February 3, 2009 2:24:40 am
International womens group launches an Indian chapter as part of its fight against extremism and violence
Global terrorism and womens issue may apparently have nothing in common. But with an international womens group coming forward to unite and emotionally support women victims of the 26/11 attack,the two issues seem to meet.
Women without Borders,an international body which lobbies for womens issues across the globe,will on Tuesday launch in the city its Indian chapter as part of their fight against extremism and violence. Keeping in mind the 26/11 terror attacks,they would launch their Sisters Against Violence Extremism or SAVE program to unite women who have suffered due to any kind of disasters.
We launched our Vienna chapter during the time when Mumbai was going through one of the most dangerous sieges that any one had seen. The violence in the city was witnessed globally. Knowing that women were always victims of such large scale violence in a stronger way,we decided to launch our Indian chapter too, said Sonal Kellog,Indian co-ordinator of the group.
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As part of their global awareness campaign,the group visited several terror-hit places uniting women victims. During the Vienna conference,we invited women who had lost their loved ones in the 9/11 twin tower attacks,Madrid attacks and the 7/7 London attacks. It also had those women whose children had chosen violence and had joined extremist groups. As both these sets have seen the two sides of the coin,they all overwhelmingly agreed that violence to counter violence will only lead to more disasters, Kellog said.
The group came to India in the last week of January and visited Delhi first. Their next stops include Mumbai and Lucknow. We are visiting places which has seen terror attacks in the recent past. We conducted brainstorming sessions in schools and colleges there. The idea is to reach to the youngsters,as they in all their youth passion get easily attracted to extreme elements, said Kellog. We want other women groups in the country to come under one umbrella and help us in our initiative to get global help for terror victims, she added.
The group also wants to unite women affected in the areas hit by Naxals and other violence. State violence victims are another area we are looking at,but that is a bit utopian right now. We need to first reach out to terror victims globally and then proceed. The idea is to engage women cutting across barriers of region,religion and political identity in courageous dialogue against violent extremism, Kellog said.
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