Beyond Money
Even so...For Gender Equality

Dr Nita Mukherjee narrates the story of a women’s organisation working on masculinity

One of the meanings of the unusual name of this NGO—Tathapi—is ‘even so’. When asked why she selected this name, Dr Mira Sadgopal hesitates a bit and says, “Well, there were many NGOs working on gender issues and on women’s health; even so, we decided to set up one more in 1999, ‘tathapi’...”

Pune-based Tathapi works in several districts of Maharashtra. Its mission is to promote resource development in the field of women’s health, including community health training and encouragement of communities’ traditional health knowledge and skills. Mira says, “Approaching people’s health rights from women’s perspectives, we focus on burning issues like inequities in population policy, fall in female child sex ratio, all forms of violence and universal access to healthcare, nutrition and livelihoods. We have also focused on developing sexuality education as ‘Body Literacy’ (Shareer Saaksharta).”

According to Tathapi’s website, “The backbone of Tathapi’s work has been in health training and advocacy from women’s perspectives; striving to make women and health resources accessible to local groups; and body literacy, a concept developed by Tathapi to appropriately educate children and adults with regard to body, gender, sexuality, fertility and power issues.”

Mira and Tathapi’s co-founder, Audrey Fernandes, were earlier associated with Dr NH Antia whose commitment to ‘Health for All’ spawned various public health initiatives and organisations. While partnering at the grassroots with numerous community-based and voluntary organisations throughout Maharashtra, Tathapi takes an active part in the state-level Jan Aarogya Abhiyaan (JAA) network, itself part of the national-level Jan Swaasthya Abhiyaan which, in turn, is a constituent of the global ‘People’s Health Movement’. JAA campaigns for universal basic health rights and better healthcare for all, particularly the poor and marginalised for whom healthcare is increasingly unaffordable, despite the government’s professed commitment to ‘social sector spending’.

Four years ago (in 2006), supported by HIVOS (Netherlands), Tathapi undertook a pioneering project on capacity building of men facilitators, men-focused health interventions and strategies to work with men, youth and women on the issues of masculinity and sexuality through a participatory planning process. Tathapi began with research on understanding of ‘masculinity’ prevailing in Maharashtra. “Understanding what constitutes ‘masculinity’ for particular communities is the first step towards awareness of gender discrimination, gender rights, domestic violence and of the need for change,” says Mira. An outcome of the project is an excellent booklet of stories of social change—micro-studies of men narrating how they are learning to do household chores, like washing their own utensils or clothes, and seeing the need for better nutrition and education of their womenfolk.

Tathapi’s rich collection of print and audio-visual material can be used by NGOs in Maharashtra. This collection includes posters, flipcharts, flashcards, puppet-show scripts, slide shows, video cassettes, games, training manuals, skits for role-plays, songs, etc. The Resource Directory is available from Tathapi for Rs50 or accessible free from its website.

Apart from donating to the general fund (minimum Rs250), you could sponsor a two-day resource workshop-cum-mela to tackle a local health problem (Rs8,000) or a two-day orientation workshop on sexuality education for 40 middle-school teachers & principals (Rs12,000). A health screening and awareness camp for 100 women with complete medical check-up, medicines and guidance costs Rs10,000. Donations to Tathapi are tax exempt under Section 80G.

Tathapi Trust
77, Tilak Maharashtra Vidyapeeth Colony,
Mukund Nagar, Pune 411037
Phone: 020-24267908; 020-24260264
[email protected]


Global jitters dent market

Domestic triggers can only prop up the market next week

The market was on a nosedive last week shaving 4% over the week. The bourses were down everyday on concerns over the Greek debt crisis, which is likely to spill over the to other Euro nations, as well. Selling pressure was intense on the street dragging the Sensex below 17,000-point mark, the first time over the last two months.

Output growth in India eased a little in April. However, it still held near a 20-month high touched in February. India’s Purchase Managers Index (PMI) was seasonally adjusted after input prices remained near multi-year peaks, suggesting official wholesale price inflation could pick up from a 17-month-high of 9.9% in the latest data for March. The output price index rose for a second month in a row to 55.8 from 54.6. It has risen nearly four points since February.

China has raised the lenders' reserve requirement ratio by 50 basis points, effective 10th May, its third increase of that magnitude this year. That will take the bank reserve ratio for big lenders to 17%. The move is an attempt to reduce inflation and tame liquidity. Chinese consumer prices rose 2.4% in the year to March, surpassing the 2.25% rate on one-year certificates of deposit. Meanwhile, factory activity in South Korea picked up after a dip, surveys by HSBC/Markit showed on Monday.

The Indian government is likely to ease controls on the sugar sector as the outlook for the domestic crop improves, softening sugar prices. An impetus from the Commission for Agricultural Cost and Prices (CACP) has directed the government towards this. India's sugar output in 2010-11 is expected to increase to 23-24 million tonnes (MT) from an estimated 18.5 MT in the current year to September.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expressed its concern over the spreading of the Greece debt crisis to other euro nations. A massive Greek bailout package announced on Sunday failed to halt the increasing unrest about sovereign-debt problems along the euro zone’s boundary. However, the concern over the amount of aid and the possibility of a spread of the crisis raised jitters among investors, triggering an intense sell-off.
India’s wholesale price index is expected to fall 6%-7% within three months, the finance ministry's chief economic adviser said on Thursday. India’s annual wholesale inflation rose to 9.9% in March, compared with the 9.89% rise in February and 1.2% a year ago. The food price index rose 16.04% in the 12 months to 24th April, slower than an annual rise of 16.61% in the previous week, government data showed on Thursday. The fuel price index rose an annual 12.69%, same as the week ago.

