Cancer Detection Camp
This year’s International Women’s Day on March 8 was quite purposeful, as SI held a Cancer Detection Camp for their sisters at the Primary Health Centre of Kanakapura taluk, Venkatarayanadoddi, just out of the city’s limits.
SIB team, with two other doctors and lab technicians, conducted pap smear tests to detect Cancer of the Cervix in a 100 women, aged between 25 to 40, from nearby villages. About seven women were found to be in need of further tests and care.
The camp ended with a delightful lunch and gifts contributed to the inmates, participants and the team by SIB members Sudha Manandi and Shruthi.
One breezy evening. One beautiful meeting. A riot of teddies. Guttural giggles, shy smiles and raucous laughter. Singing, dancing, yelling and playing.
A heap of soft toys, board games, balloons and goody treats.
Cakes, chocolates, juice and chips …
What an enriching day to share for SIB members with children of Sneha Care Home.
Protest Rally and Panel Discussion
Orange splashes of women and students marked a protest rally on November 25, 2017, to mark the ‘UN Day Against Violence on Women’. There were more than a 100 SI members from all over India, as well as supportive students from St Joseph’s School, who marched from Gandhi Square to St Mark’s Road.
In orange and black clothes, caps, banners and boards, the rallyists held up their placards at the traffic signals to beam their message across. “Wake up the gentleman” “Say No to Violence” and “Women are everywhere” were some of their missives. Silently, all afternoon, they held up the signs to convey what they wanted to say in front of signals, waiting till the lights turned green and made the traffic zoom again.
On the following day, November 26th, SIB conducted ‘Educate to Enable’, an electrifying Panel Discussion (watch it Here). Luminaries Uma Mahadevan Dasgupta, (Principal Secretary, women and child development), Shoma Bakre (Founder of ‘Let’s do some good’ and BEETF), Dr Shailaja Shastry (Director of Training and Research Initiatives) and Dr Florence D’Souza (Principal of Carmel High School) were moderated by Vandana Mehrotra (co-founder of ‘Social Ventures Solutions’.)
It was a thoughtful and thought-provoking discussion that focussed on chalking out plans for enabling, empowering and educating women. They talked about the value of skill-development and the importance of helping underprivileged sections to take their lives forward with effort and drive.
Meru Garden Project
This is one of a simple set of solutions offered by a book on medicinal plants, compiled by Dr Prathibha Vinay.
The priceless collection of books quickly reached a 1,000 eager donors, in order to contribute to the Meru Community Garden Project in Kenya. The focus is on ‘Educate, Enable and Empower Women’.
The set of home remedies can tell you all about the magic of ginger and barley, among other herbs. Currently, they are contributing to the health and life of the Meru Project. Read about it in Deccan Herald.
Lessons of Life
Sunlight and smiles splashed around SIB’s 14th year AGM meet. A visit to an adopted Government School at Kanakapura started the day. After distributing lunch and clothes, President Anuradha shared some wisdom with children in the assembly, giving lessons on the value of reading, learning as well as gender
Members Anita Belogodu and Sudha Manandi took the baton to two different meetings with boys and girls, giving speeches on the importance of self-defence against molestation and the value of hygiene. Five students who did not have toilets at home were identified so that their parents could be counselled.
Sanitary pads were distributed to the girls. Books collected by Past President Sudha Jalan and other members were donated. Earlier gifts of water filters, stone benches, a computer and printer were examined and found to be in good condition. The 14th year AGM meeting at Sudha Manandi’s beautiful farmhouse crowned the day.
Iqra International school supported SIB’s food initiative in August. The project involves collecting bags filled with rice and lentils and branded with the SIB logo. These are rich collections at many elite schools that are distributed to needy institutions.
Impressed with the monthly ‘Fistful of grains’ project, the National Association of Soroptimist International (NASI) has adopted it all over the country. Read more about it in Deccan Herald.
Green, Clean Messages
July bloomed in St Euphratious School, with some healing talks and medicinal plants. The first day of Van Mahotsav Week and the World Environment Day were celebrated with the planting of eight saplings. Members Dr Nalini and Dr Prathibha spoke to 350 schoolchildren on the role of herbal plants in enhancing the quality of life, health and hygiene. They distributed toilet kits with toothpastes, brushes and soaps.
