Something went wrong with the connection!
 Breaking News
  • Saraswati Pujan hosted by Gayatri Parivar in MA Geetha Patil WOBURN MA: The Satsang center and Gayatri Parivar of Woburn, MA, organized Sarasvati Pujan with the lighting of 108 lamps in a grand “Deep Yagya” with the sacred...
  • INDIAN BUDGET 2020- 21 AN ANALYSIS Nita Dhruva One more budget of the Modi Government can be viewed as a bold and pragmatic budget of US$ 5 trillion economies taking the country on the right path The...
  • Chhattisgarh CM woos investor Vidya Sethuraman India Post News Service MILPITAS: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel is on a ten-day trip to the United States. Bhagel is projecting the Chattisgarh as the ideal and...
  • HAF hosted fundraising event in Chicago Sunthar Visuvalingam & Elizabeth Chalier CHICAGO: The Hindu American Foundation, founded in September 2003, hosted its 2020 Chicago fundraiser at the Community House, Hinsdale, a Chicago suburb, with the theme...
  • Sikh community leaders meet the new Palatine Police Chief Harish Rao CHICAGO: A group of Sikh community activists in Palatine and the surrounding area met the new police chief David Daigle. Thakar Singh Basati organized the meeting. Bhai Mohinder...
  • Krishna Bansal got support for his Congressional bid Surendra Ullal CHICAGO: Krishna Bansal (R-Naperville) has got a huge advantage in fundraising over his primary opponent collecting $210,151 in the quarter, including his own $25,000 personal donation, and $25,000...
  • FOODS hosted panel discussion on CAA India Post News Service On the background of debates around India’s recently announced Citizenship Amendment Act(CAA) and aberration of article 370 of India’s constitution, the foundation for India and Indian...
  • Azam Nizamuddin to fight for circuit civil court judge Ashfaq Syed CHICAGO: Community meeting was hosted for Azam Nizamuddin, Democratic candidate for Circuit Court Judge in DuPage County at Royal Palace in Naperville, a southside suburb of Chicago. The...
  • Chicago seniors celebrated valentine day Jayanti Oza CHICAGO: More than 700 members and guests of Bharatiya Seniors of Chicago (BSC) celebrated Valentine’s Day at the Rana Regan Center in the Chicago suburb of Carol stream....
  • Top skills for a successful entrepreneur A successful entrepreneur is the one with experience and skills specializing in niche areas. A person with full focus on a certain objective or area working hard to polish his...

Women share tales of empowerment at a unique gathering

Women share tales of empowerment at a unique gathering
March 14
07:34 2018

From left to right: Parmeet Randhawa, Sharon Gill, Kay Walia and Hon. Teresa Cox

India Post News Service

HAYWARD, CA: A unique International Women Empowerment event was held at the Golden Peacock Banquet Hall in Hayward, California on Saturday, March 10. Its uniqueness was in the panel which comprised women from different fields, educational and socioeconomic backgrounds.

The speakers were multifaceted, displaying talents in writing and organizing events such as beauty pageants and film festivals.
The event organizers were Parmeet Randhawa, Sharon Gill and Kay Walia, and the Hon. Teresa Cox was the emcee.

Barbara Halliday, Mayor of Hayward, made the opening speech. Alameda County District Attorney (DA) Nancy O’Malley spoke about her work in the areas of rape crisis counseling and domestic violence before she took on her role of DA. Teresa Cox affectionately recalled when O’Malley took her then very young children to the bathroom during an event many years ago.

Deborah Cox from Assemblyman Bill Quirk’s office and Mallory DeLaurorepresenting Congressman Eric Swalwell, were the other women from local political offices.Assemblyman Quirk has been involved with the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment.
Mallory got a little emotional as she came on stage. She said that gender equality means a great deal more to her after the birth of her daughter.

From the tennis court to the law court

Anu Peshawaria, an immigration attorney and social activist who was also an accomplished tennis player in her younger days – she played in Wimbledon – spoke eloquently about her father’s support for her as a fourth daughter in the family even when the surrounding society distinctly saw girls as a burden to be married off.

When she took up law, she fought for justice for women who had been raped by the police in Uttarakhand, even against explicit death threats. Yet, she persisted and submitted her report to the Supreme Court, helping to get justice for the victims.

As an immigration attorney, she saw how husbands abroad often victimize immigrant women, a sizable percentage of which are women of Indian origin. She advocates on their behalf.

A woman in a man’s world

Ginny Harjot Walia, another attorney who passionately believes in the accused being presumed innocent until proven guilty, spoke about the seemingly mundane challenges that a woman faces that could seriously jeopardize her career.

Ginny gave the example of her sister in the corporate world, and how she felt that she could never compete on an equal footing with the men who had someone at home take care of all the housework and children.

Once, a judge did not grant Ms. Walia an extension for a custody hearing even when she was due for a C-section a few days prior; yet, she pulled herself back and went to court just days after her delivery. Her message: “Be bold, be brave, go against the grain…”

Dr. Monika Chugh, an ophthalmologist, spoke of her early days of marriage when she had just arrived in the US. People told her that she should quit medicine and pursue something “such as an MBA” that would help her get a job soon. However, she persisted, and received support from her mentor. Once she became a full-fledged doctor, she realized that she was in a man’s world as most of her fellow doctors were male.

On a personal note, she shared the experience of her recent accident when she got hit by a car as a pedestrian; and thanked the good people around her for their support during her recovery.

