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Posts Tagged ‘society’

Seen in Taloda …Hirkani Kaksha (Breastfeeding Room)

In Field Notes on 25 June 2022 at 10:51 pm

A friend sent me a poster seen in a bus stop in Taloda. Indicating the location of the”Hirkani Kaksha” or “Breastfeeding Room” was a colorful poster with a picture of none other than yours truly. At first I was worried that it was some kind of advertisement. When I learned that this was a room at a bus stop to allow mothers a private place for breastfeeding I worried that breastfeeding was being pushed out of the public space. I have always defended the right of babies to breastfeed wherever they are allowed to be. As long as breastfeeding in public is still welcome, however, I can see the value of also having the option to get out of the crowd, esp if baby is easily distracted. And I am particularly pleased with the choice of the photo, showing a mother who is calmly looking ahead while baby – toddler, in fact – nurses.

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It takes a village

In Field Notes on 21 November 2021 at 8:00 pm

Yesterday while walking back from the library, I just happened to call a friend of mine. Let’s call her Zora. One of those friends with whom I used to have more idle time but now only interact with on tasks at hand when we are in the same meeting together. Since all meetings are virtual now there is no chit chat before or after, just abrupt starting and stopping of business. She herself has a full time job apart from this, barely makes it to the meetings and is often muted because she is holding her baby at the same time. So noticing that it was 1pm in her time zone I took a chance and called her hoping she might be on lunch break. 

Even as I was dialing I thought, I know we are supposed to text first or something like that but I am just going to play the old age card and just call her. Texting first to ask when I should call makes the call sound like something more hefty than what it is, as if I expect her to allot time for it. She picked up the phone and I tentatively explained, “Hi I just thought I’d take a chance and call ….” She replied that I’d hear her baby talk a lot and I took that as I sign that the call was on. I asked if she was having lunch. She noted that the baby was having lunch. 

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Run Me Down

In Field Notes, Real Talk on 9 February 2019 at 12:38 pm

Guest post by Hema Gopinathan in a new series called REAL TALK where Ask Amma explores issues we face when engaging with womanhood.

I look wistfully at the cute pair of neon running shorts with its matching tank top that I picked up from a big fitness brand store. An expensive waste, when I am fully aware, having been told over and over, that if you want to run you can even do it in a salwar kameez or a saree. The critical point to remember is to never call attention to oneself. Because that’s very bad, calling attention and any consequence would entirely be my fault. So I put on a pair of leggings long past their lycral prime and a XXL t-shirt in a colour that can be only described as puke-sia. The hair is bound tightly as are the breasts, so as to not swing and you know, call attention.

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Neha Chopra: “Women need their voice in childbirth”

In Call to Action on 17 September 2018 at 8:01 pm

Aravinda of Ask Amma sat down with filmmaker Neha Chopra at the Human Rights in Childbirth Conference that took place at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai in February 2017.

Conversations Born from Stories

In Books on 2 June 2017 at 1:56 pm

You, Me, and a Story
Suresh Ediga
46 pages

The wheels on the bus go round and round!  goes a popular children’s ditty.  But what if the wheels stop turning?  What if people stop breathing?  Such are the questions that Suresh Ediga explored with his children when talking with them about such issues as the disaster in Bhopal, in which a pesticide factory exploded, leaking tons of toxic fumes, killing thousands instantly and poisoning the ground and water for decades.  This makes the first story in his collection, You, Me & a Story.  

The family that reads together! From left, Sireesha, Suresh, Surina, Suhash each holding a copy of You, Me & a Story.

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The Bully is Awake: How my Daughter Lifted me out of the Abyss

In Call to Action on 10 November 2016 at 12:00 pm
We know we have to get out of the abyss and onto the streets.  But how?
My daughter was as involved as I was in campaigning for Hillary Clinton this year.   Election Day morning, at her suggestion, a dozen of us held signs on a corner on Main Street, and many passersby cheered for us.  Since we live in a red county (in a blue state), we had hope that there were more people like that, even in other states.  Every time someone gave us a thumbs up or a supportive honk, we felt we were giving hope to people.  We rallied again in the evening, and then anticipated the results, sure that we would be celebrating.  When things looked bleak, we went to bed hoping for a turnaround by morning.  I woke to the nightmare.

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Bathrooms Accessible in Every Situation (BABIES) Act

In News & Notes on 7 October 2016 at 8:00 pm

Bathrooms Accessible in Every Situation (BABIES) Act

It is crazy that we need an Act to ensure that bathrooms are accessible in every situation but let it not be said that Obama just ignored the need as so many presidents before him.  Just in the nick of time too.  Thanks to his timely action, the men save face and can be satisfied that it did not need to wait for a woman president to make sure that they had a place to change babies diapers in public restrooms.

Obama and Baby aren't seeing eye to eye

Situation?  Obama and Baby aren’t seeing eye to eye …or maybe one of them’s gotta GO.

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Father, tell me about Kashmir

In How on 23 July 2016 at 11:00 am

A young boy asks his father, “What happened in Kashmir?”

father son sunset

Those of us sheltered from the daily horrors that have become a way of life in far too much of the world may be unprepared to answer honestly when our children ask us questions like this.  How do we reveal much less “explain” the violence in the world, when we don’t quite understand it ourselves?

Fred Rogers said about talking to children about such events – “look for the helpers.”  In any horrible scene (e.g. that you might read in the news) there will also be people who are helping, even if it is only the reporter bringing public attention to it.

Going one step further, one can try to be a helper – even from a distance, as this father tried to do.

“B, We have to go a protest today. Do you want to come too?”
“What is this protest, Acha (Dad in Malayalam)?”
“It is about a place called Kashmir. A lot of people have been killed and blinded there by the police and the army.”
“What happened there?”
“Ok, Let me tell you…..”

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Priceless Birthday Presents

In How on 12 June 2016 at 2:43 pm
As I was sending out invitations for our daughter’s birthday party, the question of gifts crossed my mind.  A long time ago I read in one of Miss Manners’ advice columns that it was bad manners to expect a gift.  Therefore, it followed that it was was not polite to offer any instructions about gifts to give or not give.  Although Miss Manners made a slight concession for children’s birthday parties, I agreed with her logic and simply kept gifts out of our vocabulary when inviting friends for parties.
Her concession, as I recall, was that one could, for example, decorate the invitation with images of say, books or trains, as a hint to parents wondering what to bring as a gift.  From the perspective of a parent of a child attending a birthday party, I can appreciate that it is nice to get such a hint.  But surely we can do better than that?  Can we not take the time to give a gift from the heart?
Also, let’s face it.  It’s 2016.  We know the Story of Stuff.

 

No one wants birthdays to be about accumulating more stuff.  But what is the alternative?

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We All Live in Bhopal: Sign Petition to White House

In Call to Action on 8 May 2016 at 12:50 pm

The Mother hiding her face with one hand and carrying her child in the other, weeps for all of us.  This is the Memorial Statue honoring the victims of what many call the world’s worst industrial disaster, the explosion in the Union Carbide factory in Bhopal on December 3, 1984.  Survivors have been struggling for justice for over 30 years and are now petitioning the White House meet US obligations under Treaty & international law by immediately serving notice upon Dow to attend court in Bhopal on July 13, 2016.

Sign here: Tell the US Government to Stop Shielding Dow Chemical from its Crimes in Bhopal

We all live in Bhopal – please SIGN the PETITION. And please share widely. It’s what Julia Ward Howe, who proclaimed Mother’s Day in 1870 would do.

About the Artist & Sculpture Read the rest of this entry »

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