Munnabhai did it in style and now members of the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan are giving “Gandhigiri” a try.
Demanding that the Centre take a relook at the actual benefits Muslim women are getting from implementation of the Sachar Committee recommendations, the group has started a nationwide prayer campaign “to bring the report out of coma.”
Every alternate Thursday, Muslim women in different cities including Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Bhopal and Jaipur lead an offering of ‘chadar’ at different dargahs to pray for early recovery of the Sachar report and its full implementation for the well-being of the community.
“The first round of ‘chadar’ offering and prayer took place in July and we will start the campaign again this month which will also include the dargahs in the capital,” Andolan founder-member Zakia Soman told The Hindu on the phone from Ahmedabad.
“We intend continuing the prayer at various Sufi shrines across the country until the Centre finally wakes up to plight of Muslim women.’’
The Sachar report revealed that Muslims were one of the most economically backward and socially disadvantaged communities, Ms. Soman pointed out. The committee, which submitted its report in 2006, highlighted and presented solutions to include and mainstream Muslims. “But our work with Muslim women tells us that even within the community the worst hit are women and girls.”
Another Andolan member Farhat Amin said: “Even five years after the recommendations were brought in nothing much has been done to address the development deficits of this community. As far as Muslim women are concerned, the committee recommendations have been put into a state of coma because of the inaction the Centre.”
She said: “We have tried staging protests, calling a strike but so far we have found no response from the government. So this is our way of telling them that our demands should be looked at… This report, if implemented and monitored well, we believe, has the capacity to alter the destinies of millions of our people who face discrimination because of their socio-religious identities. Schemes for women who are especially vulnerable should be a high priority for the government.”