Women on top

Women on top

In economics, growth and development are different processes. While growth is a strictly commercial notion and refers to a quantitative increase in something measurable, development implies something "different" rather than something "more" – it mean an overall improvement in the social structure of the society. For a healthy society, only growth sans development is not desirable.

Thane’s phenomenal growth in the last decade has been accompanied by development. The social composition of our city has been positively transforming, thanks to its people. The latest initiative that signals the "development" of Thane is the creation of the Thane Women’s Guild, an alliance of seven determined women from the city, who have come together to carry out socially relevant activities that are sure to add character to this city’s persona. Meenakshi Datta (President), Rashmi Bhatia, Smriti Gulwady, Chitra Dutta, Official Spokesperson, Shyamashree Bhonsle, Jyoti Lohokare, and Sarmistha Chowdhury have decided to make a difference – with a difference. The guild has a two-pronged objective – "empowerment of women and welfare of children" and "dealing with issues that cut across age groups, genders and sections of the society". The guild started off by felicitating a woman who has four children, one of them being mentally challenged. On woman’s day last month, the guild honoured this courageous woman who, despite all odds, has brought up her four kids with dignity.

On Saturday April 16, 2005, the guild organised a free mini-workshop for the residents on two relevant issues – Income Tax and Creating a Will. The speaker for the first topic was Praful Boladia, a practicing CA and member of several prestigious business associations. Boladia, who regularly contributes papers to conferences and writes articles in newspapers on income tax, enlightened an audience of about 40 men and women. As expected, among the many questions, there were a few that only a woman would ask – for instance, what is the tax liability, if any, on jewellery inherited? The second speaker was Nishikant Kelkar, once again a CA, but now a "Will Consultant". He discussed the importance of creating a will, and taught how a will should be created without leaving any scope of ambiguity. He even busted several myths regarding nomination/inheritance. For example, in the event of the death of the owner of a fixed deposit, the amount does not automatically go to the nominee, but gets distributed among all his heirs unless he/she has stated otherwise in the will. Similarly, husband is not entitled to wife’s Property, unless she makes a will in his favour.

Both speakers were lucid, precise and humorous and fielded all audience questions admirably. The workshop was so informative and helpful that many attendees suggested that more such workshops should be held and on a larger scale. The encouraging response has only fuelled the ambitions of the guild’s members, who are even more determined to take the city to the next level. From doing something for the aged and lonely to addressing the issues of adolescents to bringing English Theatre to the city for the starved residents, the super-seven are all set to play a role in the development of the Thane into a dynamic, multicultural and multifaceted city. These women are proud of being Thaneites and Thane, in turn, is proud of such women.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *