Ekta’s “Dastarkhwan” – Jamia’s Outreach Programme initiative for Gender Equity

A canteen run exclusively by women and operated by Ekta Self Help Group (SHG) was inaugurated in Jamia Millia Islamia today by Smt. Salma Ansari, Wife of Shri Mohammad Hamid Ansari, Hon’ble Vice-President of India.Smt. Salma Ansari was welcomed by Ms. Nasreen Ahmad, wife of Prof. Talat Ahmad, Vice-Chancellor, Jamia Millia Islamia as well as Prof. Talat Aziz and other senior academic and administrative officials of the university.

 This SHG is constituted for women from Jamia’s neighbourhood under the aegis of Dr. Zakir Husain Memorial Welfare Society (ZHMWS). Later, the Jamia’s Outreach Programme arranged for the training of this group for effective business plan and entrepreneurship. Prof. Talat Ahmad, Vice-Chancellor, Jamia Millia Islamia has taken a very keen interest in providing gender equity to the campus and this canteen is a major step in this direction. This initiative of the university is likely to spur other institutions to come forward to change the socio-economic landscape of the societies around us.
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The Ekta Team is comprised of about 20 women headed by Ms.  Shabana Towhid. It is highly expected that this opportunity provided to Ekta by Jamia Millia Islamia will lead to economic empowerment and confidence-building amongst the woman of Jamia’s neighbourhood and integrate the neighbourhood with the university for gender sensitivity and institution-society linkage.

There was great enthusiasm amongst the students for the opening of this new canteen and they could be seen eagerly trying new dishes on offer. It may be added that “Dastarkhwan” will build its image through fresh and hygienic food which would be prepared by the women workforce  on the spot and served piping-hot or freezing-cold as the case may be to their enthusiastic Jamia students’ fraternity. The university administration is fully committed to providing fresh and hygienic food to its student community, staff and faculty.