livelihood and teach more women how to be safe,” said Vishruti Jain, president of Enactus Hindu College. Under a three-tier process, the first 10 days saw a workshop conducted by the special police unit for women and children in association with Evergreen Public School. The self-defence workshop included 40 school students and 30 women from the slum area. After the training process, these women will in turn impart lessons to the other women under the supervision of colleges and schools. The program plans to impart lessons of entrepreneurship and communications to them, so that they can earn a livelihood by imparting these lessons in schools and colleges.

Satyawati College has also begun its self defence training program for girls which would be of 15 days beginning from 20th January. This initiative is being taken up by the NSS unit of the college in collaboration with Delhi Police Ashok Vihar police station. Rashi Nimi, the NSS vice president of Satyawati College says, “Crime is increasing day-by-day and so are the numbers of molestation cases. In such times, it is important that women be empowered in whatever way they can be. The students are very happy that such programs are being conducted, and if the response is good, we will organise it again.”

With growing cases of molestation in colleges and DU being a top choice of meritorious girls across the country, the colleges are serious towards ensuring safety of their students.

Srivedant Kar

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Image credits: Prithvijeet Singh Thakur, KMC

SAHAS – The women empowerment cell of Kirori Mal College, part of the National Service Scheme organised Pahal 2016, an inter college athletic meet. Registrations went on for three days on the 26th, 27th and 28th of this month. The athletic meet was organised on 29th and 30th.

Nearly 300 students from different colleges registered their names and over 220 participated on both days. On spot registrations accounted for 50 to 60 participants. Most of the students participated in more than one event.

Being the first of its kind, PAHAL began last year out of an idea to organise an athletic meet through the Women Empowerment Cell.  Although in 2015, the competition was limited to within KMC, this year they decided to make it an inter college event. Students from various colleges such as Miranda House, Daulat Ram, Satyawati, Bharati, HansRaj, Institute of Home Economics (IHE) and Ramjas college participated in PAHAL’16. Bharati college saw the maximum number of participants and bagged most of the medals.


Relay Race
Relay Race

The events on the first day were 100m race, Shot-put, Lemon Spoon Race, Broad Jump and Relay Race.  Anju from Miranda House bagged the first position in relay race with Lalita and Paridhi from Bharati college in the second and third position respectively.


In Shot-put, Richa of IHE came first winning by 0.34m. Janvi (8.02m) and Paridhi (7.84m) of Bharati College came in the second and third position respectively.

Lemon Spoon Race
Lemon Spoon Race

The Lemon Spoon race was won by the home team  with Ridhi and Shivangi of KMC in the first and second position while Shilpa of Satyawati college placing third. In the Broad Jump category, Pooja and Usha of IHE bagged the first and third position while R.V.M. Roy of Miranda House came second. Bharati college dominated the Relay Race by occupying the first and second positions while IHE placed third.


Events on the second day comprised of 200m race, Discuss Throw, Three Legged race and Tug of War. In the 200m sprint, Kritika from Bharati college won the first position. Anju from Miranda and Sapna from Ramjas college placed second and third respectively.

Discuss Throw
Discuss Throw

Winners for the Discuss Throw were Dimple from Miranda House (1st), Jyoti (2nd) and Chanchal (3rd) from Bharati college.

Three-Legged Race
Three Legged Race

Shruti and Shivangi from KMC won the first position in the Three Legged race. Pratibha and Aashinsa from Bharati college came second while Usha and Pooja from IHE placed third.

Tug Of War
Tug Of War

The Tug of War competition was also won by Bharati college. Sack race was cancelled due to lack of participation.

The Faculty member who helped supervise the event were NSS Programming officer, Mr. Arun Kumar Tripathi along with Mr. Khusro Moin from the Geography department, Mr. Samir Singh from Economics and Mr. Ramananda Mayanglambam, Proctorial Committee Convenor from the Chemistry department.

As Nikhil Kumar, Head of SAHAS put it,” Organising such an event within a short span is a feat in itself and we hope SAHAS’17 will be even better”.

Arindam Goswami

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