#SheInspiresUs: The seven women who spread hope through the PM’s Twitter handle

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi went off social media, including Twitter, to let 7 women take over his account to share their inspiring stories. This was the PM's social media campaign to celebrate Women's Day 2020.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi went off social media, including Twitter, to let 7 women take over his account to share their inspiring stories. This was the PM’s social media campaign to celebrate Women’s Day 2020.

Dr Malvika Iyer, a bomb blast survivor, is a motivational speaker and disability activist. Using the PM’s handle, @MalvikaIyer tweeted, “ People with disabilities should have equal representation—be it media, politics or any other field. The more we see them, the more we accept them as part of our society. Representation is key.”

Malvika wrote, “Acceptance is the greatest reward we can give to ourselves. We can’t control our lives but we surely can control our attitude towards life. At the end of the day, it is how we survive our challenges that matters most.”

The suspense was finally over at 11 am on Sunday,  when Prime Minister Narendra Modi signed off his social media accounts for the day, and what we saw by way of tweets from @narendramodi were hashtagged #SheInspiresUs. And seven women got to spread the message of their passion and work, using the @narendramodi handle.

Dr Malvika Iyer
Dr Malvika Iyer

None of them is a name that we can immediately place or connect with. Their cause, and their dedication to it, sure touches our hearts. While the social sector in India must have hundreds of secret superheroines who we will all be happy to know about, www.indiaingoogletimes.com presents in random order, the seven who got to use the PM’s accounts for the day. It is an unabashed and total “lift” from www.narendamodi.in and Twitter.

Malvika was one of the seven. At 13, she survived a gruesome bomb blast that blew off her hands and severely damaged her legs. But she did not give up her determination. A PhD now, she says “Giving up is never an option. Forget your limitations and take on the world with confidence and hope.”

Malvika  believes that education is indispensable for change.“We need to sensitize young minds about discriminatory attitudes. We need to show people with disabilities as role models instead of showing them as weak and dependent,” she writes.

Kalawati Devi

Kalawati Devi of Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh used the Prime Minister’s social media to share her inspiring story of building toilets for those  who cannot afford them.

She raised money from people in her village and mobilised people about the importance of cleanliness. Through her strong determination, she has constructed thousands of toilets and encouraged people to maintain personal hygiene. She says, “Hygiene is necessary for being healthy.”

To all the women across the country, Kalwati Devi has a message.“Sincere efforts to take society forward never fail. Move out of your homes. If someone opposes or argues, let them do. If you want to achieve your goal, then do not look back.”

Kalpana Ramesh is a “Go Green Water Champion and shared her views on the crucial subject of water scarcity and water conservation.

Through her handle @kalpana_designs, she tweeted “Much as I would love to, the first half of the day has been spent managing this Twitter handle. So, this has not quite been a normal Sunday. A busy and satisfying one!

Kalpana Ramesh

I wish to inspire every single individual to take action and ace water management. Conserve and save. Sensitise others, work with communities.”

Kalpana is a ‘Water Warrior’ and doing her bit to water secure the future of our children. She believes that small efforts can make a big impact.

Taking to PM Modi’s Twitter handle she writes, “Water is a valuable inheritance we got. Let’s not deprive our next generations. Contribute by using water responsibly, harvesting rainwater, saving lakes, recycling used water and creating awareness.”

Kalpana says that she never imagined she could bring back birds to a lake or tweet from the PM’s handle. She says that with firm resolve, the impossible can emerge and we can bring a change in the communities with collective action on how we manage water resources. “Let us become problem solvers,” says Kalpana.

Sneha Mohandoss
Sneha Mohandoss

Sneha Mohandoss feeds the hungry. Her first tweet, using @narendramodi was

“You heard of food for thought. Now, it is time for action and a better future for our poor.

Hello, I am @snehamohandoss. Inspired by my mother, who instilled the habit of feeding the homeless, I started this initiative called Foodbank India. #SheInspiresUs

Sneha, Founder of FoodBank-India, was inspired by her mother, who instilled the habit of feeding the homeless and thus began her initiative.

Sneha, along with a team of volunteers, works towards eradicating hunger. Food Bank-India has over 20 chapters and has brought a positive difference in the lives of many through their work. Sneha says that Food Bank-India has also initiated activities like mass cooking, cooking marathons, breastfeeding awareness drives.

She urges fellow citizens, especially women to come forward and join hands with her. She urges everyone to feed at least one needy person and contribute to a hunger-free planet. Within an hour of taking over the PM’s account, her followers doubled.

“I also hope the efforts towards removing hunger also double now and wish that all the followers will also follow our mission” she tweeted.

Arifa Jaan
Arifa Jaan

Arifa Jaan , an artisan from Kashmir, worked extensively to revive the “Namda” craft, according to narendramodi.in. Arifa tweeted,

“I always dream of reviving the traditional crafts of Kashmir because this is a means to empower local women.

I saw the condition of women artisans and so began working to revise the Namda craft.”

