IDC Forum Focuses on Women’s Advocacy and Empowerment

(l-r) Santram Dukhbhanjan (IDC); Jhairam Persaud (IDC); Ashook Ramsaran (IDC); Soma Sayeed Esq; Nazrin Ahmad; Bomsinae Kim; Taij Moteelall; Sharla Madho-Khargi, PhD (IDC); Ann Jawin; Prof. Lynn Williams; Harbachan Singh (IDC).

QUEENS, NEW YORK — The Indian Diaspora Council International (IDC), in collaboration with several co-sponsoring organizations, held a Forum on Women’s Advocacy & Empowerment on Sunday, March 18, 2018 at Martin Van Buren High School in Queens Village, New York.

The theme of the forum was: Women’s Advocacy and Empowerment – Social, Economic and Political. It was moderated by Sharla Madho-Khargi, PhD, Director, Community Based Rehabilitation IDC International.

The forum was followed by a program on “Celebrating the diversity, strength, achievements and contributions of the Indian Diaspora marking the 100th Anniversary of Abolition of Indian Indentureship”.

A timely keynote presentation and panel session were held on “Women Advocacy and Empowerment – Social, Economic and Political.” The forum explored pathways for more equality for women’s rights, equality, safety and justice, highlights empowering women to realize their full potential in all segments of society: social, economic and political.

“We pay homage to all women who have struggled, and continue to struggle, for their rights and equitable treatment, and persevered under very harsh conditions and obstacles to achieve respect and dignity,” the IDC said in a statement.

The statement said, “Women have made significant advances in almost all segments of society yet there remain many hurdles to overcome and many obstacles to be removed for women to advance and achieve full potential to bring about equity at all levels.

“Women account for more than 50% of the population of the world while their untapped resources of talent, skills, aspirations and skills can help society as a whole. IDC’s Women’s Forum has taken many initiatives on women’s issues. Women of the Indian Diaspora (and women everywhere) must be encouraged to advance this agenda forward, to be examples to women of the developed and developing world alike.”

The panelists at the forum included: Sharla Madho-Khargi, PhD – Director, Community Based Rehabilitation, Indian Diaspora Council International; Nazrin Ahmad – Co-founder of the Human Dignity Committee in the mid-1990s, Elected Hempstead town clerk in November 2013; Bomsinae Kim – Executive Director, Korean American Family Service Center in New York; Taij Moteelall – Founder and Steering Committee Member of Jahajee Sisters co-founder of Media Sutra; Soma Syed, JD – New York civil litigation and transactional attorney at Soma Syed & Associates; Prof. Lynn Williams – Small business owner, mediator, writing consultant, mentor, educator, workshop creator and facilitator. NYU mediation mentor for mostly second and third year law students; Ann Jawin – President, Center for the Women of New York (CWNY).

Next steps: Several topic specific forum and panel discussions beginning in September 2018.

Mementos: Each panelist was presented with an IDC memento and a TIME’S UP pin for their participation.

Observer: “Well organized forum with a very diverse panel with various perspectives from suffrage to domestic violence, recruitment, employment and compensation disparity, inherent cultural gender disparities in treatment of women and girls, as well as an array of social services available”.

Indian Diaspora Council International (IDC), established in 1997, is an international non-profit organization with global affiliates and membership in 21 countries with the objective to embrace, engage, and enhance the shared heritage, aspirations, and interests of persons of Indian origin with optimum inclusivity.

For more information, please contact Ashook Ramsaran @