Sonia Gandhi endorses campaign Reservation Express
Delhi, 7th June 2010: Sixty members of campaign Reservation Express met Congress President Sonia Gandhi at her 10, Janpath residence this morning. In the brief meeting, Mrs. Gandhi endorsed their demand of the passage of 33 per cent Women’s Reservation Bill in its current form in the upcoming monsoon session. She assured positive response to the caravan delegation comprising women from 12 different states who had traveled over 20, 000 kilometers as part of the national campaign. The fortnight-long campaign has gathered support for the Bill from all corners of the country as well as raised awareness about its nuances.
Mrs. Gandhi individually met Bhanwari Devi from Rajasthan, who has been fighting a 15-year long battle against gang-rape; Sultana Sheikh from Gujarat, a rape survivor of the Gujarat carnage; and Musarrat Jahan from Mumbai, sister of Ishrat Jahan, who was killed in a fake encounter in 2004 in Gujarat. These three women were part of the campaign.
While consenting with the demand for the passage of the Bill, Mrs. Gandhi said: ‘It is a long battle ahead'.
About 15,000 signed post cards addressed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh were handed over to her since the PM is currently in Kashmir.
Gala national show to celebrate Reservation Express
They say ‘old habits die hard' but it's not any better with new habits! The members of the three caravans that arrived in Delhi yesterday shouted slogans all through the cultural programme held at the Constitution Club. Their energy and enthusiasm filled the few-hundred members of audience with joy and awe.
After having traveled more than 20,000 kilometers, the three caravans of the national campaign Reservation Express arrived to the tune of drums and a trumpet. The women were garlanded and awarded trophies.
Key speakers who endorsed the Bill and congratulated members of the caravans include Dr. Syeda Hameed, Honorable Member of the Planning Commission; Dr. Mohini Giri, former Chairperson of the National Commission of Women and President of the Guild of Service; Dr Beulah Shekhar, General Secretary, YWCA; Sehba Farooqi, AIDWA; Vrinda Grover, well known feminist legal expert; Dr Vimal Thorat from AIDMAM, and Kavita Shrivastava, the leader of the Right to Food campaign from Rajasthan. Anne Stenhammer, Regional Director, UNIFEM and Nisha Agarwal of Oxfam supported the initiative.
Members from partner organizations from Jhansi, Tamil Nadu, Madurai, Himachal Pradesh, Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh participated in the event. A cultural programme featured performances by various groups from SWRC Tilonia, Kashmir, Darpana Academy, Ahmedabad as well as movement songs from activists from Haryana and so on. The event was attended by women leaders, human rights activists, intellectuals, artists and students from all over the country.
A short documentary was screened to present an overview of the journey undertaken by the women over the past 17 days.
A resolution was passed by the group stating:
RESERVATION EXPRESS CONVENTION
Convened by ANHAD and supported by more than 200 civil society and social movement groups
June 6, 2010
On behalf of thousands of women from all corners of India, We, members of the Campaign Reservation Express 2010, have traveled through more than 60 cities, towns and rural areas, during the period May 18 th to June 5 th , covering over 20,000 kms. in distance;
We reaffirm our belief in principles of gender equality, dignity, freedom, justice and peace.
We unanimously urge passage of the 33% Women's Reservation Bill in its current form in the Lok Sabha this Monsoon session.
We demand that all women, irrespective of their caste, class, religion and ethnicity, have equitable access to their human rights, resources and opportunities, as guaranteed by the Constitution of India.
ABIDA BANO-KASHMIR, AKAMMA-KARNATAKA, AMRITA NANDI- DELHI, ANANDI -TAMIL NADU, ANITA DEVI-BIHAR, ANNIE RAJA-KERALA, BHANWARI DEVI-RAJASTHAN, BIMLA DEVI- UP, DEEPTI BHARTI-DELHI, ESHWARI-TAMIL NADU, HASEENA BANO-KASHMIR, HASEENA MANSOOR-KASHMIR, JAYA SAROJ-GUJARAT, JWHERA RASHID-KASHMIR, KUMMO DEVI-HIMACHAL, LAKSHMI PARMAR-GUJARAT, LAKSHMI SAGAR-KARNATAKA, MANISHA TRIVEDI-GUJARAT, MANNI DEVI-RAJASTHAN, MANSI SHARMA-DELHI, MEENA PAMMA-HARYANA, MISRO DEVI-HIMACHAL, MOHINI JATAV- RAJASTHAN,MUSARRAT JAHAN- MAHARSHTRA,NAIZBEN MALIK-GUJARAT,NOORJAHAN SHAIKH-GUJARAT,PHILOMINA JOHN-DELHI, PRIYANKA JAISWAL-UP, RADHA RAGWAAL-HIMACHAL, RAFAIDA BANO-KASHMIR, RAFAIDA BANO-KASHMIR, RASHEEDA ANSARI -GUJARAT, RINKLE PATEL-GUJARAT,RUBINA BANO-KASHMIR, SAFIYA BANO-KASHMIR,SANIA HASHMI-DELHI,SEEMA DUHAN-HARYANA,SEEMA RANI-HARYANA,SHABNAM HASHMI-DELHI,SHAMIMA KAUSAR-MAHARSHTRA,SONAL SOLANKI -GUJARAT, SUGAN KANWAR-RAJASTHAN,SUKHBIR KAUR-PUNJAB,SULTANA SHEKH-GUJARAT,TAUHEEDA BANO-KASHMIR,ZUBEDA SHEKH –GUJARAT