Veena Devi shared in the PM’s Twitter timeline her unique mushroom farming technique, which not only made her self-reliant but also boosted her morale.

The farmer from Munger in Bihar says, “Everything can be achieved with will”

Veena Devi had started cultivating mushrooms under her bed. She says, “Today women are not far behind in any field. If the women power of the country is determined, then they can start their journey from their home itself. Due to this farming I got respect. I became a sarpanch. It is a pleasure for me that many women like myself are getting similar training opportunities.”

She further says that today the women of Munger have become an example for the whole country. From farming at home to selling the produce in the local Haats, the entire task is her responsibility and her life story inspires everyone.

Here’s Veena Devi sharing about her mushroom farming technique:

Vijaya Pawar from Maharashtra showcased Banjara handicrafts on the PM’s handle and shared the wonderful Banjara handicrafts and familiarized everyone with the artworks.

Vijaya has been making Banjara handicrafts for the last two decades. Tweeting in Marathi, she wrote that PM Modi not only encouraged them to promote ‘Gormati Art’ but also provided financial assistance. She said that it was a matter of glory for the women associated with the Banjara handicraft.

She has been working on the Banjara handicraft the last two decades and has thousands of women assisting her.

Here is hoping the use of Prime Minister’s handle for a day gives their work some real momentum.

The story was first published by the author on her blog, India in Googletimes, and has been republished with permission. The original article can be found here.

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2 Comments

  1. An interesting article on an important topic. I read the article twice since I got confused after reading the article as you can see. I would appreciate if my doubts can be cleared. I am interested in the topic to understand how did AAP actually keep the promise of halving the power tariff while maintaining the fiscal balance. It almost sounds like we can have free lunch which cannot be true.

    “AAP had promised to halve the electricity bill. Mrs Bhalla’s bill was zero in Nov and Dec 2019. Malini who was paying Rs 6000 per month started to get a subsidy of Rs. 761 since August, 2019. Dinesh Kumar was getting zero bill for the last five to six months. Krtika Singh in Tilak Nagar has also been getting zero bills since August, 2019. AAP claims that it has reduced electricity bills by 50%.

    Article states at one place that subsidy announced was 20% up to 200 units, 35% from 201 to 400 units and zero after that.”

    I am giving the above quotes for my confusion.

    While the article giving the examples of Bhalla, Malini and Kumar creates an impression Delhi residents are getting “free electricity” since few months. Of course this is not true though the author ends up creating that impression at least in my case. Later the author after giving the new fixed charges shows how DERC reduced the fixed charges. There is no explanation as to how DERC reduced it. Since it is easy to reduce fixed charges by transferring to actual use through tariff increase, it would have been useful had the author explained why and how this happened. Did the government asked to reduce these fixed charges? After all some one has to pay it – either consumers through higher tariff or the government through higher subsidies or the generating/transmission companies by improving the efficiency or through reducing its rate of return.

    Having created the impression that AAP has met the promise of halving the electricity bill, it ends by showing how actual bill has reduced only by 18.56% for consumers with 2KW load, and by 28.43% for consumers with 5 KW. What happened to the implied claim of 50% savings?

    I agree that AAP has certainly reduced power bill by doling out subsidy. But as we all know there is no free lunch in this world. What impact this had on the budget? On the other hand if we find out that AAP managed to reduce power bill without having a “significant” impact on the budget (you told me that they even had a surplus) then one needs to appreciate it.

    Look forward to getting some explanation.

    regards
    Bhamy

  2. The AAP manifesto indeed said they would halve the electricity bills. People did not believe they would be able to implement the subsidy. Today it is not half for all, it is free for some and a saving of about Rs800 for those who consume less than 400 units, and absolutely no subsidy for those who consume more than 400 units.

    When they assumed office in 2013, they spelt out the subsidies– 20% up to 200 units, 35% from 201 to 400 units and zero after that. It would have reduced the bills to half for some, not all power consumers, but the government was gone in 49 days. When Arvind Kejriwal returned to power in 2015, it continued that way, and so there was no buzz about the power subsidy.

    That is when, in Aug 2019—a few months before the assembly elections of Feb 2020 –, the Delhi government tweaked the scheme, announcing a 100 per cent subsidy for those who consume up to 200 units for power a month, and Rs 800 off their bills for those consuming between 201 to 400 units. It is since then that the bills came to zero for those who consumed less than 200 units, and others got a subsidy of 800 rupees. It helped that October, November weather in the capital is very pleasant: you don’t need ACs or heaters, so many people saved Rs800 a month. Those who ran up over 400 units got no subsidy.

    The DERC is mandated to fix the tariff –fixed load charges as well as power tariff for consumers, so it did, not from their pockets or reducing the price they pay. The gap on account of the subsidy was bridged by the Delhi government through budgetary allocations.

    The Delhi government has paid for the power subsidy without impacting their budget adversely, and they say, it is their prudence –no frivolous expenses on themselves, Now, the Congress has said they will give free electricity upto 300 units, and the BJP has said they will continue to the AAP subsidies on power if elected!

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