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International women's day

Updated: Mar 28

This year's International Women's Day celebrations took part on 10 March. We had slightly delayed our program to a weekend to coincide with the opening of our latest facilities for our girls. The day started with the long-anticipated inauguration of our Unnati complex which includes new dormitories and an activity hall for all of the girls living in our Rehab Center. The complex will serve as a gateway of opportunity for our women and girls, providing them with a creative, safe and supportive environment.

We are grateful to Pramod Chaudhary Foundation, Siddharth Colorchem Company, Step Up Foundation and Jolanta Christensen who all played a crucial role in the construction of the Unnati complex. Our activity hall is named after Jolanta from Denmark who sadly passed away recently. She left a large sum in her will for organisations such as ours to empower Indian women and children and we are grateful to her friend, Marianne Ritzau, who was tasked with finding a deserving and impactful NGO and for choosing us to benefit from Jolanta's legacy. Her memory will live on with the many activities that will be held in the hall named after her.

No celebration of women would be complete without our own female trustees who were joined by prominent women such as Shraddha Dhawan-Dhormale, Padmashri Neelima Mishra, Parimal, and Dattatreya Nimbolkar. This was our opportunity to honor and showcase their achievements and contributions to society. The importance of women empowerment and self-help groups was emphasized by speakers, Vilas Shinde and Shraddha Dhawan-Dhormale, a dashing young entrepreneur who runs her own dairy selling milk-based produce. All shared their inspiring stories with our Rehab Center, Snehadhar, Krushimitra and Balbhavan beneficiaries, staff and women from our local self-help groups.

Our trustee and Ahmednagar radiologist, Dr Swati Ghule, announced Aarogyvardhin, a special drive to raise awareness of breast cancer with health camps to be held once a month in collaboration with our hospital. The crowd was further inspired by the 15 women's groups working to support each other through farming (Krushimitra), exploitation (Snehadhar) and education of slum children (Balbhavan) who were felicitated by the chief guests.

"The joy and pride of these women was overwhelming as was the school children receiving their award for excellence. Let HER get what she deserves... love, respect, equality & freedom" Mugdha Shukre, Trustee

Our self-help groups and beneficiaries exhibition offered a unique shopping experience. With clothing, jewellery and organic food products, it also featured appearances from our Radio Nagar and sister project Anamprem. Among the crafts and products were those made by our women and children, female entrepreneurs and farmers. Health check-ups were also available from our Caring Friends Hospital and Research Center's mobile health unit.

After lunch, the Shinde duo, Sanmita, a talented singer, and her husband Professor Ganesh Shinde, motivational speaker, performed Mogra Phulla. This brought an artistic and musical touch to the event, further celebrating the spirit of women empowerment and resilience.

Overall, the day was a celebration of women's achievements and a reminder of the importance of supporting and uplifting women in society. It reflected the idea that when girls are given the opportunity to rise to the challenge, they can achieve great success and make a positive impact in their communities.

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