Mobile Crèches and its partners run 60 day care centers on construction sites and in urban slums around India. Centers focus on early childhood development and nutrition as well as play — an important part of childhood and social and emotional learning that remains undervalued by parents and many educators.
Politicians and civic leaders for years have struggled to find a cause and a solution to what has become known as India’s rape crisis. Are patriarchal attitudes toward sex to blame? Or the impunity for perpetrators? Proposed solutions run from vigilantism to the death penalty. But in Gajipur, just outside India’s capital, the most pressing issue after the rapes was how to protect the town’s children — and teach them to protect themselves — while allowing them to have some semblance of a childhood.
Women, even those who said they were feminists, often used words such as “mother,” “sacrifice” or “giving” to describe themselves, Narayan found, while men often described themselves as a “leader” or “powerful.” “Overwhelmingly, what emerges is the burden of duty; women feel burdened by the ‘shoulds,’ the expectations of duty imposed on them” Narayan writes in the book. “In fact most words chosen by women describe the emotional qualities and strengths needed to cope with the duties of being a daughter, wife and mother, in other words, meeting everyone else’s needs selflessly.”
The death threats — against one of India's most popular actresses and a prominent filmmaker — brought quick backlash. They were sharply denounced by leaders of Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party, or BJP, and the home minister in the southern Karnataka state, Ramalinga Reddy, ordered protection for Padukone and her family. Also at stake are the boundaries for the world's most prolific film industry, in which some directors have increasingly tried to push back against decades of film censorship for political reasons.