Visit of Margaret Clark, APD Advocacy, SIGBI – visits NASI of India & SI of Bombay Chembur, SI Bombay North, SI Bombay West
Margaret Clark, the Assistant Programme Director, Soroptimist International of Great Britain and Ireland visited National Association of Soroptimist International of India, Soroptimist International of Bombay Chembur, SI Bombay North and SI Bombay West on 5th and 6th February 2018.
The objective of her visit was to meet members of SI clubs in Mumbai and share advocacy objectives of SIGBI. NASI President Dr. Lata Krishnan joined SIGBI APD Margaret Clark in her meetings on both days. They were happy to have along with them Andria, a member of SI Barbados (Past President Barbados and current PAC Barbados).
On 5th February, 2018 NASI of India and SI Bombay Chembur organized a lunch meeting at 1.00 p.m. in the Dr. K. M. Vasudevan Pillai Campus, New Panvel. The Executive Committee members of SIBC were present. Founder President SIBC Dr. Daphne Pillai, SIBC President Dr. Celina Joy, President Elect Yvette Lee and PAC Namratta Saxena were present for the meeting. NASI President Dr. Lata Krishnan welcomed Margaret Clark, APD Advocacy, SIGBI to the meetings along with Founder President SIBC Dr. Daphne Pillai and SIBC President Dr. Celina Joy. She welcomed the guest warmly and introduced her as a sincere and active team member of SIGBI. Margaret Clark explained with illustrations the importance of Advocacy. She said we have to be the voice of the voiceless. It is important that we move the government, policy framers, decision takers and draw their attention to the matters that affect women and the girl child. While doing meaningful projects it is important to disseminate information to society and urge the government to issues of importance. Signature campaigns over social media today are a successful way of gathering momentum for a movement. Andria a Past President of SI Barbados and current PAC of Barbados too was present at the meeting. She talked about advocacy in Barbados. People are closely connected to the government there and they have easy access to the decision makers. Yvette Lee explained the gap that exists in India. Here we do not have direct access to government officials and it is not easy to meet and discuss issues with them. Our problems In India are varied and we have greater challenges here than in Barbados and the UK. Margaret Clark explained how she had spearhead several initiatives and the ease of approaching and discussing with government officials in the UK. The interactions were interesting and a good learning for all who participated.
After the lunch meeting in the Pillai Campus, New Panvel the team travelled to the Dr. K. M. Vasudevan Pillai’s Rasayani Campus. Here Dr. K. M. Vasudevan Pillai Sir, greeted the team and introduced them to the Skill Development Department. Mr. Philip, Manager of the Skill Development Department showed the class rooms and laboratories where skill development classes were undertaken for the rural students. Girls and boys from the villages in Rasayani who had dropped out from schools and colleges enrolled for the Skill Development Classes organized by Dr. K. M. Vasudevan Pillai, Rasayani Campus with the support and faculty help and coordination of SIBC members. The tour through the Electrical workshop, Plumbing Workshop and Beautician’s parlour was an exciting experience. Every laboratory allowed for hands on training with gadgets, tools, equipment and procedures all explained and illustrated.
Margaret Clark was happy to see the project. She said that it was in line with the CSW62 (Commission for the Status of Women) theme that aimed at helping rural women and girls. The project was so effective that it had the potential to be showcased in the CSW62 meet in New York, USA, 2018.
Dr. Lata Krishnan felt very proud and happy to drive the guests from UK and Barbados to the Gate Way of India and The Taj Mahal Hotel at 12.00 noon. After sight – seeing, she drove them over the Worli – Bandra Sea Link to meet the SI Bombay West club at 4.00 p.m. and SI Bombay North at 6.00 p.m. Both the Bandra clubs were excellent hosts. The interactions with members were meaningful and fellowship at its highest. Margaret Clark was driven back to the hotel to Chembur at 9.30 p.m. on 6th February, 2018. She took her flight back to UK on 7th February, 2018 with fond memories of India.