Meet firebrand activist Cicily Kodiyan, founder of ANHLGT. On the eve of Women's Day, City Spidey shines the spotlight on one of the most vocal champions of women's rights.
Eighty-six-year-old Cicily Kodiyan is a well-known face in Dwarka. And her age, instead of holding her back, has given her the experience to hold her own. Her activism has made possible several developments in the sub-city, both civic and otherwise.
She is also penned several books on adolescence and written biographies as well.
This firebrand resident of Sheetal Vihar Apartments is the founder of Association Neighbourhood Ladies Get-together(ANHLGT), which carries out campaigns across Dwarka on common civic problems. During municipal elections, her association organised awareness campaigns, urging people to step out and vote; during the monsoons, her association took up several tree-planting drives. Besides these campaigns, throughout the year, ANHLGT organises several events for women — in sports, literature, and interactive sessions with people in power.
She has been an instrumental force in galvanising women across societies to speak up for basic rights and to make the authorities aware of their lapses. The organisation currently has more than 3,000 members in Dwarka.
She says, “Educated women should understand their rights and responsibilities — for a long time we have been struggling for equal rights and equal opportunities and now the world is starting to realise it. If we do not speak up — haul our elected representatives and bring their notice to things that need to be set right — then, who will?”
“Even to lead a peaceful and happy life, we have to be active. The government has provided us departments where officers are getting salaries from the taxes we pay — so they are answerable to us! In our homes too, if our maids play truant, it is us who will have to get them to work. The bigger picture is no different, really. Women should lead a more active life. We also have more tolerance and dedication to whatever work we do.”
As the association’s president, she has set up monitoring committees for developmental works in each sector, allowing the authorities to interact with a more focussed group of activists. Her efforts also brought the first community library to Dwarka at the Community Hall of Municipal Corporation in Sector 23. She has also been organising several volunteer programmes to make senior citizens digitally literate.
This month, ANHLGT will be celebrating women’s power, and will organise various events in different societies and sectors.