As 2017 draws to an end, most of us are eager to begin again with the new year. The biggest demand for the new year is that it be filled with prosperity and most importantly, safety.
We spoke to Pune’s celebrated women writers to understand what Pune’s women want from the year ahead.
Vinita Deshmukh, Senior journalist, Author and RTI Activist
As a writer, I would like to tell the women of Pune that the pen has the power to give justice to issues that you encounter in your daily routine. Remember that the biggest crime is to suffer injustice silently. So, use your pen to file complaints if you have been deceived by the shopkeeper; to write an RTI application for information on your water supply, garbage, bad roads; to speak up against any sexual harassment. Armed with the information, take it up with the authorities. The pen also has the power to keep your friendship and love going amongst your near and dear ones. So, pick it often to write a letter, send a birthday or wedding anniversary card. It feels so affectionate to go beyond the electronic keyboard. Wishing everyone an empowered 2018!
Kavita Kané, Author
Safety for women! Growing up in Pune, I took it for granted. To be able to step out of home without a hint of assailing anxiousness or worry of attack, theft or molestation. Where no woman is daunted or harassed but feels protected by law, the people and the city she lives in.
Sudha Menon, Author
From a woman’s point of view, we need more public toilets that are accessible to all women. While women from certain economic strata can use the restrooms at coffee shops and restaurants what about the thousands of ordinary women who routinely go out for their errands? Pune’s record in public restrooms is quite poor.
As a writer, I feel that we need more public spaces like libraries that give women the space to write and share their stories. We have so many parks in the cities, but most women don’t feel safe to go there for a walk or simply read a book. We need to reclaim public spaces so that more women can take advantage of them.
Manjiri Prabhu, Author and Director, Pune International Literary Festival
In 2018, the women in Pune should enjoy a safe and secure environment to live the life they desire. They should have the freedom to pursue their dreams without societal or cultural pressures and to be able to make choices guided by their inner voice. I wish them luck, love and opportunities to rise above the ordinary.
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