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Durga Vahini: A self-Defense Program for Hindu Women in India

A subsidiary of the Hindu nationalist organisation Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP)

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Durga Vahini Image: Outlookindia
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Durga Vahini is the female counterpart of the Bajrang Dal, a subsidiary of the Hindu nationalist organisation Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) which was established in 1991. The founding Chairperson of Durga Vahini is Sadhvi Rithambara. Women between the ages of 18 and 35 are allowed to join this camp and trained.

 Know more about Durga Vahini-

  • Set up by a Hindu organisation VHP (Vishwa Hindu Parishad or World Hindu Council) in 1984-85.
  • Women aged 18 to 35 years are eligible to join the group.
  • The organization’s website describes it as a “dynamic voluntary organisation” of young Hindu women.
  • It says the organisation “strives for the security of society” and imparts knowledge of culture and tradition.
  • Every member is expected to exercise regularly for “increasing her physical stamina” and to read “good literature”.
  • The group says it “ensures rehabilitation” of widows, women who have been deserted by their husbands, or women “involved in accidents”.
  • Training camps of 15-20 days are organised for members in all states.
  • The group runs vocational training and tailoring centres and blood donation camps, among other things.
  • Members are also trained in “dagger wielding” and use of firearms, according to the website. ( Source: BBC news)
  • Durga Vahini Training classes. Image source: vhpdelhi.blogspot.com
    Durga Vahini Training classes. Image source: vhpdelhi.blogspot.com

In India, thousands of youths have joined Bajrangi Dal. For girls who want to join such organisation, VHP founded an independent organisation of Hindu Yuwatis (Women) in the name of Durga Vahini on Ashwin Shukla Ashtami (Durga-Ashtami).

Durga Vahini stresses the Service, Security and Sanskars while working in the society —

  • Sewa- Durga Vahini run several service centres like Tailoring centres, vocational courses etc. in different places of the country. The Women uninhabited by her in-laws and widows are mostly among the women who join Durga Vahini. Aid to service projects/activities, hostels, orphanages etc. working in the Sewa Bastis is being acquired through the medium of Free Tution, Dan-Patra, Mushti-Dan Scheme etc. Ror rendering service to humanity, Durga Vahini also holds Blood Donation Camps, Blood Group Determination Camps etc.
  • Suraksha- During the course of this training, practice is being made of physical education, Yog and Niyuddha together with Chhurika (dagger wielding) Gun (firing) etc.
  • Sanskar- Sourya Prashikshan Vargas are conducted for 6 to 15 days in almost all the provinces of the country. Apart from these, a two-days Abhyas Vargas also are organised on divisional and district levels. The Durgas are trained to live a disciplined and Susanskarit (well-cultured) life.

-prepared by Pashchiema (with inputs from BBC news and vhp.org), an intern at NewsGram. Twitter: @pashchiema

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  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Instead of having it as Hindu women, Hindu centric, it should’ve been just women. There are many women in this country who need the basic self defence education. So rather than confining it to ‘Hindu women’, it should be upgraded to ‘women’

  • Pashchiema Bhatia

    Durga Vahini has also been involved in many controversies.. A documentary showcasing the environment of Durga Vahini camp was also released.

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Instead of having it as Hindu women, Hindu centric, it should’ve been just women. There are many women in this country who need the basic self defence education. So rather than confining it to ‘Hindu women’, it should be upgraded to ‘women’

  • Pashchiema Bhatia

    Durga Vahini has also been involved in many controversies.. A documentary showcasing the environment of Durga Vahini camp was also released.

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Accenture, Grameen Foundation’s apps to boost women’s financial inclusion

Accenture Labs in collaboration with the non-profit Grameen Foundation has developed two artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR)-based applications that can boost rural women's access to financial services

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Accenture releases app to empower women. IANS

Accenture Labs in collaboration with the non-profit Grameen Foundation has developed two artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR)-based applications that can boost rural women’s access to financial services.

The apps — Emotional Analytics for Social Enterprises (EASE) and Grameen Guru — will be rolled out by Grameen Foundation India across 300 villages in the states of Maharashtra and Odisha, Accenture Labs said in a statement on Wednesday.

Leveraging AI and AR-based technologies, the applications will help users better understand financial products and services, enabling them to make informed choices that positively impact their financial and social well-being.

mobile apps that all women should have
This app will empower rural women. Wikimedia Commons

“This is a tremendous example of how technology can help bridge the vast cultural and educational divide in places like India, having a real impact on the way people work and live,” said Sanjay Podder, Managing Director, Accenture Labs India.

EASE is an AI-based web and mobile app that helps microfinance advisors gain real-time insights into the emotional and cognitive status of their clients, based on video and audio inputs.

Helping to improve cross-cultural communication, the tool provides deeper insights on precisely what topics or keywords attract attention, or cause clients to disengage. On the other hand, Grameen Guru is a smartphone-based multilingual chatbot that leverages AR technology to help clients who cannot read and understand written material.

Also Read: Twitter allows third-party apps for account verification

Using the app, a user can hold their phone over a brochure that details available financing options, for example, and the Guru virtual assistant will pop up and prompt a conversation in the local language to explain the material.

“Barriers — ranging from illiteracy to a lack of bank branches in rural areas, coupled with a lack of confidence and access to information — hinder adoption for millions of low-income women in India,” said Prabhat Labh, CEO, Grameen Foundation India. The use of these new technologies will enable effective economic empowerment of women, he noted. IANS