Renowned disarmament activist and humanitarian Binalakshmi Nepram has been selected for the Women Have Wings Award- Class of 2016. For those who don’t know, Nepram is a dynamic and courageous activist, writer and advocate for promoting peace through arms reduction and is working towards a disarmament movement in India. The organization honours women with extraordinary courage and action.
Advocate for Disarmament
Nepram’s journey towards making the society weapon free started when she witnessed her very young niece being shot dead in crossfire. The very same crossfire almost took away her parents. This became a turning point in her life and she became an advocate for change for arms control. She mobilized women for the first ever ‘Women Gun Survivors Network’ in the country to achieve her objective.
Through this Network, Binalakshmi works in 300 villages in two North Eastern states and is in the process of expanding the work to other states. The Network enables women survivors with their socio‐economic and legal rights, provides psycho‐social counseling, facilitates income‐earning opportunities, children’s schooling and helps them to live with courage and dignity. Not only that they nurture women’s leadership and are encouraged to become agents of change and ensure access to justice for their sisters who survive gun‐violence.
India, after the United States, ranks second in terms of weapons owned by civilians. To curb that, Binalakshmi has found another organization namely The Control Arms Foundation. The foundation works for the disarmament of the society. In India, 99.9% of gun owners are found to be men. Through the Foundation’s advocacy, the licensing system of civilian weapon ownership in Delhi State has changed to include women’s consent for men who buy arms as a deterrant. After its success in New Delhi, the model is also being implemented for the rest of India.
About Women Have Wings
The Women Have Wings Award honors women of courage who have taken bold risks to ensure a more just and peaceful future for us all. global recognition increases the awareness of their work, infuses their in-country movements with desperately needed resources and fosters collaboration between annual Award recipients and the larger global community. Till now the organization has awarded thirty one courageous women.