Women Beyond Borders

Women of India & Pakistan Embracing for Peace & Harmony

Embracing Universal Motherhood for Peace & Harmony

Amma’s unique expression of boundless compassion can never be bounded in by difficult circumstances or the borders of nations. She is the bridge that connects, that brings people together. Amma feels that Her children exist everywhere, like petals of a one-world flower. It was this vision of Amma’s that inspired “Women Beyond Borders,” a discussion between three women from India and three women from Pakistan during Amritavarsham50.

Participants from Pakistan: Dr. Saleha Mahmood Abedin, Ms. Nasira Iqbal and Ms. Begum Surayya Jabeen. From India: Dr. Poornima Advani, Smt. Mridula Sinha and Dr. Kapila Vatsyayan. Moderator: Dr. Shrikant Jichkar. M.A. Math representatives: Swamini Krishnamrita Prana, Bri. Abhirami, Ms. Bhavani Bijlani, Ms. Ramya Fennell, Ms. Versha Kaushal and Ms. Kamalam Demetrakopoulus.

Dr. Jichkar opened the meeting by describing Amma as unlimited bliss. He said that She is spreading love throughout the world, and wants selfless service to cross borders. “Amma gives energy to the moon; the moon becomes pervasive light all over the world and that moon is seva [selfless service],” said Dr. Jichkar.

The discussion among the women of India and Pakistan was an even exchange of wisdom, laughter and love for Amma. All agreed that we must go beyond what occurs on both sides and work together. Many needs for cross-border seva were discussed revolving around issues of common concern. These issues include working towards the elimination of child prostitution and child trafficking, assistance in the form of counseling for families in crisis and applying pressure on the media to end the objectification of women. Suggestions were made for cross-border networking between NGOs addressing women’s issues and governmental organizations.

Subtle problems and strategies were also discussed among the group. For example, it was suggested that everything starts with the family. So we have to ask ourselves basic questions like, “How are we treating our daughters in front of our sons? Our wives in front of our daughters?” The way families interact can be promoted through positive media images. Media can also be used to spread positive images of each country’s people to its neighbour to help establish empathy and respect for diversity.

After the meeting’s conclusion, Dr. Jichkar said that he felt overwhelmed by the motherhood expressed. “We have to go beyond the idea that motherhood is related to gender,” he said. “Universal motherhood is a balance of both.”

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