Allstate Foundation Purple Purse, together with program ambassador and tennis champion Serena Williams, today announced a national street art campaign to educate the public about domestic violence and make the invisible weapon of financial abuse visible to all.Serena Williams Launches National Street Art Campaign This summer, Purple Purse will roll out six photo-worthy and highly sharable street art murals across the country to spark important conversations on social media — and beyond — and drive much-needed awareness and education on financial abuse, which occurs in 99 percent of abusive relationships. The first mural, created by artist Isabel Castillo Guijarro, was unveiled by Williams yesterday at Tictail Market, 90 Orchard St. in New York City.“Domestic violence will affect 1 in 4 women in her lifetime. Yet even in a time when people seem to openly discuss most aspects of their lives — especially on social media — it’s something that remains largely hidden,” said Vicky Dinges, Allstate’s senior vice president of corporate relations. “Surprisingly, our research shows the stigma around domestic violence has increased over the past few years. By tapping into the growing popularity of free street art and turning it into a vehicle for social good, we hope these murals will bring financial abuse and domestic violence out of the shadows, and inspire a new network of allies for domestic violence survivors.”The new research, released to coincide with Financial Literacy Month in April, found that 1 in 3 Americans think domestic violence is a taboo topic, a 10-point increase since 2014. The study also revealed that nearly half of Americans are not familiar with financial abuse as a form of domestic violence, when in fact it’s one of the top reasons victims can’t “just leave.” Financial abuse tactics include preventing victims from working or keeping them from accessing bank accounts, credit cards or cash.To advance education on this important issue and give a voice to survivors, Purple Purse is tapping into the increasingly popular art form of street murals. A hidden message about financial abuse is part of each mural and becomes fully visible when visitors use Instagram’s Moon filter. Once the message is revealed, Purple Purse encourages visitors to share their photos on social media using the hashtag #SafeWayOut. In doing so, they will join Purple Purse and Williams in their efforts to help put an end to the domestic violence epidemic, once and for all.“With social media, everyone has an opportunity to tell a story and make an impact,” Williams said. “I am proud to use my voice and influence to bring more awareness to financial abuse so people can get involved and make positive change in their communities. As the public becomes more comfortable talking about domestic violence and financial abuse, it will also become easier to spot the signs, help a victim or stand up to an abuser.”The New York mural will be available for public viewing through the week of July 16. In the weeks ahead, five additional Purple Purse street art murals will be unveiled across the country and will stay up through October, National Domestic Violence Awareness Month: Houston, The Heights, (week of June 25) created by Ana Marietta New Orleans, Oak Street, (week of July 16) created by Milagros Collective Chicago, Wicker Park, (week of July 23) created by Lauren Asta Seattle, (week of Aug. 6) created by Ellen Picken Los Angeles, (week of Aug. 13) created by Carolyn SuzukiWhether you live in these cities or are visiting, be sure to add the limited-run murals to your “must-see” list. Go to PurplePurse.com to: Find the nearest mural, so you can visit, take a photo and join Purple Purse in sharing this important message; Explore and share the story behind the project through eye-catching photos and video content documenting how the project was born and how street artists are lending their craft to help this cause; Learn the signs of domestic violence and financial abuse and how to start a conversation with a potential victim; Make a donation to help give victims a #SafeWayOut.Since 2005, Allstate Foundation Purple Purse has empowered more than 1.3 million survivors on the road to safety and security through its educational resources, including The Allstate Foundation’s Purple Purse Moving Ahead curriculum. The curriculum equips victims with the necessary knowledge to empower themselves financially and recover from financial abuse. To date, The Allstate Foundation has invested more than $60 million to help educate the public about financial abuse and provide critical survivor services, including financial education, asset-building, and job-training and -readiness programs.