Wheat stocks have increased more than seven times the target; however, the ban on wheat exports is still on. Wheat stocks in India as of 1st May were at 30.8 million tonnes (MT). The government has decided to give 3MT of subsidised grains in aid to states for the next six months.

Fed chairman said that a banking survey that reviewed nation’s largest 19 banks restored confidence in the banking system. US non farm pay roll grew at the fastest pace in the last four years as the private sector players ramped up hiring. The unemployment rate, however, rose to 9.9% as the size of the labour force increased.  The European Central Bank is likely to hold interest rates at existing levels. Interest rates in the euro zone have now been on hold at 1% for a year and there is expectation that the rates will be left unchanged till next year. European laws prevent ECB to buy government bonds directly from the government; however, it can buy second-hand bonds from the banks.

India’s exports were down 4.7% in FY 2009-10 on the back of the global economic slowdown. However, the country is targeting an export growth of 15% in the current fiscal. Aided by government help and the low base effect, India’s exports have been in the positive zone in the last five months after a straight 13-month decline.


As prices continue to rise, Mumbai real-estate sales stagnate

The real-estate sector in the metropolis seems to be heading towards the trend observed in 2008-2009 during the slowdown

Mumbai is expected to report lesser volume of real-estate transactions over the next six months, according to industry experts. The fourth quarter results of the last fiscal are also reflecting the lower sales trend in the realty segment. In fact, we may see a repeat of the scenario witnessed during 2008-2009, when the slowdown had severely impacted the real-estate industry.

If the current trend continues, Mumbai will soon see stagnation in property sales. Prices of various real-estate properties—both residential and commercial—have shot up by 30% in a few pockets of Mumbai over the last quarter.

“Post the recession, the increase is volume that you had seen will subdue, because in certain segments, prices have increased by 30%-40%. We are going to see lower volumes of transactions in the next six months compared to the last six months, if the prices do not come down,” said Pranay Vakil, chairman, Knight Frank (India) Pvt Ltd.

“For the first quarter of this fiscal, prices have gone up further by 15%-20%; we are estimating sales to go down further by 25%-30% ,” said Pankaj Kapoor, founder, Liases Foras.

“We need 20%-25% correction in prices to bring back the momentum in the market,” added Mr Kapoor.

“The prices of properties might not see a rise till September and we expect a slowdown in sales during the next quarter due to rains and holidays. But going forward, by October, we shall see a price rise by 10% as we approach the festival season. Usually during that period, the sales pick-up and demand comes back to the market,” said Mayur Shah, chief sales-business unit, Ackruti City Ltd.

The scenario in New Delhi also looks depressing for homebuyers. “Prices are going northwards. They are likely to increase by 10%-15% in the next six to nine months’ time," Parsvnath Developers chairman Pradeep Jain told the media in New Delhi.
Vijay Wadhwa, promoter of the Wadhwa Group, had told Moneylife earlier, “As the situation improved (after the slowdown), developers slowly increased the prices of properties by 10%-15% to cover their losses. But a few of them spiked up the prices over 25%, due to which they failed to report good sales figures.”

With the current scenario in the real-estate industry, will buyers be priced out of the market?



dhaval jhaveri

7 years ago

The high prices of property in Mumbai is not something to be proud of. This is actually a big joke. People accross the globe are actually laughing at us mainly due to the fact that the infrastructure in Mumbai is pathetic & the government also has failed in implementing its schemes. Everytime there is an excuse that the population is high & land is less. In cities like Shanghai which our government always wants to imitate, the property prices are actually 1/2 of that in Mumbai in spite of Shanghai having more population than mumbai. Also the infrastructure is more superior than that of Mumbai. Shanghai is also the financial capital of China. Yet property prices are lesser. So why is not the government taking any action on this?


7 years ago

The current valuations are extremely high and unrealistic. Hope subdued demand impact prices to fall. A question is will it happen, what do the experts say, while the article confirms reduction in volume what will be the impact on prices? Would like to read expert opinion, if possible.


Arun Kareer

In Reply to Jayshree 6 years ago

Unfortunately builders have the capacity to hold their stock for more than a year. Hence prices will not fall only till a SCAM is out again between the builder and Politician (Like DB )


7 years ago

not comment , but a question, is this the right time to invest in the real estate market or is it better to wait for a year.

Rajesh Mehta

7 years ago

Hope any of the Builders are reading this, I saw many projects in western suburbs this weekend and practically every project is overpriced by 40-50%. Not sure who are buying at these rates.


dhaval jhaveri

In Reply to Rajesh Mehta 7 years ago

There is absolutely no genuine buying happening. All builders comment that their properties are selling fast but it is false. The people buying are actually the investors who have invested in their projects & have not actually even registered the purchase.

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