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New single women's organization in Gujarat demands increase in pension to Rs 5,000

By Our Representative
A new organization, Ekal Mahila Adhikar Sangathan, proposing to fight for single women’s rights in Gujarat, has come into existence following a meeting of an estimated 1,500 single women, many of them from the minority community. The meeting was held in the North Gujarat town of Himmatnagar.
Those who actively participated in the meeting included Huraben M Dani, who was elected as convener of the organization, Jamila Khan from Ahmedabad, women from several villages of Sabarkantha district Hansaben, Vllasaben, Halima Ben, Hasinaben, Seema Ben, Gangaben, Hasuba, Hina Ben and Lila Ben.
Several male activists joined in to help form the organization, including Mujahid Nafees, who leads the Minority Coordination Committee, Gujarat, as also Junaid Ansari, Shailesh Thakkar, Danish Khan and Shakeel Sheikh. Nafees agreed to take a leading role in the organization.
Following the meet, an 20-point memorandum was handed over to the district collector, Sabarkantha, demanding lifelong pension to single women, which should be raised to Rs 5,000; they should be given plot of land and housing, Antyodaya or BPL ration cards. The memorandum demanded that the pension should begin being disbursed within six months of widowhood.
Also demanding discontinuation of the obligation of providing certificate every year that she is still single, the memorandum insisted that the provision of pension to the elderly, who do not have any family protection, to be increased to Rs 5,000, and they should be provided with ration card.
It was resolved at the meeting that political parties would be apprised of their demands ahead of the Lok Sabha elections and they would be told that these should be included in their respective election manifestos.

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