Meeto Memorial Awards Fellowships 2012

The Meeto Memorial Awards were instituted to commemorate Meeto’s (Kamaljit Bhasin-Malik) brief but brilliant life, Meeto’s mother, Kamla Bhasin to honour young South Asians whose work demonstrates a commitment to communal harmony, peace, justice and human rights.

This year the Meeto Memorial Awards/ Mitwa Fellowhisps are being given to three women activists Germi Roy, Violet and Seeta Leen from a federation of fisherfolk on the Kerala coast. In the past the Meeto Memorial Awards have been given to exemplary South Asians who have worked on South Asian Solidarity, peace and social development. However, this year THE Awards Selection Committee has decided to give a Mitwa fellowship instead to three grassroots activists to support their grassroots activism so they are able to make a difference to society. These fellowships will be given alternatively to the Meeto Memorial Awards in order to support activists, in years.

Activists like Germi Roy, Violet and Seeta Leen  have been working with community-based organisations, in the unorganised sector of fisheries. They have taken up dozens of rape cases, abuse of fisherwomen, struggles for retaining the spaces for fisher women in the fish market, struggles against the attacks of the goondas against fisher women as well as many other issues related to women’s rights. The activists also intervene with the educational and health issues of the fishing community and arrive at appropriate solutions.

The above three women activists conduct classes for the children of the fishing community once a week. These Balawadi classes are being organized with an aim of inspiring children to be socially meaningful and responsible in future. The rights over land, water and forests are a common issue today and these three activists are involved with various activities related to these common issue affecting a large population which is dependent on such natural resources for their survival. They strengthen the activities of women who work as fish vendors who face a number of issues in the fish market and associate with groups who are active on issues related to sexual abuse of women.

We hope with the Meeto Memorial Awards their contribution to society is recognized and that they are able to take their work further in their communities.

Tuesday 16 October 2012