Uthara Narayanan received an invitation to be part of a panel discussion on economic empowerment of women. It was an excellent forum to present Buzz India. Buzz India was presented as a mechanism to increase participation of women in the economic process through building their financial and entrepreneurial capability.
The audience were India-Women in Leadership Programme (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OuH9IauI3DE&feature=plcp) participants who are aspiring politicians. A common feature of all participants is a passion for politics and social change. Out of the 26 participants, about 20 have either contested Assembly elections or currently hold office as members of Municipal Corporations, Zilla Parishads, Taluk and Town Samitis. Some participants have been Deputy Mayor and Zilla Parishad President. Of those who have not contested elections, there were activists–involved in social work, resident welfare organizations, etc.
Participants represent 8 different states and have different political affiliations including Congress, BJP, NCP, Rashtriya Lok Manch, Janata Dal (Secular), Shiv Sena, Lok Satta etc. Participants represent different sections of society including SC, ST, OBC and Minorities.
Discussion in the panel was on policies related to economic empowerment, various issues with the policies, factors hindering labour participation of women and what can be the various solutions, any case studies or examples from India or outside etc. There was interaction on what role politicians or women leaders themselves can play in this process. Buzz India was well received by all the participants and many of them wanted to know how to take it forward in their own village or constituency.