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Abha Singh is busier than ever

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Lawyer Abha Singh was a keynote speaker at the Xin Philanthropy conference in New Delhi last week and it was significant that her 81-year-old mother, Tara, came to the conference to hear her speak. Abha tells us that her mother got her MA degree from Allahabad University in 1961 during a time when it was quite difficult for Indian women to get an education. “Society in those times, especially in Uttar Pradesh (UP) was so conservative that my mother had to wear a sari to school from Std 4 onwards! Even after she got her post-graduate degree my mother was not allowed to join the workforce but had to content herself with being a housewife,” says Abha. Adds the lawyer and ex-civil servant: “It was always my mother’s dream that both of her daughters (Abha and her younger sister Meenakshi) should get a university education and actively contribute to society. So, for her, it was a kind of wish fulfilment that both of us not only were educated at among the best universities in the country (JNU and Delhi School of Economics) but that we joined the civil services at different points of our lives.” Well, Abha left the civil services quite a while ago to turn crusader for the rights of the underprivileged and the marginalised. Among the many other things that she does, the activist says she has adopted a village in Barabanki on the outskirts of Lucknow (UP) where her NGO, the RannSamar Foundation, ensures that the village girls continue with their education. And then Abha goes on to add about mother Tara: “She is the twinkling star who leads our way. The values and education that she gave us are our crowning glory today.”

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