Japanese students shocked at women’s status, poverty in Pune

February 21st, 2008 - 7:26 pm ICT by admin  

Pune, Feb 21 (IANS) A visit to Budhwar Peth, Pune’s red light area, has come as a shock for a group of Japanese students, who are on an educational trip to this city. The group of 21 Japanese students is here to study and volunteer for programmes with intent to be aware of the issues facing developing countries. They are keen to be a part of the development process.

Yomio Kav, 20, a student of English literature from University of Obrim in Tokyo, said: “We were shocked to see the extent of poverty. The streets seemed so crowded and we were distraught to know that women have to take up prostitution to meet basic needs.”

Tokyo’s Obrim University has been sending students to India for the last ten years.

Armen Modi, who runs a Pune-based NGO called “Asta No Kai” which means ‘For a better tomorrow’, said: “The basic purpose of such programmes is to make youngsters in developed countries dispel negative notions about the third world. It helps them to clearly see social issues and gives them an opportunity to be a part of the solution to eradicate social evils.”

For, Minako Saito, 19, who is a student of communication, the tour has been a learning experience.

Maika Tasutsami, a student, said: “Women in Japan are much more empowered but in India, women continue to face oppression.” She wants to go back and discuss with her teachers about the state of women in India and get some help for them.

The students are also concerned about the violation of human rights of people diagnosed with HIV positive in India.

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