Bangalore, 20 Sept. 2011: It was a power-packed Manhattan forum attended by many First Ladies and prominent women of the world: from Michelle Obama to Madame Zuma.
Making a difference: Bhanumathi Narasimhan, Director, Women Empowerment and Child Care Projects of The Art of Living addressing the conference titled 'First Ladies & Fashion 4 Development' in New York on 19 Sept 2011. The power-packed Manhattan forum was attended by many First Ladies and prominent women of the world like Michelle Obama and Madame Zuma.
While Prada met Versace and Mysore silks at the ‘First Ladies & Fashion 4 Development', the heart of the conference was causes and fittingly, opened with a video message from Art of Living Founder, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: "Fashions change because that is their nature but mission stays. If all the women who love fashion can take up a mission of development of our planet, we will be able to give a better world to our coming generations.” His message rang with the theme of the September 19th event: “Giving Back is the New Luxury”.
“A woman is the heart of a family. She brings people together. So she is also the heart of society. If she is empowered, there will be progress," said Bhanumathi Narasimhan, Director, Women Empowerment and Child Care Projects of The Art of Living.
Speaking at the session on 'Women Connect for Health - Connecting the Dots for the health MDGs and NCDs', Bhanumathi who is also the sister of Sri Sri, further said: "I was shocked to learn that 30 percent of women are suffering from depression all around the world. Spirituality is necessary now. Spirituality, according to me, is caring for each other, having a sense of belongingness and a sharing attitude.”
The conference, organized by Advanced Development For Africa (ADA), The United Nations Digital Health Initiative, The ITU Women Network in ICT (WITNET), drew attention to the role of fashion in creating economic growth in developing countries. The conference brought together first ladies and key players in fashion, diplomacy, media, business and the creative industries to celebrate the power of fashion to empower women in implementing creative strategies for sustainable economic growth and independence in support of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.
Prominent ladies present at the occasion were Ms. Cherie Blair, Founder and Chairperson,
Bhanumathi Narasimhan, Director, Women Empowerment and Child Care Projects of The Art of Living with H.E. Madame Zuma, First Lady of South Africa at the 'First Ladies & Fashion 4 Development' Conference in New York on 19 Sept 2011.
Cherie Blair Foundation for Women; Ms. Geena Davis, Founder, Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media; H.E. Jeanette Kagame, First Lady, Republic of Rwanda; H.E. Geri Benoit, Former First Lady of Haiti, Ambassador to Italy for Haiti; H.E. Madame Zuma First Lady of South Africa; H.E. Sandra Saakashvili-Roelofs, First Lady of Georgia; H.E. Baldwin Spencer, Prime Minister of Antigua.
Ever since its inception in 1981, The Art of Living has pioneered numerous projects for empowering women. From working on providing economic independence to working on providing holistic education to the girl child to rehabilitating women prisoners across the world the Art of Living has touched the lives of many and made them leaders in their own way. The Art of Living has started 175 schools in 19 states. More than 35,000 children get free education of which more than 51 percent are girls.
For more details on the Art of Living’s work on women empowerment, log onto