A Brief History of Indian Newspapers: “The over 200 year history of the Indian press, from the time of Hicky to the present day, is the history of struggle for freedom which has not yet ended. There have been alternating periods of freedom and of restrictions on freedom amounting to repression. The pioneering works on the Indian press, like that of Margarita Burns, were stories of arbitration and depotism, of reforms and relaxation. The story of the Indian press is a story of steady expansion but also one of press laws.”
The first newspaper meant for publication was announced in 1776 by William Bolts. He asked those interested to come to his residence to read the news. This newspaper had the twin function of informing the British Community of news from home and of ventilating grievance against the colonial administration. But it was not until James Augustus Hicky dared to start his Bengal Gazette in 1780 that the new age of journalism dawned in the country. England had already had a taste of the spectator papers of Addison and Steele and of lesser-known periodicals as well, and learnt about the power of the periodical essay, to laugh to scorn the manners and mores of society and of those in high places.
Political and social corruption was rife among the British sent to rule the country when Hicky, a printer by profession, launched his Gazette ‘in order to purchase freedom for my mind and soul.’ He described the Bengal Gazette as a “weekly political and commercial paper open to all parties but influenced by none”. His venom was aimed at individuals like Mrs. Warren Hastings and their private affairs. He published announcements of marriages and engagements, and of ‘likely’ engagements. The Gazette was, in essence, no better than a scandal sheet. Barely a year later, Sir warren Hastings denied all postal facilities to Hicky who hit back with these ringing words.
“Mr. Hicky considers the liberty of the press to be essential to the very existence of an Englishman and a free Government. The subject should have full liberty to declare his principles and opinions, and every act which tends to coerce that liberty is tyrannical and injurious to the community”.
In June the following year (1781), Hicky was arrested and thrust into jail, from where he continued writing for his Gazette. He was stopped from bringing out his weekly and only when the types used for printing were seized. Five newspapers made their appearance in Bengal in Six years time, all started by Englishmen. Some of these newspapers received government patronage. The Madras courier and the Bombay Herald were then launched in two cities.They were subservient to the government, and therefore flourished. The total circulation of all these weeklies was not very impressive; yet, the government issues press Regulations (1799) making publication of the name of the printer, editor and proprietor obligatory. The regulations also ordered these to declare themselves to the secretary of the government; and to submit all materials for prior examination to the same authority.
The Pioneers of Indian language journalism were the Serampore Missionaries with Somachar Darpan and other Bengal periodicals, and Raja Rammohan Roy with his persian Mirat-ul-Akbar. The object of Rammohan Roy; the social reformer, in starting the paper was to lay before the public such article of intelligence as may increase their experience, and tend to their social improvement, and to indicate to the rulers a knowledge of the real situation of their subjects and make the subjects acquainted with the established laws and customs of their rules. Roy ceased publishing his paper later in protest against the government’s Press Regulations.
Role and Responsibility of Newspapers:
Rightly described as the fourth estate by Thomas Carlyle, Macaulay and Edmund Burke the press, by all means, plays a significant role in a society as is evident from Thomas Jefferson’s observation: where it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspaper or newspaper without government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. It influences almost every aspect of life and discharges five basic responsibilities i.e. to survive to provide information, to offer guidance or interpretation of the news, to entertain, and to serve the public. Explaining the role and importance of the press, particularly as a check on the arbitary functioning of the government, Nepolean Bonapart, the late emperor of France, very rightly observed: “Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets”.
What the people know, what they read, what they listen to, is in large part and in the final act of decision determined by the press. Thus, it renders a splendid service to the society. Dedicated to the service of the reader, of the community, of the state and of the nation and guided by principles and ethics, it has a noble mission to carry out.
A participant in the democratic governmental process, a bulwork of democracy, a censor and critic of government, a public protector and indispensable institution of a free people, an advisor to them, the press keeps a close watch on government and sounds the alarm whenever the citizen’s rights are infringed. Scathing criticism and constant surveillance of actions of the authorities by an alert and intelligent press, established as the cornerstone of the democratic society, is essential to the successful functioning of a government.
