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A letter everyday to president on women’s bill


New Delhi : A letter everyday to President Pratibha Patil, communities on social networking sites and blogs — these are the new initiatives announced by rights group campaigning for the passage of Women’s Reservation Bill in parliament.

Ranjana Kumari, director of the Centre for Social Research who is heading the campaign, said: “We are tired of the government’s slow progress towards passing of the Women’s Reservation Bill. We had pinned all hopes on the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government’s intent of passing the bill, which was on 100-day agenda but are now left wondering why has it failed again?

“Therefore, women’s groups are now resorting to unique ways of mounting pressure. These letters that we will send everyday, from all across the country, will act as regular reminders to awaken the government,” she added.

The bill proposes 33 percent reservation for women in parliament and state legislatures.

Besides the letters, the Internet will also be used extensively to garner support and streamline voices from across the country to put pressure on the passage of the bill.

“We will create accounts on social networking sites like Facebook, update blogs and e-groups to support the campaign,” Kumari added.

In order to make the campaign more effective, diverse and influential groups of people will also be approached for support.

Kumari said that Bharat Ratna and Padma Shri awardees, Vir Chakra and Paramvir Chakra decorated soldiers, Magsaysay awardees, social workers, former judges of the Supreme Court and the high courts, personalities including cinema and theatre artists will be invited to join the campaign.

“It should also be noted that the president has the constitutional powers to nominate candidates to the Rajya Sabha. Therefore, we will request her to create more space for women in the upper house of parliament,” Kumari said.