Friday, November 20, 2009

Momentous News from Visva-Bharati, West Bengal!

 Just in from eastern India:

"Dear Dr. McSweeney,

I received a copy of your mail to Kumkum {Bhattacharya - UNITWIN Coordinator Visva-Bharati} and am happy to know the activities, plans and programs of UNITWIN. I am happy to inform you that UGC {University Grants Commission} has granted us the status of a Women's Studies Centre for which we have been trying for the last ten years as a Cell.

I have joined as Director two months back and we have taken up different plans and projects under the umbrella. We plan to have a national conference on Women and Development around March 2010 and would try to get Martha Nussbaum. Prof. Amartya Sen would also be visiting in Dec. 2009 and I wish to discuss our plans with him. We had a wonderful inauguration function as Kumkum wrote to you with paying our respects to about 30 Women in Santiniketan who have made life long contributions in various capacities to Ashrama life of

For the present we have decided to limit our activities basically within Birbhum District. I already had a meeting last month with 20 NGO's working in Birbhum for empowerment of Women. We plan to work with them beside our own programs and research.

We wish to thank you very much for all the help and look for more and more interactions.

With warm personal regards and best,

Asha Mukherjee
Director, Women's Studies Centre
Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan"

Huge congratulations to Asha and our Visva-Bharti UNITWIN Partners!

Kumkum Bhattacharya's excitement:

"One momentous piece of news - Visva-Bharati has its own Women's Studies Centre inaugurated on October 25, 2009 by Professor Jasodhara Bagchi the founding director of the Women's Studies Centre, Jadavpur University and presently the Chairperson, Women's Commission, West Bengal and Professor Sumita Sen, present Director of the Jadavpur University's Women's Studies Centre." 

Indeed, thrilling news that we hope will be inspirational to other Women's Studies initiatives in India and beyond!