Newspapers: An Agent of Political Development:
The role of the press in a society characterized by clash, conflict and confrontation on the basis of caste, religion, language, region is significant as it acts as an unifying force and creates a feeling of patriotism and a sense of unity and integrity among the people. It acts as a powerful improvement of persuasion for political indoctrination. In an authoritarian society where the economy is regulated by the State and media act as an agency of the government, the press has a central role to play in the whole system of administration. However, in a free society certain important issues are highlighted by the press. It presents a forum of opinion for public discussion. Political stability and growth of democratic institutions rest mainly on the manner of functioning of the press.
Public opinion, generated and influenced by the press, plays a vital role in a democratic system. The political elites, without the public support, cannot discharge their responsibility effectively. Hence the importance of the press lies. The press protects the interest of the public and checks any effort on the part of the authority to curb the freedom of speech and expression. It acts as a link between the rulers and the ruled; and also develops civic consciousness. Its editorials provide leadership to the nation and guidance to its people. In brief, it is an instrument of change and strives hard to create a new and better world to live in peacefully and happily.
In developing countries much of the knowledge so vitally necessary to inform the people about development can be most effectively disseminated by the enlightened press. The news criteria of the press are based not on the conventional news values of the west but on the emerging Third World concept of news. In the western countries, the news media, automatically accepting their “advocacy role”, are essentially concerned with recording events, facts and situations in terms of media market requirements, news being regarded there as a mere photographic record and saleable commodities like any other. However, in the developing countries of the Third world, the news media are seen today as instrument of change for better.
In this context the Third world press, while functioning in the public interest has the responsibility of assisting the government in power with the task of nation-building as well as playing the role of educator, contributing as best it can to the peculiar development needs of its own developing society. In the process of development, the role of the press is indeed very important, since in reality people’s concept of their own developing society and the true state of the world around them, as well as their view of how good or bad this state is, largely depends on the raw materials for thoughts selected by it. However the tension between confirming people in their limited knowledge and of providing information which is not readily integrated into everyday life strikes at the very heart of the basic functions of the news media in a developing nation like India.
An Advocate of Mass Communication of Socialization:
A democratic society can be effective, successful and delivers its goods only when it has a well-informed citizenry capable of playing an independent and decisive role by taking right and rational decisions on various aspects. Providing information and creating a climate for discussion has become a major responsibility on the part of the press and of all the ingredients that constitute democracy, information is a key component. Information is highly essential especially at the time of taking a very important decision. In this regard, the press in particular is the main source of information and occupies a commanding position as a medium of mass communication. The press being a fundamental institution of the society plays a pivotal role in creating, shaping and reflecting the public opinion.
The role and involvement of the people in the information and functioning of the government depends on their attitudes and values which can to some extent, be moulded, shaped and influenced by the press. Free exchange of ideas and open and fearless debates and discussions are an essential part of the government of a free country. And this is possible and can be ensured only through the newspapers. The press, acting as a public conscience, investigates stories affecting the public welfare and highlights injustice. The press particularly the newspapers announces the time, the place and the topic of meeting and chronicles, births, deaths and marriages. It makes the people informed about current issues. It warns when taxes must be paid, when voters must register, it proclaims elections, designates, voting places and informs parents and children when schools open and when and where the class must register. It stimulates public interest in holidays and special days and their programmes. It tells when service clubs, women’s organizations, and church groups meet. It heralds coming sports events. The press conveys the weatherman going on an outing the cheerful news of a bright day or warns the farmer with hay on the ground of possible danger of crop spoilage from rains to come the following days. Recipes and beauty hints enlighten and please women readers. Columns are devoted to human behavior and political issues. Such important services of the newspapers require research, selection and direction. Plain facts are dramatized with colorful and helpful information. Photographs of individuals and groups, views, maps and charts make news more understandable and meaningful.
The editor, through the editorial columns, interprets the feelings of the community and in response the reaction of the readers obtained. Thus the public knows both sides of the picture. This is a truly democratic service that require understanding, courage, fairness and diplomacy. The press plays a vital role in formulating a community programme and in organizing the community to carry out in promoting the growth and development of the community, in advertising its assets to the outside world, and in pointing out its faults and weaknesses to the home people. It organizes, informs, promotes and finances. In most communities, the newspaper willingly provides space for and actively supports campaigns to raise funds for worthy causes.
