Name & Its Meaning
The word ‘Manushi’ has many layers of meaning. It was coined for use as the name of this Journal by Madhu Kishwar from the Sanskrit word ‘manush’ or ‘manushya’, which means ‘human being’ as distinct from ‘purush’, which means ‘man’.
The word ‘manushya’ is common to most Indian languages. The human race is referred to as ‘manushya jati’. ‘Manushyata’, another derivative, means humanity. The word Manushi at its simplest was coined to mean the humane as well as the feminine principle in humanity. The emphasis is on humanity, not manhood, because we feel “manhood” has too often been expressed through violence, warfare aggression and domination.
Manushi is also close to the word manasi, which means ‘of the mind or intellect.’ In Bengali, when spelt as ‘Manoshi’, it means ‘dear to heart'.
Manushi Trust was instituted in 1979 to provide the legal and organizational base for publishing Manushi—A Journal about Women & Society which was founded in 1978.
From its very inception, Manushi founder & Managing Trustee, Madhu Kishwar took a policy decision not to accept foreign funding or government grants in order to retain its independence and autonomy
MANUSHI’s stated aim was to contribute towards finding effective solutions for the economic, political and social problems confronting India today through patient study, a non-partisan approach, live interaction with the people concerned, and culturally sensitive, informed activism. MANUSHI seeks out creative ideas to meet the challenges of our times and avoids falling in the trap of deadening ideologies.
Manushi Trust also publishes books, makes documentary films and undertook a whole range of activities, including legal aid and PIL work, through the modest resources generated by the sales and subscriptions of our publications.
Manushi Trustees: Geeta Luthra (Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India); J P Das (Retd IAS & celebrated Oriya author); Madhu Purnima Kishwar (Founder and Managing Trustee ,Former professor CSDS, currently National Fellow, ICSSR)
Brief Glimpse of Manushi's Engagements in the Last Four Decades
Manushi Sangathan was registered as a non-profit society in 1993 to create a separate organizational and financial base for the activist interventions of Manushi, including legal aid work and PIL. It motivates and organizes citizen’s groups to work for social, political and governance reforms in order to promote greater social justice, make the institutions of governance accountable to citizens and move in the direction of Swaraj.
Members Governing Board
- J.P. Das; (Retd IAS)
- Geeta Luthra, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India
- Lakhwinder Singh (Retd Major General)
- Kokila Rangachari ( FICCI Ladies Forum)
- Sonal Mansingh, (Rajya Sabha MP, celebrated classical dancer);
- Founder President: Madhu Purnima Kishwar, ICSSR Maulana Azad National Professor