Ornamental Oasis: Just next to a fuming, cluttered road, SI is building a cool, ornamental oasis, where it has planted riotous pink and yellow shrubs. Saunter near Karunashraya, a cancer hospice, to feast your eyes on blooms that hit and soothe the eye and freshen up the air.
SI also plans to take up a plot in another part of the town and grow some medicinal herbs to create awareness about primary health care. Those who would like to learn more can wait for SI’s living, growing, herbal library.
Self-defence Workshops: What happens when you’re attacked? Do you scream? Run? Faint? Bad idea. Don’t do any of these, but just … defend yourself. Maybe offend and attack. A recent self-defence workshop for the female staff of CSC Technologies was all about putting up hands and responding when attacked.
Women’s Day Programmes: March 8 was the day of fists and voices raised in protest as well as support. SIB joined the chorus of female sloganeers all over the city. Students in support of SI voiced their protest through silence as well as loud placards at some busy centres.
Meanwhile, in another area, an SI member addressed 40 rural women on empowerment, positivity and self-sufficiency. Having trained a number of village immigrants on tassel making and beauty tips, she enabled employment for myriad women. She held one of her regular workshops or counselling centres on Women’s Day. Some strengthening speeches were given at other parts of the city by the President, Anuradha Pradeep.
Live action and expressions through fluid movements… This interesting concept of theatre by SI members has motivated students, elders, women and differently-abled to contact and connect with each other extensively. Theatre is creating real change at apartment complexes and institutes such as Saheli, ACTS Nirmala Vidhyalaya and Parikrma School. Issues as diverse as domestic violence, ageism and environment are debated and defused. Sensitisation makes every Spectator a “Spectactor,” said an SI member.Read more about it in The Hindu and Deccan Herald here and here.
SIB Turns A Trippy 13
On April 1, SIB celebrated its 13th Charter Night. Becoming an ‘official’ teenager brought its own package of pulsing excitement. Looking back at 13 years of achievements [Read more about them in Past Projects] made members emotional and nostalgic. Recent year-long successes too have been creditable in the main thrust areas: Education,
Economic empowerment, Environment, Healthcare and Food Security, Violence and conflict resolution.
A special panel discussion by luminaries Shukla Bose (founder of Parikrma Schools), Shoma Bakre (Founder of Bangalore Effective Education Task Force), Rani Shetty (Vanita Sahaya Vani) and Ian Faria (Leadership Coach, Corporate Trainer and Counsellor) was moderated by Kavita Iyer (CEO of Minglebox Communications). The debate on ‘NGOs, the way forward’ was electrifying. The speakers arrived at the consensus that Sustainability, Scalability and Impact of NGOs are inter-related. When an NGO is sustainable, it can scale its work and make maximum impact, they explained.
RUN FOR CANCER
A stream of almost 1,000 runners set fire to the dew-dipped parks of Cubbon Park on Sunday morning, November 6. Fresh-faced children, bright oldies, sari-clad women and jean-clad teenagers … they were all part of a fun run from Century Club.
Ashwini Nachappa, national sportswoman, was the first bright spark that flagged off the fiery, feisty morning at 7 a.m. The runners circled the park and returned to the starting point by afternoon. “That was a fantastic event. A super sprint,” cried a participant.
Indeed, it was a Biggie in every way, mobilising special partnership with Business Network International, and support from organisations such as Microlabs and Agadi Hospital. It was flagged off to support Karunashraya, a Cancer hospice. Read more about it in Deccan Herald.
Chief Guest Ashwini Nachappa: “It has been my privilege and honour to have received the Honorary Membership from Soroptimist International Bangalore. The phenomenal work all members of the SIB undertake is commendable and I am happy to be a part of this fraternity. Look forward to working together.“
Karunashraya, the Cancer Hospice that was supported by SI through the Run For Cancer event: “The trouble that your team went to in creating a publicity video was indeed remarkable…The funds will be utilised to buy medicines for our patients, and only eternity will reveal how many suffering patients have been benefited from these medicines and supplies.”