After 138 years of unquestioned male dominance, the prestigious Bangalore Club on Residency Road here, has granted its women members voting rights. The decision to empower women members was taken at the Club's general body meeting in the last week of June. The decision also means that a woman member can now even become the president of the Club. But the storming of the male bastion has come none too soon for the club's about 700 women members. The issue of women's voting rights had been a bone of contention for the past several years. One of the lobbyists was Ms. Chaya Srivatsa, a member of the club for the past eight years. Ms. Srivatsa, who runs the City-based Guild of Women Achievers, believed that the grant of voting right meant that "women are finally being treated on par with men." "Some of us, felt there was no justification in denying us this right. After all, the Century Club has women members with voting rights," she said. Ms. Srivatsa recalled that till 1992 the Bangalore Club used to allot "out-of-turn" membership to only sons of members. "Since my father, Dr. R.K.Bhagwan, was a member, I felt it was unfair to single out sons for membership (of the club). And because I was the editor/publisher of Blossom City magazine at the time, I wrote against the practice and urged that daughters (of the club's members) be given out-of-turn membership too." Eight years ago, daughters of the club's members, including Ms. Srivatsa, were made "out-of-turn" members.
Speech is popular entertainment. Here are the speakers in demand Talking is big business here. With as many as eight to 10 talks and discourses held every week in the city, the demand for popular speakers has also grown. BT does a poll on who talks the talk best. Swami Sukhabodananda tops the list on all counts.. "Though he is a swamiji, he speaks about normal life. I have enjoyed his talks on relaxing the mind," adds president of the Guild of Women Achievers, Chaya Srivatsa. A speaker herself, Chaya Srivatsa believes that what makes one a good speaker is the ability to speak from the heart. She talks on women's issues and empowerment and these talks are based on her own experiences. "Her talks are sprinkled with stories that can motivate any woman listening to her," says Maheshwari, a volunteer at an NGO.