International Women’s Day 2019

International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

International Women’s Day (IWD) has occurred for well over a century, with the first​ ​IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. Prior to this the​ Socialist Party of America, United Kingdom’s Suffragists and Suffragettes, and further groups campaigned for women’s equality.

The Bhopal survivors’ movement features many prominent and powerful women. The Chingari Trust is an all-women’s trust and their rallying cry, which inspired the name of the trust, crystallises their determination and courage:

Champadevi Shukla and Rashida Bee

“Hum Bhopal ke nari hain,

Hum phool nahin, chingari hain.’

(We are the women of Bhopal.

We are flames, not flowers.)

The Chingari trust was established by two remarkable women campaigners Rashida Bee and Champadevi Shukla, who were recognized for their activism and presented with the Goldman Environmental Award.

They used their prize money to found the trust, aiming to support initiatives that help protect and support the rights of victims of the Gas Disaster, particularly women and children. The Chingari Trust Rehabilitation Centre, of which BMA has been the main funder since 2009, is just one manifestation of the work of the trust.

For International women’s Day 2019, Sheffield Iyengar Yoga Centre are hosting a restorative workshop for women in aid of our Yoga for Bhopal project. The centre helps a different charity on this day each year and we’re delighted to have been chosen.

The class will be taken by experienced teacher, Helen Clay, whose calm and experienced teaching helps bring yogic breathing space to many a busy life.

 

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We believe Dow must finally accept responsibility for Bhopal. Until then, The Bhopal Medical Appeal funds two award-winning clinics in the city. Both offer free, first-class care to victims of the gas disaster or the ongoing water contamination. The survivors have nowhere else left to turn – please help if you can.