An Indicator of Socio-economic change:
Changes are inherent in anything and everything including the individual and the society. They help them in their evolution. These changes have profoundly affected the human condition. Most of the evolutionary turning points, which have brought as to our present physiological, psychological and sociological stages of development, are lost in the pre-historic stages. In the historic period, however, we can distinguish humankind’s transition from a nomadic existence based on hunting to settled community life based on agriculture and from there to the industrial society of the past two centuries.
There are some traditional values which create obstacles in the national progress. Unless they are replaced, changed and substituted, hope for socio-economic development in a country becomes blank,and certain age old values which are detrimental to development, must be given up to bring up changes in the life style of the people.
In our country, today, we have many problems like high rate of illiteracy, an accelerating population growth, explosion in knowledge necessitating change and review of curricula and teaching method, urban-rural imbalance, a need for raring standards of living etc. It is clear that the traditional approach has failed to solve these problems. And now as a fight against these problems we are to set right things to achieve our socio-economic goals through the adoption of the resources of modern technology and mass media that can accelerate knowledge and education to the maximum extent. Individuals are expected to aware of the changes taking place around them in various walks of life. They are motivated to accept changes and adopt new method, techniques and measures in spite of traditional conservatism.
It is well known that adoption of family planning measures to prevent and control what is called population explosion is the pressing demand of the present day Indian society for her socio-economic development. However, the common man is not mentally prepared to accept this whole-heartedly. But it is only due to the role played by the media, including the newspapers on highlighting the issues, the people, of late, have become more and more conscious about the problem. A newspaper, by publishing an issue of common interest, may create an urge in the minds of the people to have a group discussion. Through this the newspaper broadens their outlook and helps them to develop new aspirations. It also makes the decision making process much easier on the part of the people.
A Forum for Public Debate:
The success and growth of a democratic polity normally rests on an effective and enlightened public opinion, which can be crated and influenced by the press. It is through the column of news, articles and letters, facilities are provided by newspapers for direct public participation. But the nature of such participation rests totally within the discretion of the owner or controller of the newspaper. The editors never feel embarrassed by rejecting the copies contributed by the people if the content of the copies is found to be unethical and goes against the norms of the press. The copies can also be ignored or thrown into the dustbin if they are of little interest, poorly written, or create a legal risk for the newspapers, or because they are too long and there is no space to accommodate.
Press, whether in developed or developing nations, is certainly crucial to man’s effort to gain a greater quality of life because it affects his productivity, his personal expression, social needs and aspirations. Shifting our focus to the electronic media, it is observed that, broadcasting seems to present particularly intractable problems all over the world for one reason that is inextricady caught in between tele-communication and the press. Broadcasting, for example, in most developing countries, is usually managed by government. This is because the leaders of these countries feel that this would ensure and facilitate greater participation of the people in economic and national affairs, increase their skills and knowledge, bring them together into nationhood, and permit them to find their cultural and personal identity in the efforts towards development.
It may, further, be noted that the press, for the sake of dissemination of information, prints the news and this freedom to publish the news and views is often said to be the first freedom. When the news and freedom become synonymous, then, news is more than printed sheets of paper more than accounts of events, and more than an immediate report of what is happening. The free and unhampered printing and distribution of news provides a forum in which truth may become clear.
A Watch dog of the People:
The role and responsibility of the press in a democratic set up, is quite significant as it strives to safeguard the interest of the people against all obstacles and hindrance to growth and development. It always challenges those who ignore or violate the interests of the society for their personal benefits. It exposes them of their misdeeds. The role of the press in a democracy is that of a watchdog for the interest of the people. But if this powerful watchdog is not reasonably restrained or disciplined, it may run berserk to bite the people, whom it is supposed to serve. Barring occasional lapses, well established newspapers have generally maintained standards of professional rectitude even in the face of coercive and corrective influences. Acknowledging the importance of the press, the late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi emphasized that both the government and the pres should work together to promote national interest. Speaking at the inauguration of the golden jubilee celebration of the Indian Newspapers Society (INS) at its new building at Vigyan Bhavan, he said, "the press must fulfill its role of criticizing authority and correcting it if he feels something is going wrong". He further said that the government and the press have antagonistic relations with one another. He hoped that both could fight the evils of corruption and poverty together and work towards fulfilling the need to social transformation and strengthening the nation. He affirmed his government’s commitment to a free press.