WILMINGTON, MA — The Town’s Purchasing Department currently has the following bidding and contract opportunities available:Request For Proposals/QualificationsNoneInvitations To BidLighting Replacement for Woburn Street and Shawsheen Street School — Deadline: Thursday, August 2, 2018, 11amSingle Point Video Detection (SPVD) Traffic Signal Camera System — Deadline: Thursday, August 16, 2018, 10amAll interested parties must first complete the town’s Bid Registration Form.Visit the Town’s Purchasing Department website for additional information. Contact Wendy Martiniello at wmartiniello[at]wilmingtonma.gov with questions.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email email@example.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedTown’s Current Bidding & Contract OpportunitiesIn “Government”Town’s Current Bidding & Contract OpportunitiesIn “Government”Town’s Current Bidding & Contract OpportunitiesIn “Government”
Tata Motors TAMO C-Cube (representational image)Tata MotorsLeading Indian automaker Tata Motors and global leader Volkswagen may join hands for sharing vehicle architecture and technology. Emerging reports indicate the Indo-German marquees are finalising on a partnership.Also read: Tata Motors’ TAMO unveils C-Cube concept at Microsoft Future DecodedWhether the partnership will be a joint venture or a technology tie-up are being worked out, reports ET Auto, citing five people privy to the matter. An official announcement on the development is expected at the Geneva Motor Show in March where Tata Motors will unveil its first product under newly formed TAMO brand.Both companies are reportedly looking for sharing a modular platform for India as well as for global markets. Tata Motors is working on an advanced modular platform (AMP). It is a scalable platform which means it can underpin a whole range of body styles including hatchbacks, crossovers, sedans, MPVs and SUVs. The platform can also be tweaked according to product dimensions. Volkswagen may share its technical knowhow for models based on the AMP architecture.In addition, the tie-up may also look into the feasibility of Tata Motors using Volkswagen’s MQB A0 platform. The A0 platform is ideal for small cars. Tata Motors has plans to launch small cars.This is not the first time Tata and Volkswagen have been linked. In July 2016, it was reported that VW is planning to restart its small car project in association with Tata Motors. Tata made headlines in 2010 after launching the Nano, the world’s cheapest car for Rs 1.05 lakh. Tata Motors has proved they can make cars in tight budget. Further, the proximity between Tata Motors and Volkswagen plant in Pune also points to a potential deal.
Q. Sita’s Curse opens with a masturbation scene. Meera Patel relieves herself while her angry husband bangs on the closed door. While describing the scene you have written she folded up her legs like Goddess Lakshmi seated on a half-open lotus. No fear of the Religious Right getting all worked up?As I writer, my job is to write the story I believe in. Worrying about whether an opening scene or a line or a particular character will ruffle some right-wing feathers is frankly not in my nature, nor is it integral to a creative person’s integrity. Also, we’ve been conditioned to be scared – of being branded, banished, judged, criticized and eventually rejected – family, friends, publisher, peers, Right Wing, radicals, conservatives, communists… the list is endless, as is the eventual fight. Sita’s Curse being just the beginning, in my mind – of where I want the many Meeras of our country to be. Someday. One day. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Free from their desires. Freed by their desires. When we can write about marital rape with the same rousing sentiment as we scream hoarse about rape in the heart of a burgeoning national capital. When a housewife being paraded to a family Guruji, on the false pretext of religion can actually protest. Before the next Asaram Bapu scandal. When a married woman can say just like a single woman that she enjoys masturbating or watches porn. That she nurses a secret life. Enjoying being watched back, without it escalating into yet another feminist rhetoric. Sita’s Curse is not only about a married Gujarati housewife’s sexual destiny – it is a start. Of a sameness. Of a sanity. Of a sexual secularism. A world, sans halves. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix Q. After a fairly safe debut with Faraway Music, one would have expected you to stick to plain, old goodhearted romances. But you chose to write an erotica instead. Why?Actually Sita’s Curse was the third book I penned after FM, my second being a racy lad lit, out next from Hachette, a modern day reinterpretation of Shakuntalam, as retold by Dushyant. You’ve Got The Wrong Girl. Sita’s Curse I started writing as a short story about a Gujarati housewife, I saw daily, on my way to work at the Times of India office in VT from Mahim where I lived a few years ago. Sometimes hanging clothes on a flimsy plastic wire, feeding green chillies to a tota in a cheap wrought iron cage or running her hands over her full breasts, the Meera of my imagination turned into a daily obsession – a slow fire, as I began conjecturing about her daily life. Imagining her every moment. The way she felt trapped, soulless, sad, sabotaged by the simple irony of her own life. Till the floods of July 26th, 2005 of which I too was a victim, taking three days to reach home, battling a serious viral infection I contracted, being hospitalized…later I resumed work. She was no more. Sita’s Curse is my tribute to that memory. To a life unsung. A woman with the most melancholic eyes – the color of rain. This is her story. I am but a vessel. A medium. A transit point. Q. Those who know you personally would say there was much of you in the first book. Piya Choudhury is Sreemoyee Piu Kundu. How much is this book rooted in personal history, if at all?As I said, Meera is drawn from my personal memory. And honestly, while parallels