When I entered the festooned gates of JMC on the morning of 23rd February, I found the atmosphere inside ridden with confusion, with some palpable heat and anxiety flowing around. Reason? The Women Studies and Development Center, my alter ego while I was still in college, was waiting to launch one of their most prideworthy initiatives of the year in the august presence of the Mayor of Delhi, Ms. Rajni Abbi. Quite obviously, my juniors, who now hold the reigns of WSDC, were facing essential bouts of pre-event jitters.It is not everyday that the Mayor of Delhi herself agrees to walk in through the gates of your college to give to your endeavours her blessings and encouragement. However, that is precisely what Ms. Abbi consented to do- to be with a bunch of enthusiastic young scribes wanting to make their quill their sword of revolution- and the kind of person she is, we were easily stunned and mesmerized by her.
"Still I Rise"- this is the name of a recently launched monthly newsletter by WSDC, JMC, which seeks to address bold topics relating to gender issues- the concerns and the celebration. It is a unique and unprecedented initiative, at least as far as the history of JMC is concerned. If the first issue of this journal is anything to go by, I am more than sure that the forthcoming issues will only get better and more interesting, and will carry lots of informative and entertaining content which will definitely appeal to the sensibilities of the young, the concerned and the daring. You can know more about this newsletter by clicking here. This link directs you to the blog of this still nascent product of young imaginations, trying hard to mark its presence among people who take interest in issues relating to women empowerment, gender parity, inter alia.
A simple half hour rendezvous with Rajni ma'am ensured us that their could not have been a better icon of female strength and achievement whom WSDC could have invited to launch the first issue of Still I Rise. The fact that they invited me, their ex-President alongside her is something that makes me swell with pride. Tantamount to pride also lingers the humbling feeling of gratitude. Rajni ma'am had a personality that makes one instantly like her. She is a teacher by profession, a teacher at heart, and somehow, I always believed that teachers make for excellent leaders. They already know how to shape futures, mold young minds into mature ideals, and be inspirations without having to try too hard.
Professor Rajni Abbi heads one of the three municipal corporations of Delhi, namely the MCD. The designation of a Mayor has a lot of pomp associated with it. So while we were expecting a VIP to enter our college at 11:30, Prof. Abbi nonchalantly walked into our campus at 11:25, not as a VIP, but like a humble leader who belongs to the masses. Her punctuality and humility were immediately noticeable, but what was even better was her keen understanding of a student's life and an urge to cooperate with us. She was friendly, and gave us helpful sermons which we ought to remember for our own benefit. No moment spent with her lacked the dynamism she effortlessly exuded. It was the first time I met her, and though I have no idea of what her accomplishments are, I still felt like sharing the first impression she left on me. Political ideologies, I have none. But an addiction to recording the best of experiences in life I certainly do. This was one of them.
My best wishes to the WSDC team. Make sure each step you all now take only takes your forward. What you have began should not end with college. Your passions should accompany you everywhere you go. You all make me proud, for all the right reasons.
PS- Sometimes, its just a smile you need. A smile that you carry, a smile that you can lend. I think some of you reading this will understand what I am referring to :)
|With Ms. Rajni Abbi and a copy of Still I Rise in my hand|