There aren’t many places for women to hang out and unwind in Hyderabad. But now, they can boast of a women-only space. Yes, Darulshifa, the heart of the old city, offers such a legroom for them. At Luqma Studio, they can let their guard down and relax — leaving their worries behind.
The unique initiative is the brainwave of Safa Society, the city-based NGO, which aims at socio-economic empowerment of women. The one-of-a-kind studio provides a much-needed platform for women to engage in dialogue, network and exchange ideas. No, Muslim women are not making a beeline to the studio as yet. That will take some time but the very idea of women-only area has gone down well with the fair sex.
Those who dropped in at the inauguration of the studio, along with the Luqma kitchen, last week were pleasantly surprised at the idea of women having a place of their own. “Don’t we need such a place in the #MeToo era,” remarked a young woman pleading anonymity.
The all-female studio is well-furnished and has room for about 25 persons. The pink-coloured walls are decked up with art portraits of women. Adjacent to the studio is the spacious Luqma kitchen, the food brand of Safa, aimed at turning ordinary women into foodpreneurs. “We want Muslim women to make use of the studio and engage in meaningful discourse. They can also showcase their talent here,” says Safa Society president, Rubina Nafees Fatima.
The studio can be an oasis for women seeking rest and relaxation. They can order something sizzling from the kitchen next door and chit-chat leisurely, something the presence of men would hinder. The homely ambience only adds to the pleasure. There will be special events with prominent women from different fields addressing them on a range of subjects.
There are many myths about Muslim women. What adds to the confusion is people judging them through the prism of stereotypes. “Women from different communities can now intermingle and discover each other,” says Rubina.
With its safe and supportive environment, will Luqma Studio open up new vistas for women?
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