Celebrating the women power of the GBGBA protests
100 days and counting, the pandal is sitting tight on the footpath of the Pipeline road, waiting for the government to rehabilitate people of #Mahul from the #ToxicHell. It’s not your typical 9 to 5 affair, but a 24*7 intense struggle which could bring the strongest to their knees. The people of Mahul are resolute but the women, in particular, have left us spellbound with their grit and determination.
The Mahul andolan is one of the best examples, wherein, several women members including Anita tai, Rekha tai and Pooja tai have tenaciously led the efforts of GBGBA.
During the 132 days of the protest, the biggest challenge was not fighting the government but maintaining the morale of the slum residents ‘rehabilitated’ to Mahul. Homelessness, lack of knowledge on basic civil rights, limited means of livelihood, unending disputes with the authority and apathy of the privileged neighbours is a potent combination to instigate extreme rage and distrust in these people. The protest has witnessed several fights internally, along with strong contempt and distrust from the community, esp. the men who tend to head their families and call the shots. But these three women have stood strong against all odds and ensured the smooth functioning of this bumpy and enduring journey of the andolan. They have created an example out their behaviour for others to follow. The GBGBA lauds their attitude and sincerely appreciates their efforts.
This #WomensDay, GBGBA would like to acknowledge these brave women and put forth their perspective on the struggle. As a part of the campaign, we would visit Pipeline, Govandi and Yari road to meet these #WonderWomen and record their point of view on the andolans to save their homes. The conversation will largely focus on the limited access of amenities such as water, electricity, open spaces, sanitation, educational facilities, career aspirations, infrastructure etc., for the women residents. We will also cover the burning topic of women’s safety in such situations.
Do join us for this Women’s day special initiative or drop in a word to make these conversations more insightful. We would share a detailed report of these conversations with you and the Women’s Commission, soon after the on- ground engagement. The report will highlight the journey of these protests for basic amenities like shelter and a safe environment, from a women’s perspective.
We believe that the global Women’s day initiative would be incomplete without taking into account the struggles of these underprivileged yet strong women, who have displayed exemplary courage in the face of extreme adversities.