By BIS Correspondent
MUMBAI, MAR 7, 2017: Over 1400 women from different slum pockets of Mumbai came together to celebrate International Women's day at a programme organised by Don Bosco Development Society (DBDS) on March 5, at the Don Bosco School campus, Matunga.
All the women who participated are the beneficiaries of DBDS in the slums of Mumbai. Present at the inaugural session was Arundhati Gawde - retired professor and social activist - as chief guest and Mangala Naik - planning department - as the guest of honour .
Father Rolvin D'Mello, executive director, DBDS welcomed the dignitaries and all the women participants. He invited the gathering to remember women who are victims of different forms violence.
After a short prayer, Gawde spoke about the importance of Women's Day and the need for women to be leaders in the community. She shared her vast knowledge and experience to inspire women to be agents of change, to empower themselves and others in their neighbourhood.
Naik spoke about the government programmes and policies and how women can benefit from government schemes. She also stressed on the need for women to come forward to claim their entitlements under various schemes.
Father D'Mello briefed all about the works of DBDS and how empowerment is trickling down to the last woman in the slums. He expressed his confidence that in the next few years the women in the audience would get sufficiently empowered to be the chief guests for future Women's Day Celebrations.
Simultaneously nearly 500 women benefited from a free medical camp which was held in collaboration with Lilavati hospital. The camp began at 8.30 am, in which a team of specialised doctors along with paramedical staff screened the women for various ailments. There were a variety of specialties available and all women got a chance to avail of them, along with free medicines for a month.
The women were treated to lunch, post which a Vocational Skill Certification ceremony was held for the students who underwent vocational training in beauty culture, mehendi, computers and english speaking.
Balasaheb Kakad, senior inspector, Matunga police station and Father Savio D'Souza, rector of Saint Dominic Savio Church, Antop Hill were guests of honour for the afternoon session. Nearly 400 students were felicitated at the ceremony. This was followed by a cultural programme with dances and street plays on women's issues.