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‘Kitty parties’ a way to empower village women

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New Delhi: The women of rural areas are redefining the idea of ‘kitty parties’ as a tool for their empowerment in water-starved Nashik district of Maharashtra.

While the concept of ‘kitty parties’ is widely known in urban areas among rich women, these village women are using it as a collective power to reach out places.

In village after village in Nashik, the “kitty parties” are held, ironically, at Hindu temples, which some of these ladies were barred from entering until some years back.

Together the women of Khaprale, Chandrapur and Jamgaon villages of Nashik district have decided to fight the social evils and problems.

The changes were in part initiated by an NGO in collaboration with Hindustan Coco Cola Beverages Pvt Ltd, which has a major plant in the town of Nashik.

The women collectives today are like mini banks, encouraging women to save and lending out cash to those in need.

They have been working for six months bringing the village women together for their own good, said the members of NGO.

Over time, there has been a mini-revolution in many villages. But the effort paid off.

“Now, if we face a problem, it is our responsibility to find a solution. No one can help you all the time. We have started to think on our own and help ourselves and others solve their problems,” said 45 years old Sindhutai Sadfule with the confidence of a woman who has finally found her voice.

These women, members of Self Help Groups (SHG), deposit Rs.100 a month in a common bank account and maintain the details in a register. Money is lent out to villagers in need, not just to women, at a certain rate of interest.

“We have six to seven groups and each has 10-12 women. Once a request for loan comes up, we sit and decide whether or not the money is to be lent to a person,” explained Sunita Prakash, 27.

In case more than one person seeks a loan, “the money is lent keeping the priority and the importance of the work in mind. We give preference to the one who needs it the most”, added 28-year-old Meera Tadpe.

“We arrange everything on our own. We bring food and tea and lemon juice from our homes. At times we buy sweets too, taking out some money from our collective account,” said Vijaya Sabale, explaining the concept of “kitty parties”.

Sabale also expressed her gratefulness towards the village women who financially helped her in her son’s marriage.

“I had borrowed Rs.10,000 from the group and it helped us a lot in meeting the wedding expenditure,” she said. “I returned the loan in 10 months.”(IANS)

(Image Courtesy: washington.edu)

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Women with Sleep Apnea at Greater Cancer Risk, Warn Researchers

The data showed that 2.8 per cent of all women had been diagnosed with a serious cancer compared to 1.7 per cent of all men in the group

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Previous research has shown that obesity and high-fat diets both together and independently increase the risk of pancreatic cancer.
The actress was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year. Pixabay

Women with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are more likely to be diagnosed with cancer than men with the condition, warn researchers.

Common symptoms of sleep apnea, include snoring, disrupted sleep and fatigue.

“Our study of more than 19,000 people shows that the severity of OSA is linked to a cancer diagnosis,” said study lead author Athanasia Pataka, Assistant Professor at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece.

“This link was especially strong in the women that we analysed, and less so in the men, and the study suggests that severe OSA could be an indicator for cancer in women, though more research is needed to confirm these findings,” Pataka explained.

In people suffering from OSA, the airways close completely or partially many times during sleep, reducing the levels of oxygen in the blood.

Cancer patient
Cancer patient.

The researchers analysed data from 19,556 people (5,789 women and 13,767 men) included in the European Sleep Apnoea Database (ESADA) to explore the link between OSA severity, low blood oxygen levels and cancer development.

The researchers looked at the number of times the participants experienced partial or complete airways closure per hour of sleep, as well as the number of times their blood oxygen levels dropped below 90 per cent at night.

Also Read- Sepsis Subtypes Identified, Different Remedies Stressed

The data showed that 2.8 per cent of all women had been diagnosed with a serious cancer compared to 1.7 per cent of all men in the group.

The study, published in the European Respiratory Journal, suggests that people who experience more closures of the airways during sleep and whose blood oxygen saturation levels drop below 90 per cent more frequently are more likely to be diagnosed with cancer than people without OSA. (IANS)