Dr. Chugh paid tribute to her late mother-in-law, Mrs. Krishna Chugh, who recently passed away, and her own mother. She quoted Rihanna, “There is something special about a woman who succeeds in a man’s world…” and added, “Think like a queen. Fight the good fight.”

The speech of Joann Babiak – another attorney, a family cases mediator – was centered on “hope”. She brought attention to the challenges that we face today: war, pestilence, need amidst abundance and the fact that other people may not have the opportunities we have. She extolled everyone to raise each other up.

Sitting first left: Mayor Barbara Halliday of Hayward, Standing second row: From left to right Nancy O’Malley, Deborah Cox and Mallory DeLauro

Emotional abuse

Dr. Preet Tuteja, a dentist, focused on emotional abuse, something that is hard to detect, as there are no visible scars, but is just as harmful as physical abuse. She made a presentation on the signs of such abuse and cited a beautiful poem, calling emotional abuse “suffering behind closed doors”.

From teenaged dependent bride to power businesswoman

Purnima Voria, an accomplished businesswoman who had flown in from Colorado, narrated the inspiring story of her rise from a dependent housewife to winner of small business awards and her current role in the National US Chamber of Commerce for India.
Married at the tender age of 17, she came to the US as a young dependent and started working at a department store. Later, when her daughter was born, she sold Tupperware to households, her little girl helping her to stack them up for display.

When her husband left her abruptly to go settle in India after they had three daughters, Ms. Voria made the choice to stay in the US to provide a better future for them. She worked three jobs and finally made it through.

She said, “You are the beacon of hope and inspiration to the world. Be who you are. Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”

‘Women can be their own worst enemies’

Sonia Sidhu’s talk was focused on how women are their own worst enemies. She said that as women, we “need to free ourselves from our low self-esteem” and cited awareness of one’s surroundings and resources available in times of crisis as well as financial independence as important tools in empowering women.

Ms. Sidhu is a realtor, social activist and founder of a fashion and designing firm.

What is personal is what creates social change

Jassi Kaur, an author of children’s books, narrated the tale of when she once gave a talk against dowry in India and was boycotted. Later, a few years ago, a man came up to her and said that her message had struck a chord with him, so much that he did not accept even gifts from his wife’s family.

In her own family, when a brother-in-law was getting married, the bride’s family sent a lot of gifts to her husband’s family. Jassi Kaur insisted that they return the favor with the support of her husband.

She said, “Raise boys who are secure, who are confident, who can value and cherish women…”

Another side to justice

Dr. Anita Kapoor, a professor of Hindi-English literature and a fortune teller, who was involved with counseling services at the Fremont Hindu Temple, has helped many, starting with her work in Indian prisons in the special women’s cells.

She told the heart-rending tale of a woman who was imprisoned in a garage by her own adult daughters in the US and swindled of her property in India.

Dr. Kapoor hoped for a day when there would be no need for an international men’s or women’s day, just “Human Day”.

The men in their lives

Speakers and Honorees at International Women Empowerment Event

All the women thanked their fathers, husbands and sons for their immense support in their journeys.

Kay Walia, whose husband Ray Walia was well known for his service to the community and recently succumbed to pancreatic cancer, spoke affectionately of him and their sons. Ms. Walia is a businesswoman who has also starred in her husband’s film, “Theeyan Marjaaniyaan”, based on female feticide in Punjab – the movie screened at FOG Movie Fest in 2015 – and won awards for it.
Ms. Walia spoke passionately about the restrictions that society places on women, such as telling a recent widow not to dress in bright colors or laugh out loud in public.

Dr. Monika Chugh acknowledged her husband, Mr. Yogesh Chugh, while Jassi Kaur said that her dear spouse was “the wind beneath her wings, that helps her soar”.

All the speakers, organizers and women dignitaries received a Certificate of Recognition from the City of Hayward as well as from the offices of Assemblyman Bill Quirk and Congressman Eric Swalwell.

Lakshmi Iyer

Comments

comments

Related Articles

Polls

Will trump visit to India Strengthen Indo-US ties?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

E-paper Latest Edition

Subscribe to our Digital Edition

Epaper

ADVERTISEMENT – Mountain House

Mounatin House

ADVERTISEMENT – Star Tours

Star Tours

ADVERTISEMENT – INKASA INTERIORS

Inkasa Interiors | Interior Designer in Delhi

50 SPIRITUAL APPETIZERS – VINOD DHAWAN

50-ad-Indiapost

It’s a lovely book. It feels energetically clear and light. It’s easy to read, dip in and out and most importantly it offers information without fluff! Blessings on this project.

Jac O’Keeffe
Spirituality teacher based in USA.

*Available on Amazon, Flipkart & other online stores*

ADVERTISEMENT – JOBSORA- FIND A JOB NOW!

Jobsora Jobs

Follow us On Twitter

RT @ANI: Delhi: Home Minister of Maldives Sheikh Imran Abdulla meets Union Home Minister Amit Shah at Ministry of Home Affairs. https://t.c
h J R
@Indiapost_News
Saraswati Pujan hosted by Gayatri Parivar in MA - https://t.co/ESx4PFMkjU Get your news featured use #IndiaPostUSA
h J R
@Indiapost_News
INDIAN BUDGET 2020- 21 AN ANALYSIS - https://t.co/mLqqSz4sXn Get your news featured use #IndiaPostUSA… https://t.co/i4IDDauYIu
h J R
@Indiapost_News

POPULAR CATEGORIES

Facebook

Subscribe To Our Mailing List

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Subscribe to IndiaPost by Email

Download Media Kit

India Post Media Kit