Kalpana Sharma : Kalpana's Commentary
May 16 2007
Attacking real democracy
For the sake of millions of voiceless women and marginalised groups, who were given a voice through the 73rd Constitutional Amendment, it is important to challenge laws that attempt to take away grassroots participatory democracy as it has begun to evolve, writes Kalpana Sharma.
Apr 22 2007
'Gendered' health
The All India Services Performance Appraisal Rules, 2007 reminds us that women's work is assessed not necessarily by neutral, objective criteria. The gender angle somehow creeps in, directly or indirectly, as IAS officers in Maharashtra can now testify, writes Kalpana Sharma.
Apr 09 2007
Sex education and survival tools
The recent decisions of several state governments to ban sex education in all schools concern everyone, particularly women. In this age of the knowledge economy, we cannot believe that people's access to information on any subject, including matters relating to sex, can be controlled, says Kalpana Sharma.
Mar 18 2007
Think of the mother
Even the most calculating and hard-hearted woman will not be indifferent to what happens to the child she has birthed. This is the reason that female infanticide remains a phenomenon restricted to only a few areas while sex selective abortions are rampant, writes Kalpana Sharma.
Feb 27 2007
The great garbage rush

The belief that slum dwellers convert any structure they are given into another slum is thoroughly disproved in Charkop. There is clearly a sense of community, and each cluster feels proud to maintain the cleanliness of its surroundings, writes Kalpana Sharma.

Jan 07 2007
Keeping fingers crossed
From newspaper reports, it would appear that some of the focused programmes that the Haryana government launched after the uproar over the low sex ratio are making a difference. Until this is confirmed, we must assuage the genuine fears of people about the girl child, writes Kalpana Sharma.
Dec 15 2006
Chhatisgarh's ray of hope
Crippling poverty, Naxalism and government bungling may have depressed the lives of poor women in Chhatisgarh, but there is now a shining ray of hope. 60,000 women have become trained community health volunteers and are making an impact, notes Kalpana Sharma.
Nov 08 2006
Behind closed doors
We can now celebrate the fact that India is one of the few countries around the world that recognises that domestic violence is a violation of the human rights of women. The law alone is not enough, but it surely strengthens the hand of those who want to establish these rights, says Kalpana Sharma.
Oct 17 2006
A suggestion for Munnabhai
As Munnabhai has already tackled the callousness of our health system, and the greed of real estate sharks, how about tackling the one Indian tradition that refuses to die — that of dowry? I could imagine that such a film could work very well, says Kalpana Sharma.
Sep 18 2006
Forced departures
When women, of whatever class, are forced by circumstance to migrate, they expose themselves to new forms of violence and exploitation. A new UN report terms trafficking of women as migration 'gone bad' and the 'underside' of globalisation, notes Kalpana Sharma.

Kalpana Sharma is an independent journalist, columnist and media consultant. She has been, until recently, Deputy Editor and Chief of Bureau of The Hindu in Mumbai. In over three decades as a full-time journalist, she has held senior positions in Himmat Weekly, Indian Express and the Times of India. Her special areas of interest are environmental and developmental issues. She writes a fortnightly column in The Hindu's Sunday Magazine section, The Other Half, that comments on contemporary issues from a gender perspective. She has also followed and commented on urban issues, especially in the context of Mumbai's development.

Kalpana Sharma is the author of Rediscovering Dharavi: Stories from Asia's Largest Slum (Penguin 2000) and has co-edited with Ammu Joseph Whose News? The Media and Women's Issues (Sage 1994, 2006) and Terror Counter-Terror: Women Speak Out (Kali for Women, 2003)