Dhaka Ladies Club, The

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Dhaka Ladies Club, The was established in 1951 by a small number of enthusiastic elite women under the leadership of Begum Shamsia Shahbuddin, wife of the Chief Justice of the then East Pakistan Justice Shahabuddin. Initially, the Club, housed in the residence of Justice Shahabuddin, grew rapidly. In 1955 the then President of the club, Begum Amiruddin mobilised resources and bought about one acre of land in Eskaton, where high government officers and elite class of Dhaka live. A building for the club was constructed on this land.

In 1960 the club was registered under Joint Stock companies Act. The 16 members Executive Committee headed by its President manage the Club. The Executive Committee is elected for three years. In May 2008 the club had 600 members. A member has to pay Tk10, 000 as entry fee and Tk.50 per month as subscription. The sources of income of the Club are membership fess, donations, and rental income of the premises used for wedding, conferences and other activities.

Dhaka Ladies Club is the main meeting place for fellowship, socialisation, recreation and leisure for upper and middle class women of Dhaka city. In addition, the club routinely organises cultural programs and social functions such as annual picnics, pleasures trips, Meena Bazar and Milad Mahfil, etc for its members. It also observes national and international days. The club is also engaged in social services. An important project of the Club is 'Kusum Koli';-under which several elementary schools operate for the poor children. Most of these schools are located either in the slum areas or in club members'; own premises. The club runs a music school for underprivileged children.

The club has a good library containing about ten thousand books and journals. The Club publishes a souvenir documenting its activities every two years. Through its activities it contributes to the empowerment of women and children. [Najma Siddiqi] [Siddiqi, Najma Professor of Philosophy, Jahangirnagar University]