Ranbir Kapoor turns youth leader for Shabana Azmi's women's welfare NGO, after being sensitised to situation of the girl child
Ranbir Kapoor has agreed to be the youth leader of the Mijwan Welfare Society( MWS), an NGO in Azamgarh UP, founded by the late Kaifi Azmi and now run by his beti Shabana Azmi.
Says the activist actress, "It was very sweet of Ranbir to come on board. Namrata Goel, the youth president of the NGO, invited him.
He came and met us. When he realised that at Mijwan, at just Rs 6000 a year, a girl child is given complete education and employment training and that he probably blows up twice the amount with his friends while at a movie or at dinner, he hopped aboard."
Adds Shabana, "My mother would go to Prithvi Theatre when I was a baby with me strapped to her back as we couldn't afford a maid.
She adored Prithviraj Kapoor, who at that time had a kind of cr che where I could play along with a few babies, looked after by a maid so our mothers could work in the theatre.
He was that progressive! Ranbir's parents Neetu and Rishi have remained close friends. Today, their son agreed to come on as youth leader in my NGO. Life has come full circle."
Ranbir's words touched her. "He told me that he was grateful to his parents for treating Riddhima (his sister) and him equally.
He then said, 'No. Actually... Riddhima has had an edge over me as our parents brought us up like that.'
He added that he wanted all the girls in India to have that edge to make up for all the years of being treated as secondary by their families. I loved him for saying that!"
We need to give the girl child equal opportunity so she gets a level playing field. I am happy that Mijwan Welfare Society (MWS), an NGO in Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh, is working to transform the lives of girls in rural India. I have been sensitised to women's issues because of MWS.
As their youth leader, I realize that today's girl child is tomorrow's empowered woman. We must invest in our girl child give her equal opportunity, so that the power of youth, propelled by girls and boys together, makes India a shining example for the world. As Youth Leader of MWS, I think International Women's Day is important because it celebrates the struggle of women to get their due.
I'm for the empowerment of women because I believe that's good for our society.
But even as we celebrate International Women's day I would like to take this opportunity to remind ourselves that there are many women who are struggling against a patriarchal system and it is for the youth to come forward and join organizations like Mijwan Welfare Society who are working to empower women.
Donate Rs 6000 a year and gift a girl child education for a year. We blow up several times that amount in a single evening!