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Women breach male bastion at Bombay Gymkhana

September 29, 2003 22:43 IST

The 128-year-old male bastion at the Bombay Gymkhana crumbled on Monday with the election of two women to the balloting committee for the first time in the history of the prestigious club.

Women members had managed to secure voting rights to the election last year after a long struggle. The balloting committee decides on new membership.

The winners were Kiran Patel, a French translator and Anuradha Kulkarni, a hypnotherapist, who contested along with eight other male members.

Nearly 893 members voted this year as opposed to the usual turnout of 400-500. Nearly 150 women members also cast their votes this year.

The Bombay Gymkhana became one of the first clubs in 1991 when it enrolled women with a promise that they would be given voting rights. However, it was all only in January 2002 that women were able to secure their voting rights and September 2003 saw them being allowed to contest elections

H Uberoi, one of the members, said, "Women standing for elections was expected and a natural turn of events. Most of the male members were for it except for a few negligible ones."

"The whole turn of events is just marvellous," he said.

"One must remember even the Lords abroad did not have women for so many years. In fact the club members had agreed to having women members earlier only that it took a much longer time to turn into a reality," he added.

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