Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Women's Day coinciding with C'wlth Day an opportunity for women

New Delhi, Mar 8 (UNI) As the International Women's Day coincided with the Commonwealth Day today, it is an opportunity to further the Commonwealth's agenda on women's welfare, Dr Angeli Qwatra, Member of Medical and Health Services Committee for Commonwealth Games 2010 said today.

Calling it an opportunity for the women of India, Dr Qwatra said, ''Co-occuring of the two important days would help highlight the actions needed against practices derogatory to Indian Women and their status including gender inequality and discrimination.''

Dr Qwatra is a Safety and Rescue Management expert who is training more than 1500 individuals volunteering for Commonwealth Games 2010 on ''Disaster Management and Emergency Preparedness'' in and around Delhi.

''My mission is to empower all the women in our country with the basic life saving skills. A trained woman can be a saviour in case professional medical aid is unavailable,'' Dr Qwatra noted.

Referring to the significance of International Women's Day, she said, ''This day can be significant in highlighting the crucial role women can play in saving lives of others. This will promote the cause by creating a movement for safety preparedness.''

Dr Qwatra, who is also the chairperson of Philanthrope, an NGO that provides training on emergency aid measures to the masses, emphasised that the organisation gave priority to womenfolk as they happen to be the primary caretaker in the family who needed to be empowered to handle emergency situations.

''Out of our training database, about 60 per cent candidates have been women. Our focus remains more on safety related to daily life at home,'' she said.

Terming it as the biggest challenge Indian women are facing at present, Dr Qwatra asserted that even after being educated they ''are not prepared to handle the daily life emergencies which could make a difference between life and death of their
near and dear ones.''

The theme of the Commonwealth Day this year is ''Science, Technology and Society''. The public safety expert feels increased advancement has brought with it serious risks and challenges.

''We try to train people how to be prepared for handling victims of technology-related accidents and other man-made disasters like terrorist attacks,'' she said.

Dr Qwatra is an active member in implementing UNESCO projects on AIDS awareness in association with NACO, Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

As the Chairperson of Institute of Technology Dissemination and Environmental and Social Development, she has worked in association with Mewat Development Agency, Haryana, for the health education and empowerment of women in the backward and underdeveloped Mewat region.

She has also been on the editorial board of the journal ''Indian Anthropologist'' since 1996 and has to her credit research on 'Tribal Naga Students in Delhi', 'Gadulia Lohars', 'Economic role of women in Pauri Garwal', 'Chipko Movement' and 'Values, Options and Constraints of Educated Urban Women'.

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