HYDERABAD: On a visit to a charity school in Mallapur, Baroness Shreela Flather, the first Asian woman to receive peerage in the UK, on Wednesday criticised President Pratibha Patil for “not doing much” for the country.
A life peer of the Conservative party, Baroness Flather, of Windsor and Maidenhead in the Royal County of Berkshire, is most notable among the House of Lords for being the first Asian woman to receive peerage. Flather was here on an invitation from a London-based American entrepreneur Faiza Seth who set up the charity school Soham in Mallapur in 2010.
Shreela Flather has been a popular figure in the British media for her strong advocacy of women’s rights especially in developing nations and her battle against racism. Speaking about the Indian scenario, she says, “Women here have been given 33 per cent reservation. But of those who do make it to the top, it’s important to see how many of them actually deserve it. Many of them are just in it for their husbands or family. We need really strong women at the forefront of the country.” Citing the example of President Pratibha Patil, she opines, “for a woman of her standing, she hasn’t really done much. She hasn’t achieved or brought any glory to the country.”
On her friend Faiza, she reveals, “Faiza is a dear friend and I’ve been hearing about the work that’s being done in Soham.
So when I was asked to become a patron, I decided to come and see for myself what the school was about.”