Moneylife Events
‘Do one thing for the girl child today’, says Shaheen Mistri

Speaking at International Women’s Day at Moneylife Foundation, Shaheen Mistri from the Teach for India said she is convinced that this country will change, if each and every one of us can play the role we can and do a little bit more

 

Shaheen Mistri of Teach for India was felicitated by Moneylife Foundation on International Women’s Day 2015. In her acceptance speech, she appealed to one and all in the audience to “Do one or any good thing, for the girl child today.” She said that one could buy the girl child something to eat, or one could educate a girl. Anything. Whatever one can do in his or her capacity. She added, “I am convinced that this country will change, if each and every one of us can play the role we can and do a little bit more” for the cause of children’s education.
 
Shaheen Mistri founded the first Akanksha Center in 1989, enrolling fifteen children and persuading college friends to volunteer. It eventually evolved into the Akanksha Foundation, a non-profit education project that provides after-school tutoring to disadvantaged children at more than 60 centres, formal education at six schools in Mumbai and Pune for 4,500 students. 
 
Teach for India was launched in 2008. With sheer conviction and enthusiasm, Shaheen has motivated hundreds of college students and young professionals to join the Teach for India movement and devote two years of their lives to end educational inequity in India. Transforming the US concept to a system as complex and diverse as India was, as one can imagine, a huge challenge. Over the years, Teach for India has recruited 1,700 enthusiasts for its two-year teaching Fellowship. 
 
In her acceptance speech, Shaheen began with thanking all the people who have been part of her journey for 24 years towards the cause of children’s education. She felt that she was overwhelmed with gratitude when she saw the video of her children – the images of the children she has been teaching, whose lives have now changed for the better. She thanked all those in the audience who had done something or other in their own way for children.
 
Highlighting the importance of education, “We can educate every single child in this country when all of us feel connected to that goal,” she said. 
 
We, at Moneylife, hope that Shaheen’s appeal is heard by all our readers and we all do something for the cause of education of children in our country.
 

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COMMENTS

SUNIL KUMAR HEMNANI

3 years ago

A genuine hero in todays world.She has the heart to want to help others in such a personnel manner which is a inspiration to all of us.All the best to her and the organization .

Parkinson’s: Education, support from government and corporates is key to ensure treatment for all
Speaking at International Women’s Day at Moneylife Foundation, Dr Maria Barretto feels that with financial and infrastructure support from the government and private sector, we can help all those suffering from Parkinson's disease in India
 
“We need more education about Parkinson's in India,” said Dr Maria Barretto, after her felicitation at the International Women's Day celebrations organised by Moneylife Foundation. With financial and infrastructure support from the government as well as the private sector, she said we would be able to help all those suffering from Parkinson's disease in India. 
 
Dr Barretto, chief executive of the Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorder Society (PDMDS), has developed a 'community based multidisciplinary model of care' to reach out to patients who have limited or no access to medical care.
 
In her speech, she highlighted the importance of educating people about Parkinson's in order to ensure early detection and medical assistance. She also urged corporates to get involved in the cause to help PDMDS expand its reach and provide therapy and medical care to people all over the country. She suggested that it is possible to extend help through the corporate social responsibility (CSR) route that is available to all corporates. She also mentioned that government support is absolutely essential in ensuring that assistance can be provided to all citizens. 
 
The fact of the matter is that there is little awareness about Parkinson's in our country. Most people resign themselves to a life of dependence and handicap as soon as they learn the diagnosis. And while it is incorrect to claim that there is a permanent cure for the disease, it is possible to manage it. 
 
Many of Dr Barretto's patients have fought the disease and significantly decreased the rate of neural degeneration. In fact, several patients being treated at PDMDS personally came to attend the event, and witness their doctor being felicitated by Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman. 
 
The mode adopted at PDMDS for treatment of Parkinson's is a multi-pronged approach that aims to improve the overall quality of life for the patients. And because the treatment is provided through a group-therapy approach, it is highly cost-effective. This program is currently being conducted at 15 centres across the city of Mumbai and has two more centres in Maharashtra. It has also been initiated in three other states in the country - Goa, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh.
 
Dr Barretto has been invited to speak at the World Congress of Neurology in Vienna in 2013, and the World Parkinson's Congress in Montreal.
 
Here are the contact details of PDMDS: 
Parkinson's Disease & Movement Disorder Society 
6, Jasville, 1st Floor, 
Opposite Liberty Cinema, 
Marine Lines, Mumbai, 
Maharashtra, India 400020
 
Phone: 022-24977477
 
 

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'Women are no longer proxies,' says Nirmala Sitharaman
Speaking at the Women's Day celebration at Moneylife Foundation, the Union minister for Commerce and Industries said women entrepreneurs are keen on adopting new technologies to reach out to the world, and it is for Digital India and institutional funding to reach them
 
Union minister for Commerce and Industries, Nirmala Sitharaman said that women are no longer proxies and are taking their own decisions, either in politics or entrepreneurship. "Women are no longer shadows of men. In business, women do cost-benefit analysis in most ruthless analyses. Therefore it is only beneficial to enhance their role in business and entrepreneurships by using digital media," she said, while speaking at the International Women's Day organised by Moneylife Foundation in Mumbai. The programme was sponsored by Titan.
 
