Making young women learn ropes of politics, i-WIL way
Kitchen to session
Falguni Rajput (39), a member of the Nationalist Congress Party from Mumbai is so tired of women being “sidelined” in politics that she has now chosen to go back to school.
She hopes that she can bring about a change in the male-dominated political arena.
Shweta Brahmabhatt (30), a financial manager from Ahmedabad, has quit her cushy job with an investment banking company, to figure out for herself, whether she too like her father is meant to be in politics. She is on the verge of getting a ticket to contest the Assembly elections, and is still wondering whether she fits the bill.
The course - India-Women in Leadership (i-WIL) - an initiative by Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIMB) and Centre for Social Research, will be inaugurated by Margaret Alva, Governor of Rajasthan, on July 15.
The Rs 4.75-lakh course includes a six-week programme at IIMB, and two week-long study tours in Singapore and New Delhi.
Professor Rajeev Gowda, Chairperson, Centre for Public Policy Department, and a Congressman said the programme will give the students an insight into the new dimensions of practical politics, building a brand, on being a constructive opposition, apart from using the social media for political advertising, opinion polling and campaign management.
The course will also guide the students in facing elections and on becoming effective Parliamentarians.
“But more than anything, the focus will be on sensitising women on women’s issues, and how they can use politics as a platform to address the various problems,” added Gowda.
He said that the need for women representatives in politics would grow once the Women’s Reservation Bill is passed in the Lok Sabha. The course would help equip the women better to play an active role in policy decisions, he added.
The students, who are 25 years and above, will go through an intensive six-week session, including field trips to rural areas, at the IIM-B before they are taken to New Delhi and Singapore.
Speaking to Deccan Herald, Shweta Brahmabhatt said the course would determine her career prospects. Daughter of a Congress politician, she is interested in politics but is wary to take the plunge.
“I am a very private person, and being in politics means that my personal space will be invaded. My father has been urging me to join politics for a long time now, but I have had my reservations.
But when I came across this course, I thought that it would give me the answer that I am looking for. So I quit my job, and I am coming to Bangalore with an open mind,” she said.
For Falguni, it has been a slow and grinding journey in the field of politics.
After five years in NCP, she now holds the post of a treasurer for NCP in Basaivirar district. “The opportunities are far and few for women in politics. They are always given charge of only one portfolio – women and child welfare, or they are completely sidelined.
I am hoping that this course will better equip me to handle myself in this male-dominated sphere,” she added.