A Protector of Confidentiality & Trustworthiness:
The press, as said earlier, provides useful information to the public. This social function can be successfully performed only when people support it, trust it and patronize it. And without such trust within the profession – between editors and reporters and between reporters and sources – that function is endangered. Hence it is argued that newspapers should not be compelled to disclose their source of information, as this would restrain the flow of information and adversely affect the interest of the press in discharging its responsibility. The press, with an assurance to keep the source confidential, avails more of information. And if source cannot trust reporters to accurately convey their information to the public and to keep confidences, the sources will cease to be sources. Confidentiality is at the heart of trust in regular reporter – source relationships. Such relationships are different from those found in other professional settings such as between lawyers and clients, and physicians and patients. In these relationships, the right of confidentiality exists to protect privacy and to encourage the openness that is required to guarantee the client or patient the full benefit of the professional’s service. In the case of reporter and sources, by contrast, there are distrust and adversarial elements in the relationship, with the reporter aiming to learn more than the source wants to tell and the source trying to promote a particular view with due emphasis and of course, from the journalist’s standpoint, not the source’s interest but the public’s should be paramount.
Women in Social Milieu:
Women play various significant roles in the society. Their changing role in every social situation known as the “subject position” is equally important to their male counterparts. In political scenario, family planning, administration, sports, and education, the participation and success rate of women are really enviable as well as appreciable. Notwithstanding this, the women are the ones who are the most vulnerable human being in our society. Whatever their subject position may be, they are invariably playing a second fiddle to men. They are under male dominance and subordination. In rural areas, their role is restricted only in giving birth to the child and becoming a caring mother as well as performing household chores and please her husband. Sometimes, the news of their passive suffering does not get the wide public coverage and remains in the dark. Therefore, at present, various social aspects related to women and their position get maximum attention through media, particularly in the newspapers in which the public get to read the heart-rendering stories of the women in every sphere of the society. The long historical struggle of the women to gain equal status and position, finally seems to be gaining ground because of the growing awareness among the masses brought about by the recurrent media attention.
Women’s Place in Newspapers from Bengal:
Bengal has a long history of the origin of newspapers since the Pre-Independence Era. In those times women did get hardly any justifiable place in the newspapers because of the various social restriction imposed on them by the patriarchy. Not only that, the news content was mostly related to the British atrocities and oppression to the Indians that led to the ban of the newspapers. But the contemporary time has seen the plethora of newspapers published from West Bengal that include The Telegraph, The Times of India in English and Anandabazar Patrika, Bartamaan in Bengali among many other newspapers of big, medium and small size. These newspapers of today have become very judicious in publishing the news stories of women under different situations in keeping in mind the relevance and necessity of the women in our society. Not only these newspapers spend a considerable space for the woman in towns and cities but also the stories of women from remote villages and rural areas where the penetration of education and mass awareness are marginal compared to urban population. Thus the newspapers have shifted from their earlier stance to include women stories both of success and social humiliation on a large scale. Most importantly, the newspapers of today show how the woman are treated by the society and make an attempt to educate and inform the masses about their plight. The newspapers in this process bring about revolution of women empowerment and social security.
Stories of Women from the Newspapers:
The various newspapers from Bengal have been publishing stories of women ranging from their success story, the story of human interest, the story of social recognition, oppression etc.
Here are some of the selected stories published in the newspapers from time to time focusing the issues of women at the regional, national and international level.
(1) Documentary director faces citu wrath, Union Men Stop shooting, snatch Equipment, as Filmmaker had not Hired Their Vehicles.
Kolkata: It’s the city of Ray and Ghatak, but if a filmmaker wants to wrap up an honest day’s work here, she’ll have the citu to contend with. That’s what Sheela Dutta found out on Saturday night. The documentary maker, who was shooting a short film for the Bengal government at Jodhpur Park, was abused and had her lighting equipment snatched away by members of Federation of Cine Technicians, a citu backed body. Dutta later lodged a complaint with Lake police Station. She told police that she had seen some known faces from the federation in the mob.
