On 25 years of AIDWA

12 March 2006  
PHONE No. 23710476, 23319566
The 25th anniversary of the All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA), which is today the largest women's organisation in the country with a membership in 22 States of more than 90 lakhs, was celebrated today on the Vithalbhai Patel House lawns at New Delhi. After hoisting the AIDWA flag, the President Subhashini Ali paid homage to the many martyrs of the organisation who have laid down their lives in the struggle against terrorism, anti-national separatists, landlords and capitalist goons, and in the course of struggles to improve the lives of poor women and their families. Their struggles and their sacrifices have inspired the innumerable leaders and activists of the organisation all over the country.
Amongst those present were AIDWA founders Papa Umanath, a veteran of militant working class movements before and after independence who spent many of her youthful years in prison and has been in the forefront of the women's movement for decades and Mallu Swarajyam, a heroine of the pre-Independence Telangana armed peasants struggle and an indefatigable fighter for the rights of women and of the poor. Pappa Umanath released a small booklet listing some of the important AIDWA-led campaigns on issues like Food Security, Water, Employment and Land, which has been brought out specially for the occasion. She presented the first copy to Dr. Vina Mazumdar, one of the pioneers of the Women's Studies movement in the country, who had inaugurated the Founding Conference of AIDWA at Chennai, Tamil Nadu in March 1981.
Representatives from national women's organizations with whom AIDWA has a long rich history of co-operation - Jyotsna Chatterjee(Joint Womens Programme), Mary Khemchand (Young Women's Christian Association), Primila Loomba (National Federation of Indian Women), Suman Krishnakant (Mahila Dakshata Samiti) and Syeeda Hamid, ( Muslim Women's Forum) extended their greetings on the occasion. Representatives of CITU, AIKS, AIAWU, DYFI, and SFI greeted AIDWA on this happy occasion.
Brinda Karat (MP), who was a most inspiring and path-breaking General Secretary of AIDWA for several years and who is now its Vice-President, gave a stirring key note address highlighting AIDWA's understanding of the women's question and of the challenges that would have to be addressed in the future. She emphasized the great need for joint actions in the face of the assault of imperialist globalization and the renewed danger of communalism and the multi-dimensional violence that they engender. She assured the meeting that AIDWA would take all steps that were necessary for this.
Janam, the well-known street-theatre group, staged "Aurat" , a play that depicts the inequalities and exploitation faced by women at different stages of their lives, and demonstrates that collective and organized struggle is the only way to change this.
Sudha Sundararaman, General Secretary of AIDWA reiterated AIDWA's commitment to challenging the status quo, and fighting for justice with interventions at various levels. She thanked all those who had come to the meeting for their participation and support. The meeting ended with a group song performed by the group Parcham.
Subhashini Ali
Sudha Sundararaman
(General Secretary)