Women

Stitches of another kind

Dr. Madhu Chawla, a medical professional, graduated from Institute of Medical Sciences, Benaras Hindu University over 40 years ago. Her husband retired from active service last year, and the two adult sons are settled in the USA. Having satisfactorily executed domestic and professional commitments, Madhu now works, on a charitable basis, with three NGOs. Giving back to society, for Madhu, is a dream come true. She also worked with underprivileged children with Times of India, in their Teach India programme for two years.

An emergency call from the factory. The factory of Sandoz Pharmaceuticals, Thane, Maharashtra. The Calcium Sandoz people. From their Medical Clinic where I worked as the Doctor. A lady from the township had fallen and cut her forehead. A 500 meter dash, if it can be called that, and I was there.

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The Reluctant President

Tilak Mathur is a PhD in English Literature with specialisation in the British poet and playwright T. S. Eliot. Tilak is very actively engaged with social and charitable work in and around Jaipur. Basically a homemaker, she came into her own as a natural leader when she got an opportunity to lead. She lives in Jaipur with her husband Subhash. She often travels to Ahmedabad and USA where her two sons, daughters-in-law and grandchildren live.

In the year 2005 the outgoing President of Indian Revenue Service Ladies Association (IRSLA) at Ahmedabad nominated me as the new President. As I was skceptical of my capabilities I felt that I was the reluctant chosen one. But to my surprise the innings got off to a good start with the support of most members, in particular Mrs. Saroj Bansal, an important office bearer of the Ladies Association.

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Their First Lady

Meenakshi Hooja is an IAS officer who has served in both Government of India and Government of Rajasthan. She is a published poet in both English and Hindi. She has authored books on Panchayati Raj and tribal development. She was a visiting fellow at Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford (U.K.).

19 May 1984. Place: Sirohi Road railway station. A bright afternoon.

My mother-in-law, two children and six packing cases getting down the train with me and so many unfamiliar yet familiar faces standing at the platform—some holding garlands, some bouquets and the others just staring away—wondering whether the person they are receiving is really their Collector!

I remember this scene vividly as if it was only yesterday. No doubt, it did not happen very long ago to have assumed some of the golden halo of a hoary past, but even so a number of years have passed since I detrained at Sirohi Road with my family to join as Collector and District Magistrate, Sirohi.

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