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Interview: 'Change in patriarchal mindset must to curb crime against women' - Ruzan Khambatta
At first sight, she appears to be an ordinary business woman draped in elegant light coloured professional shirt and dark brown contrasting trouser. Perhaps you could be proved wrong for Ruzan isn't any other woman. With her perseverance and conviction to transform the lives of victims of gender atrocities, Ruzan has created a respectful niche across Gujarat.

The moment, you break the ice and start a conversation with her, you will realize, she is in fact an extraordinary woman, spearheading a couple of initiatives dedicated to women empowerment. In this one-to-one interview with the feisty Ruzan, I made a humble effort to know about her wide spectrum of initiatives underway for women empowerment. Here are excerpts from the interview:

Q: What prompted you to take up women empowerment?

Ans: As a women I can feel the pain our sisters go through when they are inflicted with atrocities like rape, dowry and domestic violence. The horrific Nirbhaya case of December 2012 sparked a flame in me to do something to save our daughters and sisters.

Q: Kindly throw light on Defence O Dance!

Ans: Under this initiative, my NGO, Wajra O Force is imparting self defence skills to students, amalgamating music. It's like learning through fun. I call it learn the art of defence with the twist of dance. Gen next is quite fond of such initiatives.

Q: Your NGO also sensitizes men, elaborate on this!

Ans: Unless the mindset of men is changed, we can't imagine women empowerment. In order to curb rising crime against women, it's pertinent to enter into dialogue with men on this issue. We tell them the significance of wife, mother, sister and daughter in their lives. You can't imagine life without a woman in this world. Educating man remains among our top priorities. In many families, when a female child is born, all hell breaks on the female. In contrary, scientifically, it has been proved – male chromosomes are responsible for the birth of a male or female.

Q: You are also working with Ahmedabad Police under the Police Heart project, what's that?

Ans: In collaboration with the Ahmedabad Police, we are making efforts to curb crime against women. Calls received pertaining to gender atrocities are addressed. Based on the issue, relevant department is informed. Helpline number – 1091 operates 24x7.

Q: Any message for society?

Ans: Enough is enough. Let's together start respecting women in and around us. Give them the place in society they deserve. Come out of that misogynist mindset – women are for the kitchen. There are hundreds of examples like PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, and Kalpana Chawla to prove that daughters too can bring name and fame. Give her space to chase her dreams. Stop inflicting crime.

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