Dutta was shooting the documentary on a consumer awareness in a nursing home in Jodhpur Park with a small unit. Suddenly, about 15 people stepped out of a van, stopped the shooting and asked her why she had not hired the vans and cars from them. “Most of the articles were inside the clinic and I was taking a shot of an ambulance”, she recalled. “Suddenly, this group walked up to me and asked me why I had not hired their vehicles. I tired to tell them that I did not a need these as I was working with a small unit and didn’t have plans to move to another place for shooting. It was more convenient for me to pick up the camera unit in a taxi,” Dutta recalled. However, the union members were not convinced and allegedly started abusing her. “All of them were drunk and behaving like rowdies,” she said. Then, they forced the team to hand over the lighting equipment and drove away. The director tried to contact leaders of the union, but her efforts went to vain. “These people also tried to snatch the camera, but my cameraman -who is himself a member of the same union-resisted them. So they finally left the place without the camera,” added Dutta. She finally contacted lake police for assistance, who rushed to the spot. “My schedule was upset and now I have to wait for another date. I don’t know what I will do, since I have been asked to can four episodes immediately,” said Dutta.
Members of the driver guild even justified the incident. Shibu Chowdhuri – the secretary of the guild who also claimed to be a member of the federation – said that “there is a norm, according to which producers have to hire cars from the guild.”
“Dutta had violated the norm, so we asked the person who had provided the lights to bring them back. Our members wanted to speak and tried to settle the matter. But Dutta did not relent, so we picked up the light,” said Chowdhuri.
The federation tried to distance itself from the issue. “We have nothing to do with car services. The drivers guild handle that. I heard about the trouble on Saturday, but we have no connection with the incident,”said Partha Kar, secretary, federation of Cine Technician.
(The Times of India, Sep 16, 2008)
(2) Malda Scientist Part of Big Bang Project:
Malda: As the world eagerly awaits the outcome of the large Hadron Collider Project, a scientist from Malda is engrossed in data collection thousands of miles from home in Geneva.
Suchandra Dutta has been involved with the project since its inception 12 year ago. Speaking to TOI all the way from Geneva, an excited Dutta said: “we have been waiting for this day for years on October 21, the final collision between proton and the heavy ion will take place. Data collection and analysis will go on for the next 15 years. We might get a significant clue to the hitherto unknown world.”
Dutta, a student of physics, did her masters from North Bengal University, Siliguri, after completing her schooling from Malda. Then along with her husband Subir Sarkar, she joined Tata Institute of fundamental Research (TIFR) back in 1990. From their Suchardra was sent to Rome, then Paris and finally to Pisa. Ultimately, she joined the project in 1996.
“The huge and complex machine for LHC was built 50-100 mts under the ground, with a radium of 27 km, at Geneva. After wt got the green signal from the CERN Council in late 1994, the unit was constructed in just 15 years. A 27 km long tunnel was already there and helped expedite the project.”
Removing all speculations regarding the implications of this experiment, an optimistic Dutta said the experiment would open up new horizon for the human civilization as a whole.
(The Times of India, Sep 16, 2008)
(3) Card of hope of a better future for child.
Ananya Sengupta in New Delhi:
Nasreen Begum, 34, can’t stop giggling. Holding her three month-old baby in her arms, she runs her hand lovingly across a laminated card.
Nasreen is one of 1,300 sex workers from central Delhi’s red light district who will vote for the first time in their lives. The voter identity card she proudly shows off to everyone, she believes, is the passport to a better future for her baby.
“I finally have an identity as an Indian. Now I can send my child to school without facing harassment. Life will change, my destiny will change. What we say will also matter,” Nasreen said. A 500-metre stretch in G.B. Road is home to about 4,500 commercial sex workers in 21 buildings that house 116 brothers. Living in cramped, rundown, dank, cabinet size rooms, these women are excited about the election. This area with so many new voters has suddenly attracted the attention of politicians, who have been sending their aides down to these brothels to garner support.
“We have been watching the campaigning on T.V. We know about the hathiwalas (BSP), the Kamal (BJP) and the health (Congress)”says Babita, 34. “But till now one has cared for us; no one has asked us what we want … We’ll vote only for the candidate who we think will address our problems.” The sex workers' top two demands are : get rid of the middle men and build schools for our children.
“I came here from Bangalore 16 years ago. I could then eat one roti a day but because of these middlemen, I now don’t even have half a roti for my children and myself. All our money is eaten up by them,” Nasreen said.
