Maha: AIDWA Hold a Successful State Conference
12TH MAHARASHTRA state conference of the All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) was held on June 3-5, at Kamal Wanle Nagar, Usha Datar Hall, Jyoti Mhatre-Lakshmibai Vashi Manch in Satara district. A total of 280 delegates from 18 districts, representing 1,07,478 women members in the state, attended the conference.
After the flag hoisting by the state president, Nasima Shaikh, all paid floral tributes at the martyrs’ column. State vice president, Hemalata Patil moved a condolence resolution paying tributes to the leaders and activists who lost their lives in the last three years due to Corona, floods in Maharashtra and the farmers in Delhi struggle.
Chairman of the reception committee, Ashok Bhoite welcomed the delegates to Satara, the home district of former AIKS president, Krantisinh Nana Patil and Krantijyoti Savitribai Phule. In his address, he acknowledged and praised the work AIDWA has been doing for the last 40 years and greeted the conference.
The conference was inaugurated by AIDWA all India vice president, Sudha Sundarraman. She called upon the women to unite and strengthen the organisation to fight for the issues of ration, employment, education and health.
CITU state general secretary, M H Shaikh, AIKS state president, Kisan Gujar, DYFI state general secretary, Balaji Kaletwad and SFI state general secretary, Rohidas Jadhav greeted the conference and called for joint struggles on common issues.
Former AIDWA general secretary and now patron Brinda Karat also addressed the inaugural session. She lauded the work done by Maharashtra AIDWA in the last three years, especially the excellent organisation of the last all-India conference in Mumbai, and expressed confidence that the work would increase manifold in the years to come.
A large public meeting was held at Rajwada, the main square of Satara city. It was introduced by AnandiAwghade, Satara district president of AIDWA. The keynote speaker Brinda Karat, while placing the current political challenges, appealed to the audience to create political awareness among the masses against the central government with its anti-women policies and 'bulldozer culture' that is dividing the masses in the name of religion and caste.
The meeting was also addressed by all India general secretary, Mariam Dhawale. She recounted the manifold attacks on women by the BJP central government and called for struggles to repulse them. Maharashtra state general secretary of AIDWA, Prachi Hatiwlekar and state general secretary of anganwadiemployees union, Shubha Shamim also addressed the public meeting. The meeting was chaired by Nasima Shaikh, while state Joint secretary, Rehana Sheikh placed the vote of thanks.
AnjalitaiMahabaleshwarkar, the 86-year-old AIDWA leader from Satara, was present at this public meeting. She was felicitated by Ashok Bhoite and Brinda Karat. In her short but heartfelt speech, Anjalitai rekindled her old memories of the movement and won the hearts of all.
In the delegate session, Nasima Shaikh, Hemalata Patil, HirabaiGhonge, Shevanta Deshmukh, Sunita Shingada, Durga Kakade and Chanda Wankhede were elected to the presidium. Various committees were unanimously approved to run the conference.
State secretary, Prachi Hatiwlekar presented the report of the last three years. It took account of the 12th AIDWA all India conference, held successfully in Mumbai-Maharashtra for the first time in December 2019, and the large public meeting of 7,000 women at Azad Maidan held at that time. Since the lockdown was announced in March 2020, activists have been involved in all sorts of relief work like providing food, ration, and medical care to migrant workers and their families. During the most difficult period of the Corona epidemic and lockdown, AIDWA took to the streets demanding a 10 kg ration per person, Rs 7,500 per month for all non-income tax-paying families, free treatment for Corona patients, proper treatment for non-Corona patients, universal vaccination etc.
Overcoming this, AIDWA fought, kept the organisation active and also started work in some new districts of Marathwada. Except for one year of Corona, the state AIDWA membership has been over 1 lakh every year and last year in 2021, it crossed the 1 lakh 7 thousand mark for the first time. However, the report listed many forthcoming tasks as intensifying the struggle on the burning demands of women, increasing the membership, and conducting study camps for the ideological training of the activists.
Forty-seven delegates participated in the discussion on the report, enriching it. The report was approved unanimously after the State Secretary’s reply.
The accounts of the last three years were presented by the state treasurer, Subhadra Khillare and they were also unanimously approved.
RESOLUTIONS AND COMMISSIONS
Various resolutions regarding price rise, inflation, new education policy, rising atrocities on women, issues of working women etc. were unanimously adopted.
Commissions were held on four current topics women are facing. Delegates were divided into four groups according to their subjects. All the delegates enthusiastically participated in this group discussion, and shared their experiences and the summary was presented before the convention. The topics were as follows: New wine policy of the Maharashtra government; Dangers of communalism and women; Attack on women's constitutional rights; Danger of increasing privatisation.
Shubha Shamim presented the credentials report. Out of the total 280 delegates present, the largest age group was from 36 to 50, with 131 delegates. As regards educational background, there were 59 illiterate, 24 graduates, 11 postgraduates and two doctorates. The largest number of 110 delegates was from the working class, followed by 70 agricultural workers, 40 peasants and 27 middle class. One delegate was from the rich peasantry. There were 61 tribals, 45 dalits and 45 from minorities.
The group of delegates who spent at least four hours a day on household chores was the largest (62 delegates), followed by 37 spending three hours, 33 spending five hours, 26 spending six hours, and 29 spending eight hours. As many as 249 have full support from their families to work in the organisation. Twenty-six delegates were elected members of the local bodies.
The conference elected a 52-member state committee, which elected a 20-member state secretariat, including, president - Nasima Sheikh, general secretary - Prachi Hatiwlekar, and treasurer - Subhadra KhillareTwenty-seven delegates were elected for the 13th All India Conference.
The concluding speech was delivered by Mariam Dhawale. She emphasised that women of all religions are the worst hit by communal politics, so it should be resisted. The central government's policies on food security, employment, health, and education are all anti-people and anti-women. She appealed to all the delegates to reach out to maximum women, concentrate on local struggles and strengthen the organisation.
All the activists from the Satara district who worked hard for the success of the conference were felicitated. Nasima Shaikh delivered the vote of thanks and the conference concluded with the inspirational song ‘We Shall Overcome’, amidst resounding slogans.