were drawn about my first female protagonist Piya and me, I feel Meera is drawn from my own flesh and blood. I gave birth to Meera. I bear her cuts. Q. Being an erotica many readers will savor the sex in it. But you have addressed important issues here as well. Long-standing social biases like considering a woman impure during her periods. Did the feminist in you pop up every time your penned down a sex scene?The biggest challenge for me as a writer was to constantly keep reminding myself of the real Meera in whose memory I penned this novel. And so, in writing the sexually graphic scenes, my attempt was to make it as real and as normal as possible for a woman of her social strata and experience – belonging to a small town, an everyday housewife, a woman who bears no children, in a soulless marriage. Also, as women our battles are all the same. I have myself seen and heard stories of women not being allowed to offer prayers or enter a kitchen/temple when they are menstruating, my own life changing after I made the transition from girlhood to womanhood at twelve. So, more than feminism, I think the erotic elements of the novel are rooted in a deep everyday Indian realism. Q. Another rarely discussed social reality, incest, is discussed early on in the book. Meera and Kartik, inseparable twins, grow up loving, caring, and feeling each other up. Do you think this may make Indian readers a tad uncomfortable? Incest is common in India, as it is elsewhere, in large joint families, for instance. But I am against branding feelings and boxing experiences into socially acceptable/non-acceptable labels and norms. So the relationship between Meera and Kartik is one that is elusive at one level and yet touches upon a very deep chord. Also, from the standpoint of the book, Meera and Kartik grow up in a small town, with hardly any window to the life and lights of a big city. In this insular life, sans much entertainment or luxuries, they are each others’ constant companions and soul-mates and it is a natural progression that from swimming naked in the village river as kids to sleeping on the same bed as scrawny teenagers, they begin viewing each other’s changing bodies and minds with a strange curiosity bordering between a platonic man-woman chemistry to the first dint of pleasure between two sexes, segregated and separated by social conditioning and conservatism. Q. Meera’s husband Mohan suffers from premature ejaculation. There is also inference to a certain godman her mother-in-law parades her to. Her first dance teacher scars her. Are all men in Sita’s Curse black? Surely, not all Indian men are so hopeless? Again, the book is not intended to start a woman vs. man debate. Who is stronger, fairer… who suffers more and why. Who always pays a price? The men you have quoted are not the only men in the novel, and as is true of anyone, each character carries strong shades of grey. Even Mohan’s character to me is a mystery – the dynamics and sexual politics of a marriage where from the first night the husband is intimidated by the sheer physicality and sexuality of his own wife. As for Guru Amarkant Maharaj – he is a prototype of the deep and complex relationship between sex and religion that is primordial to our Indian culture. Case in point. The epic Mahabharata. The dance teacher who shuns Meera is again typical of a weak man – and he could be anything, even a German or a man of French origin. Also, a character that you have skipped is Yosuf Ismail who sets Meera free. So this book is not just about the men in Meera’s life, but the life in her men. Each person teaching her something, even those that tainted her. Without them, Meera’s journey – both inwards and outwards would be incomplete. Q. Sita’s Curse has masturbation, incest, lesbian love, BDSM. Yet, I have to say it does not read vulgar. How difficult is it as a writer to tackle sex in a way that the book doesn’t become another Mastram handout?Erotica is an artform which is why it’s constant cross reference to porn is an indication of how little we as modern day readers are actually exposed to erotic writing. Before I started writing SC, I delved deep into our indigenous roots of erotica – be it Kalidasa or Jayadeva’s Geeta Govinda or the 6th century Tamil poet Andal. From Kamala Das to Ismat Chugtai. My inspiration being the innate sensuality and heightened sense of mysticism that is very much pervasive to our consciousness. I hope readers will also soak in the erotic elements of SC. Relishing it as it should be, without being squeamish or stand-offish. Being an erotic writer has led to me letting go of many of my innermost inhibitions and I hope readers also can do the same. Also, today I take pride in being a sensualist and I think it’s hugely liberating. So I was always pretty sure of the clear line between Meera and Mastram. Q. Is it embarrassing to have your parents and family elders read an erotica you have written? Or friends saying you might get branded as a porn writer? Yes and no. I have already received mails calling me a ‘whore with a disease,’ just the way I have been reached out to by many housewives and women from small towns and in urban settings, those I do not know at all, sharing with me stories of their sexual suppression, aching to find a way out. To want to stand up for their basic physical need. To speak their minds. So when I weigh the pros and cons, I know the scales are tipped in favor of Meera. Already.Q. What next? A political thriller is in the offing I hear. Right now am consumed in the promotions of SC that is a super lead from Hachette and their first erotica offering in their Indian publishing list. But yes I am hoping to start Rahula when the dust settles and I go back to my desk. As no one, but a mass of energy. Rahula is a political tragedy that is inspired by the son of Buddha and will be set against a contemporary Indian political and social milieu. But like all my other books, the story is of a man’s struggle. To be bigger than his father. To win over a shadow. And his final flight.