Meira Kumar has fruitful discussions with lawmakers in Paris

Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar was on a 36-hour visit to Paris during which she met French parliamentarians and inaugurated an exhibition of photographs on Indian women entitled ‘Women Changing India.'

Ms. Kumar told The Hindu that she had very fruitful discussions with French parliamentarians. “They are amazed at how with over 714 million voters, astounding linguistic, religious and cultural diversity, we can remain a truly democratic nation with a multitude of parties and opinions being freely expressed. The parliamentarians expressed a keen desire to visit India and see our democracy at work and there will be a delegation coming in December this year.”

On Thursday evening, Ms. Kumar inaugurated an exhibition of some 100 photographs taken by six photographers of note, including Raghu Rai, Martine Franck and Patrick Zachmann for a book project commissioned by a major French bank to commemorate 150 years of its presence in India. The book was conceived by noted Indian publisher and writer Urvashi Butalia, who gave Ms. Kumar a guided tour of the exhibition.

The photographs show Indian women in a variety of roles from labourer to film director, teacher, taxi driver to scientist, and portray a few specific achievers such as Ela Bhatt, Mahasweta Devi, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Anjolie Menon, Indira Jaising and Aruna Roy.

“It is heartening to see detailed, and that too so beautifully, the contribution women are making to the transformation of our country,” Ms. Kumar said.