The Minister also felicitated two extraordinary activists, Dr Maria Barretto, CEO of the Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorder Society (PDMDS) and Shaheen Mistri, founder of Teach for India and Akanksha Foundation.
 
Talking about enhanced role of women in changing times, Ms Sitharaman, said, "Earlier women were assumed to be proxies for either their male relatives. However, this is rapidly changing. Especially, during my frequent visits to some Southern states, I often found women asking questions on development. In fact, in local panchayats and gramsabhas these women representatives have brought development agenda at the forefront."
 
 
Describing how women in rural areas are now coming forward to adopt technology to reach to the outer world, Ms Sitharaman, said, "When I proposed to build a community hall for women at these places, one woman asked me whether it will have computers as well. The woman told me that she wanted her daughter to help her through the computers and internet and not her son, who was working in the city. This, however, is just one of the several examples, how women from rural areas are keen on adopting technology to grow their business".
 
Last year, the minister adopted two villages Pedamainavani Lanka and Thruputalla villages in West Godavari district under the Prime Minister's 'Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana'.
 
Referring to a National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) report, Ms Sitharaman said, "Over half the country's workforce is self-employed. Out of this, about 8.9% are rural women, while the percentage of self-employed women in urban area is just over 1%. In short, about 10% women are self-employed. But, there are no facilities, like funding, obtaining registrations and other necessary permissions from government bodies. Nothing is available for them and even they do not get easy help."
 
"Women are already making a difference. However, they are not cared. In this situation, institutional mechanism, funding, like Mudra Bank, need to not only help but also help them understand the nitty-gritty of the trade, business," Ms Sitharaman added.
 
"Digital India, the one step shop for government services, needs to reach these women entrepreneurs in rural areas," the minister said, adding, "Women are not shy of new technologies. They want to be on the Internet. They want the world to see their business. So it is up to us, how we can provide them facilities like computers and internet so that the products from these women entrepreneurs reach to better markets."
 
Digital India, an initiative of the Narendra Modi government promises to transform India into a connected knowledge economy offering world-class services at the click of a mouse and will be implemented in a phased manner.
 
Sucheta Dalal, Founder-Trustee of Moneylife Foundation pointed out the dangers about people losing their lifetime earnings as well as also faith in financial services, if somebody misuses their debit card or online accounts. With the rapid spread of mobile internet and RuPay debit cards through PM Jan Dhan Yojana, these dangers are now lurking towards a large population, she added.
 
Replying to the question, Ms Sitharaman, said, "I agree that one wrong thing or failure can finish an individual financially. It is risky as a Ponzi scam, where there is no out. Therefore, we need to have some safeguards in place; the system needs to have an element of trust. We may think to have an insurance cover for such mishaps." 
 
Shaheen Mistry founded the first Akanksha Center in 1989, enrolling fifteen children and persuading college friends to volunteer. It eventually evolved into the Akanksha Foundation, a non-profit education project that provides after-school tutoring to disadvantaged children at more than 60 centres, formal education at six schools in Mumbai and Pune for 4,500 students. 
 
Teach for India was launched in 2008. With sheer conviction and enthusiasm, Shaheen has motivated hundreds of college students and young professionals to join the Teach for India movement and devote two years of their lives to end educational inequity in India. Transforming the US concept to a system as complex and diverse as India was, as one can imagine, a huge challenge. Over the years, Teach for India has recruited 1,700 enthusiasts for its two-year teaching Fellowship. 
 
Dr Maria Barretto has devoted her life to helping people suffering from Parkinson's Disease. She empowers them to live a good quality life and ensures that the dreaded, debilitating Parkinson’s disease does not get people to the point that they give up their normal life. At PDMDS, she developed a 'community based multidisciplinary model of care' to reach out to patients of Parkinson's who have limited or no access to medical care.
 
At the end, Nirali Kartik enthralled the audience with her beautiful voice. She sang on a theme, "Mrig Nayanee- A Woman's Eyes and Expression". She started the session with Ja Ja Re Apne, a famous bandish in Raag Bhimpalasi, followed by song expressing various moods of Radha, Kaali in Dhrupad style, a Holi song, and a Sufi song before ending it on a high note with popular songs like Chhap Tilak and Duma Dum Mast Kalandar.
 

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COMMENTS

Rangarajan Tnc

3 years ago

There is a point about income tax which requires attention.
Many husbands invest their savings in the name of their wife. Under section 64 of the Income Tax Act the income from those investments are added to the husband's total income and taxed at the highest rate. Nirmala Seetharaman says that women are not proxies but the Income Tax Act treats them as such. The quirk is that the asset does not belong to him and she can do what she likes with the income but he has to pay tax on that. Many people may not know about this position and are likely to be blackmailed by some bad taxman. When a working wife is entitled to tax free income of 2,50,000 why not a wife who is given money by her husband which is not only out of love but also as a recompense for all the domestic services that she renders.
It is high time that section 64 is repealed. This will reduce the artificial tax burden on men who don't insist on the wife earning income.

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