About Soroptimist International and SIGBI
Soroptimist International is a global volunteer movement of service clubs of women in business and profession. There are over 80,000 members in 3000 clubs in 125 countries across the globe under 4 Federations – Federation of the South West Pacific (Australia), Federation of the Americas, Federation of Europe and Federation of Great Britain and Ireland Limited (SIGBI) who work at a local, national and international level to educate, empower and enable opportunities for women and girls. We have consultative status at the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) at the United Nations (UN), which gives us a voice on important discussion papers, and allows us to attend the Commission on the Status of Women in New York each March, and contribute to the “Agreed Conclusions”. The Vision of Soroptimist is the enable women and children to achieve their individual and collective potential, realise aspirations have an equal voice in creating strong, peaceful communities worldwide. We do this by transforming the lives and status of women and girls through education, empowerment and enabling opportunities. Our goals and projects are linked to the Sustainable Goals Goals (SDG’s) of the United Nations. The word Soroptimist originated from Latin.”Soror” means sister and “Optima” meaning best – so we want “best for women”. From the founding of the first Soroptimist club in Oakland, California, in 1921, through to the present day where over 3000 Clubs are flourishing throughout the world, Soroptimists have continued to strive to achieve ‘the best for women’ in every sphere of their lives.
Soroptimist International is committed to a world where women and girls together achieve their individual and collective potential, realize aspirations and have an equal voice in creating strong, peaceful communities worldwide.
Soroptimists transform the lives and status of women and girls through educatioin, employment and enhancing opportunities.
- Advancement of the status of women
- High Ethical Standards
- Human Rights For All
- Equality, Development and Peace; and
- The Advancement of International Understandings, Goodwill and Peace
The NASI – National Association of Soroptimist International clubs of India is the Parent body of all of the SI Clubs in India. Today, we have 14 SI clubs all over India. Kolkata (2), Burdwan, Mumbai (3) Pune (2), Bangalore (2), Chennai (2), Madurai and Hyderabad. The newest club is SI Hyderabad which was chartered on 17 November 2018. All the SI Clubs in India belong to the SIGBI Federation – Soroptimist International of Great Britain and Ireland, Federation. We are actively looking at extension of clubs in other cities too.
NASI was conceptualized 25 years ago.In 1989 the prominent clubs were Calcutta (original), Burdwan, Jubbalpore, North Bombay and South Bombay. Bombay North was the first SI Club in India. South Bombay came second followed by Calcutta and Jabbalpore. The S I clubs of South Bombay and Jabbalpore have since ceased to exist.
Chitra Ghosh from Calcutta and Antoinette D ‘Costa from South Bombay were instrumental in forming the National Body as the then SIGBI officials were keen about a National Region in India. The NASI Board was formed only in 1990-91 and it was formally registered in 1994. The main officials at that time were the President, Secretary, Treasurer, Pres-Elect and PAC. The post of Councilor came much later in 2003-4.
NASI meets twice a year for its meetings and conducting business: June and November. These are typically 1.5 days meetings. Twice a year, there are EC Meetings and once a year there is an AGM. These meetings are rotated across different Clubs. The meetings are attended by the Club Representatives, Programme Action Committee, NASI Board. All members of SI Clubs are also encouraged to participate in these meetings to build friendships, learn from each other and take ahead the agenda of creating a better future for girls and women.
The Past Presidents of NASI have been: Aroti Dutt, Anntionette D’Costa, Chitra Ghosh, Shirin Warne, Kamala Suri, Shibani Das, Kasturi Shankar, Kamla Prasad, Promila Khandelwal, Sheela Rao, Deepanwita Chowdhury, Annette Mascarenhas, Shreelata Narayanan and Lata Krishnan.