In 1919, a small group of lady volunteers, led by Lady Russell, a Britisher, and three other friends, made a humble beginning in serving the community. Sustained by their selfless spirit and zeal for social welfare, the Delhi State Council of Women (DSCW) operated out of the garages and the homes of the ladies.
The primary objective of DSCW is women’s empowerment through education, and by providing a platform for the economically weaker sections of our society to gain skills and knowledge through vocational courses and training programs.
Programs offered by DSCW’s full-fledged vocational training centre such as nursery classes, beauty culture and hair dressing, tailoring, embroidery, tuition, computer education, and adult education classes are running to full capacity. Every year several girls complete the embroidery course from DSCW and become earning members of their families. Over 170 children are enrolled in the DSCW school across nursery, KG, and Class-1. Funded by donations from members and well-wishers, the school is entirely run on a charitable basis with very nominal fees.
The conversational English course now utilizes a new “Spoken English for employability” technique of designed by Times of India group & the British Council of India. Adult education & English speaking classes are totally free of cost with all the educational material provided to students.
The initiative to provide summer, winter, and sports uniforms to the primary schoolers free of cost was begun by Mrs. Uma Soni, joint secretary, and is now carried forward by Mrs. Harvinder Kaur Suri, general secretary. The mid-day meal program is underwritten by Frick India Company.
Pursuant to a request from the Asia Pacific Regional Council (APRC), Mrs. Sneh Lata Gandhi, assisted by Mrs. Kusum Saxena, Mrs. Uma Soni, Dr. Kiran Kukreja, Mrs. Nirta Akre (Shimla), & Mrs. Madhu Sud (Shimla), collected disaggregated data on “Women`s Experience of Poverty” and prepared a comprehensive report which was published in the APRC journal.
DSCW Program of Activities
1. A minimum of two medical camps/annum.
2. All festivals, including annual day & summer camp functions are celebrated with great enthusiasm, giving the children an opportunity to participate in various cultural programs so they can get over their inhibitions and develop their confidence.
3. Rakhi Bazaar & Diwali Mela are organized to generate funds.
4. Talks are organized on various women’s health issues.
5. Various workshops are organized for the benefit of underprivileged girls.
The following talks and demonstrations were organized over the preceding two years:
1. A talk on Vermicomposting by Brig. Amrit Kapoor on how to use kitchen waste and garden cuttings for composting in order to save and enrich the environment. 2. A talk on how to help children differentiate between “good touch” and “bad touch”. 3. Eye check-up camp for K.G. and Class-1, courtesy Lions Club. 4. Health camp by Indian Cancer Society for women organized jointly by Dr. Amita Rani (Rotary Club) & Dr. Santosh Sahi. Asha Kiran arranged for mammography for ladies over 40 years of age. 5. Dr. Kiran Kukreja gave a talk on how to prevent Dengue 6. A talk on Menstrual Hygiene & Myths was arranged by Dr. Kiran Kukreja. 7. Healthy cooking class by nutritional expert Sangeeta Dutta 8. A talk on “Cherish Your Health” by Dr. Santosh Sahi 9. A talk on “How to ensure your safety” by Roma Sharma 10. Tips on Facial & Hair styling by Mrs. Shetty 11. Haircare products for the rainy season by Amway experts organized by Babli Khurana. 12. “Dadi Maakipotli” - home remedies of different diseases 13. A presentation on organic Turmeric a single window remedy for all ailments by Mr. K.D. Khanna 14. Gruh Lakshmi program in association with Mother Dairy by Mrs. Bela Verma. 15. Seminar by Vivo Healthcare “Skill India to Save Lives”. 16. Demonstration on beauty-care with food products. 17. How to live & lead happy life by Mr. Gopi Kishan Bali 18. How to drape saree in different styles by beautician Mrs. Shetty 19. Making flowers & decorative items with quilting art by Mrs. Kumud Jain.
1. Debate on Note-Bandi (Demonetization) 2. Debate on “Labour Day”
1. Talk on Vegetable Carving by Mrs. Kumud Jain 2. Tree Plantation drive at the DSCW school 3. Conversion of kitchen waste into different enzymes by Nalini Kamal 4. Talk on herbal tea & usefulness of plants & flowers by Mrs. Tripta Garg
1. For the New Year, freshness without make-up by the power of inner self & the supreme soul by Brahmakumari Sandhya & Dr. Aruna 2. Yoga & Meditation by ISHA UPA organized by Uma Soni
1. DSCW celebrated various festivals including Lohri, Diwali, Holi, Durga Puja, Mahashivratri, Christmas, and Gurpurab. 2. Sanjhi Chabeel was organized by Mrs. Rita Suri, Mrs. Veena Sethi & team. 3. DSCW celebrated International Women’s Day on 8th March with a masterclass by Shihan Jay Baghel, president of the Brazilian JuJitsu Association of India, on self-defense techniques.
PICNIC & OUTINGS
Picnics at Lodhi Garden & Sunder Nursery Park were well appreciated and followed by requests that the picnics be arranged more often. A Musical Evening by Gitanjali Raigat, a fundraiser, was organized at the Sathya Sai International Centre. DSCW’s executive committee meets each month to discuss our projects & program for the next month, while our monthly coffee socials attract full member participation and new memberships. Mrs. Sneh Lata Gandhi & Mrs. Uma Soni participated in the 35th ICW General Assembly at Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Mrs. Sneh Lata Gandhi read the Lydie Rossini Fund project report in the conference and spoke at the APRC seminar “WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT THROUGH INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY”. ICW graciously highlighted DSCW’s work.
Dr. Amita Rani, past president, had to cancel her participation in the 35th ICW General Assembly at the last minute, as DSCW lost a stalwart member, former president and patron Mrs. Rajesh Gupta (mother of Dr. Amita Rani). Mrs. Rajesh Gupta was the heart and soul of DSCW. All her life, she devoted herself tirelessly to the Council, to the upliftment of women, and to the cause of child welfare. She organized many fundraising events and also raised funds in her personal capacity from various persons. Even when in failing health due to advancing age, she still made it a point to attend the Friday get together & Council Meetings.