International Women's Day was celebrated on 8th March 2017 at MDS Office in Kidwai Nagar, New Delhi. In her address, President Suman Krishan Kant talked about the work and achievement of Mahila Dakshata Samiti since 1977. Vice President Chandra Prabha Pandey spoke about the importance of Women’s Day as a day of celebrating achievements of women and the advances made by them in various fields. Chief Guest Suman Jain, Lecturer of Economics of Lakshmidevi College, DU, talked about the historical background of Women's Day and why it is celebrated all over the world. She said it is also the day to take stock of the progress made by women and the gaps that still remain. Vice President Vinay Bharadwaj spoke about the progress made in the legal system for the protection of women. The meeting ended with a Vote of Thanks by Vice President Dr Kamla Jain. The event was attended by a large number of members, staff and workers of various centre of Delhi.

President Suman Krishan Kant addressing the IWD and Annual Meeting of MDS. On her left are the two

Vice Presidents Chandra Prabha Pandey and Kamla Jain.
On her right is General Secretary Prem Ahluwalia

Mahila Dakshata Samiti celebrated International Women’s Day at its Annual Meeting on 3rd March 2016 at its Head Office in New Delhi. While welcoming the members present, President Suman Krishan Kant said the Samiti has been organizing programmes on IWD since its inception. She said the focus of the Samiti has always been on issues relevant to women in India. She appealed to the members to work towards gender equality and emphasised on the education of girls. She also traced the history of the Samiti and the role of our past Presidents in the women’s movement. General Secretary Prem Ahluwalia appealed to all present to take a pledge for gender parity and support the theme of UN for IWD ‘Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality’. She also presented the report of MDS for 2015-16. Vice President Chandra Prabha Pandey was the speaker of the day for IWD. She gave a detailed account of the movement, how it started in Europe, what was the purpose and the goal. She also spoke on the women’s movement in India from the time of Independence. IWD started in India in 1975. She said there is nothing that women can’t do; she is capable of being an achiever in all fields. Though laws have been formulated its implementation is still lacking. She said IWD is celebrated to mark the achievements and work out programmes for what we still need to achieve. Members participated in the discussion and gave their views. Vice President Kamla Jain gave the Vote of Thanks.

Memorial Day of MDS

Every year, in the last week of December, Mahila Dakshata Samiti observes Memorial Day to pay homage to our past presidents and other office bearers who have left for their heavenly abode. This year it was observed on 31st December, 2015 at our Head Office in Kidwai Nagar, New Delhi. Dr Sushila Nayar, our first President, who was a Gandhian and a freedom fighter, passed away on 3 January 2001 at the ripe age of 87 years. Pramila Dandavate, our second President and founder, a veteran socialist and Member of Parliament, left for her heavenly abode on 30th December 2002, at the age of 73, following a massive heart attack.

Mrs. Suman Krishan Kant, National President, MDS paid tributes to the departed souls and recalled the contributions of both the past presidents in building the foundation of MDS and being the torch bearers of women’s movement in the country. She appealed to the members and all present to follow the principles set by them. She emphasized that women should be conscious of their rights, without infringing upon family unity. She urged everyone to take the movement forward, as this would be true homage to our past presidents.

Ms. Prem Ahluwalia, National General Secretary, MDS recalled the first meeting held at Vithalbhai Patel House and subsequently how the first executive meeting was formed. She said in the initial years MDS would hold dharnas in front of houses where brides were burnt or harassed. Thalis and belans were used to mark our protest. She remembered the contributions of other office bearers also and paid homage to Rani Jethmalani, Kapila Hingorani, Kailash Rekhi, Tara Punj and Manjeet Walia who have all left for their heavenly abode.

Chhama Kushwha, Secretary, MDS while remembering Pramila Dandavate paid tributes to her simplicity and what a frugal life she had led. Onkar, President, MDS Bihar branch, informed that he was brought into the Samiti by Pramilaji and that his team is working relentlessly against consumption of alcohol. Vinay Kumar, Active Member MDS has a large group of women working for the issues taken up by the Samiti. Sushila Bhan, member MDS, while giving the Vote of Thanks, stated that with the changing times women are now facing even more challenges.

All members paid floral tributes to the past presidents at the onset of the meeting. A large number of women had gathered to pay homage along with members from MDS and other organisations.

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