Rupa & Co
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Half a Billion Rising travels to different parts of India, and finds that a tremendous wave is sweeping acrossthe nation-girls and women are getting educated, finding jobs and emerging as empowered citizens. Theimplications of such breakthrough transformation are phenomenal in a nation that is home to 17 per centof the world's total number of women.
Half a Billion Rising analyzes the change drivers and the repercussions of present-day gender revolutions. Itdoes this by collecting the stories of young Indian girls across the socioeconomic pyramid, and by retelling,in their particular voices, their aspirations, disappointments and everyday challenges. We learn of Chandrawho, despite being undereducated and disempowered, succeeds in securing economic independence for herdaughter; of Saira, who fights her father, and secures admission in a school with her aunt's tacit support; ofPriyanka, who funds her own academic pursuits by teaching; and of Manisha, who is proud of Allahabad'snew-found freedom, as girls, once compelled to wear salwar kameezes with dupattas, now dress in outfitsof their choice.
Against a backdrop of key statistical data and research findings, Half a Billion Rising surveys how society atlarge and men in particular are reacting to the rise of woman power. It asks: Is there support from withinthe family when a woman chooses enfranchisement? How are men responding to the changes around themand how do they have to transform? Is violence against women on the rise? Moreover, what role is the localNGO playing in spurring a change in mindset and how can the government help?
Half a Billion Rising provides no easy answers-for, the case-studies are as diverse as the protagonists. Whatit does achieve is a vivid portrait-as compelling, multilayered and paradoxical as India.
About the Author
Anirudha Dutta has been working in the financial services sector for over two decades. He holds a degreein engineering from IIT, Kharagpur, and a postgraduate diploma in business management from XLRI,Jamshedpur. He lives in Mumbai with his wife, two children and their pet dog.