Have you ever tried to hold a beach ball underwater? Maybe for a little too long? The ball bounces right up, well, because no matter how long you hold it down sooner or later the ball will overpower the force and shoot right up. And then all you can do is see the ball as it creates currents in the water and disrupts everything. Much like that beach ball, women have been kept down for way too long and it’s time for them to spring back up in all their unabashed glory. One organization that is making quite a bit of splash is DU’s very own Pink Legal Club Khwabeeda.
Started as a wing under Pink Legal, PLC Khwabeeda has been working tirelessly the past year to create a community that fosters the values of female empowerment and furthers the nuances of gender equality with a special emphasis on legalities and jurisprudence.
So, with a Jane Austin quote in my mind and some pen and paper, I reached out to PLC Khwabeeda’s chairperson Aditi Trivedy for an interview.
In this thirty-minute exchange, Aditi convinced me to find my own voice and to introspect my own life from a different lens. Maybe, she does the same for you; here is the interview I held with her:
First of all, what is Pink Legal?
Pink Legal was started a few years back by Advocate Manasi Chaudari when she got into this incident of someone trying to threaten her because they had rear-ended her car. They wanted to intimidate her as she was a woman and wanted her to give in. He was pressuring her legally. But thankfully enough, she was a lawyer, so she knew her rights and was able to get herself out of the tricky situation.
But that one situation was a wake-up call for her to realize how women, especially in India, are cheated and mistreated in an inferior way on a daily basis and are taken advantage of because they don’t know their legal rights. That’s why she started Pink Legal. It is a platform with a far-reaching social media presence. There are doing every bit possible in their capacity to educate women about their rights with the help of an army of lawyers (mostly women). Their focus is mostly women empowerment but with a strong sense to promote gender equality. It is a community for women, that serves women and empowers them with their legal rights.
How did you become a part of the Pink Legal network?
Pink Legal recently started an initiative – a chain of clubs to penetrate into a much younger audience and to make younger women aware of their rights from the get-go. So, they started the Pink Legal Club. They sent recruitment forms for the Chairperson’s position. Hopefully, I was able to see the form at the right time.
I have, personally, always been very passionate about women empowerment and as well as, law.
So, the prospect of starting this club really excited me as I envision could the club could do for the community. I was also absolutely gushing over Advocate Chaudari who I have been following for a long time. I filled a form, the lengthiest form I have possibly ever filled, got shortlisted and then appeared for an interview. And later, I was finally selected as the Chairperson and started my work, and fast-forward six months in the future, I’m right here.
There are some other PLCs out there, what makes PLC Khwabeeda different?
I hope, and I would want to say that we have a very unique voice and a very unique position in the community especially compared to the other Pink Legal clubs out there. But we are just six months young and we’re figuring ourselves out as well as the platform. And that’s what sets us apart – as a team, we are initially trying to find our voice, trying to figure out what our passion is within the values of a PLC and then, we want to empower other people through that newly discovered voice.
Our personal beliefs are what ignites the enthusiasm and the feeling of taking up an initiative. We don’t just want to be a social media profile that posts on Instagram and LinkedIn, we want to be able to get through the community.
PLC Khwaabeeda also has the best possible team – this group of women who are absolutely phenomenal. And they are going to take this club to a whole new level.
Is PLC open to male members?
Yes, it absolutely is. We have tried very dedicatedly to have a more balanced ratio from across the gender spectrum. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to get through. And even if we can’t have a balanced ratio in regards to club members, we very much would like to reach out to them while trying to have a meaningful impact. We don’t want to just be ‘women for women’ or women-centric but become a voice that caters to all. I hope, later on, we might have more diverse participation.
Walk me through a couple of your past projects.
As I mentioned we are a very young club that started side-by-side with a couple of other PLCs, we haven’t been able to take up a lot of projects that cater to the specific of making someone aware of their legal rights. We have had, however, several successful collaborations. One of which was with Maitri Women, an initiative started by Dr. Anjali Kumar. This collaboration entailed a session with Dr. Kumar where she talked about PCOS health. Our goal was to shift the focus to women’s health and reproductive autonomy. It brought us to the agenda for this quarter.
Apart from this successful collaboration, we have had many successful collaborations with Girl Up Rooh. They are a great club, doing great things for women empowerment.
When it comes to successful initiatives, we are still on the journey to do so. We actually want to impact the community directly and never anticipated this all happening online. We want to get in touch with real people and make a real and tangible impact.
What do you think is the future of PLC Khwabeeda? What are some campaigns you have in mind?
We want to take a more legal-orientated approach to our club. As of now, our direction has been quite general I would say. Our plans have been to make people legally empowered but we haven’t been able to execute those. We have taken campaigns with a focus on women empowerment. And in the future, we want to steer away from that and have a stronger legal footing.
For example, the current theme for our quarter is Body Autonomy. And ideally, we would like to take it up is understanding the rights and legalities behind body autonomy and what that entails for women in India vis-à-vis women around the world. So, that is some of the initiatives we would like to take up. On the ground, we would like to start our community projects. There is not much planned but we would like to shed more light on legal rights across the multiple themes (namely: body autonomy, sexual harassment and consent, property right, family, law).
Setting Pink Legal aside, let’s get to know you a little better. If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, fictional or non-fictional, who would it be and why?
Let me think about it [laughs]. I think, if I could dinner with one person and one person only – it is going to be Cornelia Sorabji. She is one of the first female lawyers in India. I want love to ask her more about the law that was at that time. And how it was to be a female advocate then. Further, I would love to discuss with her the advancements women have made in this field.
And if I could have one more person at the table, it would be Zia Mody, founding partner of AZB & Partners. She is an absolute powerhouse and an influencer of all sorts for other aspiring female lawyers.
If you had a loudspeaker and you were at the top of a building, what would you shout?
“If I am confident enough to shout from a loudspeaker at the top of a building, you can be confident enough to believe in yourself and find your voice.”
To get in touch with Pink Legal Khwabeeda hop onto their social media or drop them in an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Recruitment for new members for PLC Khwabeeda next session will take place soon. Stay tuned to their social media handles to find more.
Read more interviews here.