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04. August 2011

Participants with Vinita © Frauen ohne Grenzen

Participants with Vinita Kamte, author of To the Last Bullet

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Empowering Indian women to tackle extremism on the home front

Archana Kapoor, coordinator of the SAVE “Indian Women Say No to Violent Extremism!” program, was sure that no-one would turn up for the workshop the day after a fresh terror attack in Mumbai on 13 July, 2011. But on the morning of 14 July she was pleasantly surprised.

“The morning of 14 July saw 100% attendance at our workshop. All the 80 participants were there and also the trainers, some of whom continued to commute from far flung areas of the terror stricken city,” recalls Kapoor, referring to the second three-month phase of SAVE’s workshop in Mumbai.

“I was amazed. I was overwhelmed,” adds Kapoor.

SAVE recently successfully completed the pilot phase of its income-generation, empowerment and anti-extremism workshop in Mumbai. The pilot workshop ran from April to June and involved 100 women. Due to the success of the pilot workshop, SAVE decided to immediately continue with a second workshop for a further 80 women. This second workshop had barely been launched when Mumbai was hit by a series of bomb blasts that killed 26 people.

Archana is convinced that the reason women don’t want to miss out on the workshop despite the traumatic events is due to the fact that the first workshop proved so useful to its participants. She suspects that the positive change seen in the women who participated in the pilot SAVE training was noticed by their neighbours, some of whom have joined the second phase.

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