The women have to pay off four groups of people from the money they earn – the pimp, the kotha owner, police and the local goons who demand hafta. If any of the women has taken a loan, she has to pay the moneylender a high interest. “I know I will never walk out of G.B. Road.” Nasreen said, “ But I want my child to have a good future.” She hopes that whoever is elected will ensure that women like her don’t have to send their children away. Babita, for instance has sent her son off to Bangalore to live with relatives who do not know about her profession. Her daughter is a class XII student in Delhi, but lives with another relative. Iqbal Ahmed, the secretary of the Bharatia Patita Uddhar Sabha, an NGO working for sex workers' rights, said that many of these women had applied for voter identity cards but only 1,300 appeared on the list.
Kanta, 42, fast approaching “retirement” age, doesn’t smile too often. Women like her return to their villages or somehow spend the rest of their lives, doing odd jobs. So Kanta has her own demands. “I want the government to give me pension when I retire, and build a hostel for women like us.”
(The Telegraph, 7th May 2009)
(4). Purulia girls are President guests: Amit Ukil
Purulia: Three school girls from Purulia today shook hands with the country’s President who had come to know they had “revolted’ when told to become child brides. The girls – Rekha Kalindi is 12, and Afsana Khatun and Sunita Mahato both 13 – are students of special of schools set up under the National Child Labour Project.
Last September, Afsana, who stays in a Purulia town slum, was told by her family she would have to marry. Her elder sister got married when she was 14. “Afsana, who collected metal scrap with her father, is the first known case in our records to have revolted,” said Prasenjit Kundu, the Assistant Labour Commissioner who accompanied the girls to Delhi. “Her parents had started marriage negotiations and visited the prospective groom’s house but Afsana resisted, saying she wanted to go to school,” Kundu said. Her teachers and classmates visited her house and convinced her that she should continue with her education. Days before Afsana left for Delhi, mother Jamila was asked what she would do if a “suitable” groom was found. “The decision would be hers (Afsana’s),” she said. But it was not Afsana’s story that caught the eye of the President. She read Rekha’s account in a daily.
Rekha, a resident of Borarola village, rolls bidis with her mother and younger sister – two younger brothers go to school. Moths after Afsana “revolted”, Rekha’s parents told her they wanted her to marry. She said she wanted to study first. Her angry father, Karma Kaliwdi, stopped her food but Rekha stayed firm.
Patil first wanted to meet Rekha. “But we wrote back (to the Rashtrapati Bhavan), requesting if two other girls who had done the same thing…could accompany her,” said District Magistrate Santanu Basu. Sunita was the third girl. Her family had finalized every thing for her wedding, including the dowry and the guests list. “Only the wedding date was left to be fixed when I said I won't marry. I want to go to school,” Sunita said. Teachers and classmates then stepped in, like in Afsana’s case, and convinced her parents that she must go to school. Child marriage is common in Purulia, which makes the trio’s fight more remarkable.
“The President told the girls to carry on with their education,” said Biswajit Panda, the BDO of Jhalda II Block, who was with the girls. She also gave the girls Rs, 10,000 each. The three, who had never traveled out of Purulia nor journeyed by train, were awe struck by the Rashtrapati Bhavan. After the 40 minutes chat with the President, they had launch at the first address. “We are very excited,” Rekha said from Delhi. “We had never got in train, nor stepped out of Purulia. We will share our experience with the other girls.”
The girls were taken for a tour of the capital today. Tomorrow, Doordarshan will shoot a documentary on them for an awareness campaign against child marriage.
(The Telegraph, May 15 2009)
Conclusion: So, based on the above discussion, a conclusion can be drawn that the newspapers of Bengal have been an opinion forum for the public as well as the women over the years. Through the newspapers the realistic picture of the rural women facing a variety of oppression and social ostracism gets a new meaning and dimension to the readers of all ages. The selected news stories of women categorically show that how the women particularly in the rural area come of with flying colours beating all the odds of life. The previously mentioned stories also explore the achievement of women as scientist shining with glory in abroad, the sex-workers of Delhi suburb seeking voter identity card and their right to vote and a better living condition, the three teenagers of the villages of Purulia defying the parental traditional diktat of childhood marriage.
All these sensitive stories not only bring about a drastic social change but also put the women on a pedestal of their democratic equality. Therefore, from the perspective of women, the newspapers have been discharging the duty of a social reformer to encourage the women folk to join with their male counterpart in the main stream of social upliftment and advancement with a bang.