The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Money menu for Mams on the move
- Commercial acumen course for housewives targets other metro homes

Smriti Lohia did her schooling from Modern High and joined Loreto College for her BA. Mid-term, she got married and did little else. Today, she is the creator of her own brand of ready-to-wear garments and revels in the tough world of business…

Married into a business family, Aditi Chirimar would be overawed and jittery every time her husband started talking office and business. Today, she is helping him foray into the international market of packed tea and is the visible face of the family, coordinating with the packaging industry to get the ‘right look’ for the produce.

Like Chirimar and Lohia, there are over 200 “once-bored housewives” — mostly from Gujarati and Marwari families of the city — who now make up the busy family of the Millennium Mams. Their lives have altered dramatically after signing up for the Capital Market Classes, leading them into a whole new world outside home.

And Millennium Mams now has growth plans of its own. Convinced that there are many Bengali housewives in Calcutta yearning to contribute to their family and do their bit for society, and other metros like Hyderabad, Mumbai and Bangalore, too, have their share of “bored home-makers” from well-to-do families, Mams on the move has now decided to branch out, both socially and spatially.

“But we would not like to do anything to make us lose our focus,” says one of the brains behind the movement, B.K. Dhanuka. The businessman-investor who started Capital Market Classes, the free two-year programme, with chartered accountant Sanjay Bhuwania, to give women the right amount of general awareness and commercial acumen, is wary of “financial constraints and those of infrastructure” but would, nevertheless, like to spread the message to other social sectors in Calcutta and to other cities.

“There is huge demand in those cities for something like the Capital Market Classes,” Dhanuka told Metro. “This problem is bound to be there in any society where men and women are placed on different pedestals and where the men earn more than enough to take care of their families.”

The two-year course — with a mix of textbook knowledge and day-to-day developments — is programmed to bring the women out of their shells and teach them the basics of capital markets, finance and accounting. Two-hour classes are held once a week and students meet outside, again once a week, to discuss their understanding of the bulls and the bears.

The course ends in two years but the association continues beyond that. “We discovered that interest-levels waned with the end of the course,” Bhuwania admitted. “A meeting is, therefore, organised every alternate Saturday to keep the learning process alive.” The classes are becoming more populous and many applications have to be returned. So, it’s time for the Millennium Mams to make a difference in many more lives and homes.

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