Chhattisgarh Roundtable: Implementation of PWDVA

Chhattisgarh Roundtable: Implementation of PWDVA

Oxfam India organized a round table conference on October 5, 2021, on the implementation of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 (PWDVA) in Chhattisgarh.  The virtual conference was a multi-stakeholder forum that was attended by all key actors in the state - the State Department for Women and Child Development, along with the cadre of state support service providers for survivors of Gender-Based Violence, notably Protection Officers, and Centre Administrators and staff from One Stop Centres for women from each of the 27 districts in the state. Oxfam India’s partner NGOs also participated in the event, which saw a successful footfall of more than 60 participants.

Under its Gender Justice Programme, that has actively delivered on addressing the increase in Gender-Based Violence due to the pandemic, through programmatic interventions, a scoping study on the impact of the pandemic on VAW in India, knowledge resources such as development of training modules and advocacy with the Government stakeholders, has engaged actively with the State Department of WCD in Chhattisgarh, a state that is leading in its well-developed service infrastructure for survivors of GBV, having created functional OSCs in each district, a state helpline for women and a dedicated cadre of Protection Officers.

The round table conference was held in recognition of the increase in domestic violence due to the pandemic, to understand the on-ground needs and challenges faced by service providers in effective service delivery during the pandemic with limited resources. The roundtable set the context for a subsequent training on the PWDVA and its implementation, with the support service providers in Chhattisgarh.

Ranu Bhogal, Director, Oxfam India welcomed all participants, including the representative from the State WCD, and shared Oxfam’s long history of work on EVAW in India, and its on-ground work in Chhattisgarh with its partners, as well as through direct implementation. Christeena Lal, Joint Director, Department of Women and Child Development, Chhattisgarh thanked Oxfam India for the work done on addressing GBV in the state. She iterated the extensive work done in strengthening the service infrastructure in the state for survivors of GBV, and shared how the Department leveraged the lockdowns to conduct virtual trainings, including detailed training on niche, specialized issues. Noting that more than 80 percent of the 27,600 cases received by OSCs have been solved, she shared that Chhattisgarh is the first state where the offices of POs and OSCs are located in the same place for ease of coordination. She highlighted that one of the key challenges in empowering and enabling survivors for leading an independent life is financial dependence, and that the Government does not have any provisions, such as schemes, to support survivors financially and enable rehabilitation. She invited Oxfam India to share innovative solutions to address these gaps, and encouraged participants to leverage expertise available in the training to ask questions and bring out the challenges in their work.

After a session by Anuradha Kapoor, Founder, Swayam on the history and nascence of the PWDVA, 2005 and the work done by the feminist movement in India, followed by a vibrant discussion, Amita Pitre, Gender Justice Lead, Oxfam, concluded the conference with a vote of thanks.

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