Transcultural Vision Circles at CORO India & Mahila Mandal Women’s Federation, Mumbai
16 March 2023
We celebrate the paradigm-shifting work of the women grassroots leaders of CORO and Savitri Mahila Mandal: Women’s Federation, our exemplary Home for Humanity in Mumbai, India.While India suffers a deepening of polarisation and communal division, these grassroots women leaders embody the power of collaboration and co-existence across all divides, as they boldly rewrite history and reshape society.
On 16 March, co-founders of Home for Humanity Dr.Rama Mani and Prof.Alexander Schieffer, together with KarmaMotion's founder and H4H Family Founding Member Dr. Eda Elif Tibet (director of the upcoming Home for Humanity movie) were privileged to participate in deep vision circles with grassroots women leaders, through which all the encounters were filmed as part of the upcoming Home for Humanity film.
The first vision circle with the women spearheading the ‘Right to Pee’ campaign, to demand their rights to sanitation and health, and who run the community toilets across their marginalised urban settlements (‘slums’) of Mumbai took place in the Sai Baba Hindu temple in Vashi Naka, a mixed settlement of Hindus, Muslims, and Christians.
The second vision circle was with diverse women leaders of CORO flagship Women’s Empowerment Programme, and was held in the Madrasa-Mosque in Bainganwadi, a primarily Muslim settlement, in the presence of the local Maulana (Islamic teacher and leader of the Mosque), and several of his young Qur’anic students!
The final vision circle, with members of CORO’s dynamic Youth Forum programme, was held in Buddha Vihar, a Buddhist shrine in P.L. Lokhande Marg, a primarily Dalit (Buddhist) settlement.
Each vision circle included a demonstration of the remarkable practical achievements and impact of women leaders within the respective communities, against all odds.
This intensely enriching day brought vividly to life how CORO and SMM’s grassroots women leaders of all backgrounds have supported each other year after year in finding their ‘power within themselves and mobilised collectively their ‘power with each other’, in order to exercise their power to transform society, by defying oppression and marginalisation with dignity and creativity. They awaken our collective conscience and responsibility to transcend all man-made divides and collaborate harmoniously across diverse cultures to “Co-create Home on Earth” for all life.
Initiation of a Grassroots Leadership Academy, spearheaded by CORO India, H4H in India
17 March 2023
It was two years ago today, on the International Day of Conscience, 5 April 2021, that we officially launched CORO and the Savitri Mahila Mandal: Women’s Federation as an exemplary Home for Humanity in Mumbai, with a panoply of inspiring women grassroots community leaders sharing their stories and visions with us from across Mumbai’s diverse urban settlements.
We take great pride today in celebrating the leadership role CORO played throughout the COVID crisis in sustaining life and community through its longstanding web of relationships across Mumbai’s urban settlements (slums), and in expanding its unique model of grassroots leadership across the vast states of Maharashtra and Rajasthan. We also champion the electoral success of several CORO community members in local elections.
Today, we salute CORO as it enters a new phase in its 30-year history, with an inspiring
vision of growth and expansion across the region, and especially as it fulfils its long held dream of establishing a GRASSROOTS LEADERSHIP ACADEMY.
This Academy will make a paradigm-shifting contribution to Indian and global academia by putting the lived experience and expertise of grassroots community leaders in the driver’s seat, and will be a great enrichment to the burgeoning Earth Campus for transformative education of Homes for Humanity spread across all continents.
On 17 March we engaged in a rich discussion with the core leadership team of CORO on the Grassroots Leadership Academy and CORO’s scaling-up plan.
We also celebrated the family of Mumtaz Shaikh and Rahul Gaware, and their children Muskaan and Kabir, (for having successfully moved out of the urban settlement into their own home through the collective solidarity of all their friends in the community) for being a unique model of social cohesion and conscience in action. We were finally able to hand over to the family in person the Home for Humanity Achievement and Expansion Award which they had received in February 2022.
Finally, we congratulate the Right to Pee Campaign Team for their creativity and persistence in overcoming all hurdles and mobilising women in the community to demand their right to sanitation.
We particularly congratulate Anjum Shaikh, who has truly emerged as an unstoppably powerful and inspiring leader, since she joined CORO in 2015 as a victim of domestic violence. Anjum received the Woman Luminary Award in India for her leadership of the Right to Pee Campaign.
Text by Alexander Schieffer & Rama Mani
Photographs and Filming by Eda Elif Tibet