Sri Ramanand Saraswati Pustakalay (SRSP)

Project Theme

Ending Violence Against Women

Target Group

Others

Project Period

01 Jul 2015 - 30 Mar 2016

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Introduction

Azamgarh is one of the extreme backward districts in eastern Uttar Pradesh. The mindset of the people is still very feudal. Gender and caste are the sources of various kinds of discriminations, assaults and violence. Women are principal providers of care and support to families. Yet social indicators show a fundamental social bias and inequality. Newspapers and periodicals of all hues in India often carry reports about violence against women (VAW). These include among others incidents of young brides being burnt for bringing ‘insufficient’ dowry, women dying in abnormal circumstances, rape on hapless women and molestation of young girls. In some cases there are public protests by women activists and such protests receive media coverage. 

Domestic violence suffered by women on a regular basis in the form of psychological or physical abuse goes unreported. Very rarely do women themselves file police cases against the ill treatment meted out to them. A few women who escape death end up in shelter homes, but the majority continues to live in marital union and endure abusive behavior. 

SRSP works for the sustainable social and economic empowerment of women and dalits. The focus is on a rights based approach through which these marginalized segments of the rural India are sensitized about the dignity of their human existence. The tools of this endeavour are education, capacity building by skill up-gradation, exposure to the laws of the land and international conventions with creative activities like theatre, music, and painting. Efforts are also made to involve these potential groups in other areas like water conservation, forestry and preservation of oral and written folk traditions which may enrich their life. Special attention is paid to the improvement of their health and hygiene.

 

About the Project: 

This proposed project will address diverse kinds of violence that women are subjected to- domestic violence, declining sex ratio, trafficking, development induced violence and other forms of violence. Research and advocacy initiatives will be undertaken to cover the entire state through alliance network partners. Continuous interventions will be made with various government departments to ensure improvement in policy situations. Moreover, the project will seek direct engagement with the population from excluded communities like tribal’s, Dalit, PWDs, and other backward caste women in the state of Uttar Pradesh

The project aims to break the silence and acceptance on violence against women (VAW) through awareness programmes, sensitization workshops and by challenging the attitudes, beliefs and behaviour that perpetuates violence against women through campaigning, lobbying and advocacy and by strengthening women survivors to lead a life with dignity (support to women experiencing violence by State and non-State actors) The project would target all the actors that are involved in either perpetuating VAW or not fulfilling their mandate in prevention and relief, these being the individuals (perpetrators and survivors), families, communities, society and the state.  

 

Objectives of the project 

1.Reduce the social acceptance of violence against women and bring a positive change in the policy and program environment that perpetuates its acceptance at an institutional and community level

2.Provide holistic support to women survivors of gender based violence through formal and informal justice 

3.Change such behaviour and attitudes of men and women that perpetuate discrimination and violence against women

•Coverage Area 

The head office of SRSP is in district Azamgarh. SRSP runs the support centre within the premises of Superintendent of Police office where women survivors get counselling, legal or medical aid as per their requirements .The coverage under the project is as follows: 

• Total number of districts -1 

• No of blocks-3 

•Total number of villages- 60

•Total no of Gram Panchayat- 20

•Total number of  house – 1500

Till now they had provided support to 2229 women through the support centre in terms of counselling legal or medical aid. 

 

Results to be Achieved / Impact: 

•Government officials in the relevant departments (Police, Protection Officers under Protection of Women against Domestic Violence Act (PWDVA), Women & Child Development Officer) are sensitized on support services, related budgetary allocation procedures to be followed for expenditure, and time bound orders for implementation of PWDVA.

•Women experiencing violence, especially those from marginalized communities, in the programme districts increase their access to formal justice system.

•Men and women aged 15-50 years in the programme districts are sensitized on VAW and have demonstrably increased their knowledge on laws related to VAW and legal and other support services available for those experiencing violence. 

 

Prior Achievements:

•More than 150 senior most Police, Government and judiciary officers including Commissioner, DIG, DM, Chief Judicial Magistrate, SSP, SP Rural, SP city, SDM, Probation Officer & DPO(ICDS,WCD) participated in two trainings and gender mela organized under the project.

•Community mobilization was done at mass level through public meetings and campaign. This year we could reached to 20000 people directly and 50000, indirectly. Covered people from society like 100 lawyers, 100 teachers, 25 doctors, 50 gram pradhan, 100 anganwadis, 25 ASHA & ANM, 25 bankers, 50  shopkeepers,200 farmers, 10 elected representatives have committed support and many of them have shown keen interest in canvassing the VAW issue with others. Many of them have helped in providing support to women survivors in various blocks and remote areas.

•Running Women support centre in the women cell of Superintendant of police office ,without any state government orders was a challenge as it requires support from not only senior officers but from all levels of police personnel .This year we have provided support to 229 women survivors. This year on an average 20 cases were filed per month against the last year's average of 12 cases per month. During the year 37 police complaints, 4 FIRs, 2 NCRs & 17 DIRs filed. While running the support centre in police premises requires lot of co ordination and diplomacy efforts so that police personnel find the centre supportive to their work and do not feel that the non police person is interference in their work. Lot of trust building and transparency is required.

 

Quotes of Beneficiaries:

“mein darti rahi ki hinsa ke khilaf aawaz uthaoongi to ghar mein rahe nahi paoongi. Par jab virodh kiya SRSP ki madad se tabhi ja kar aaj ghar mein samman aur izzat ke sath rahe rahi hoon.”- says Poonam acknowledging & appreciating role of the Support Centre that provided critical support & seek justice.

Case Studies/Human stories: 

A girl named Poonam belongs to Hariya block of Azamgarh district of Uttar Pradesh. She got married at the age of 20 years to a man named Jamvant. Soon after her marriage in laws started harassing & abusing her demanding her to ask for more dowry from her parents. Her husband also used to beat her after drinking. This lasted for about two years and then one of the leaders in the community of her native village referred her to women support centre run by partner organization. 

One day Poonam walked in to the Support Centre bruised & battered. At Women support centre is was provided medical facilities and later case was registered at police station. During counselling Poonam expressed her desire to go back to her husband’s home, if they don’t beat and abuse her. 

In laws and husband of Poonam was called at the centre. Number of meetings was conducted with the husband and in-laws of Poonam. Finally In laws and husband agreed to take Poonam back to home with promise they will not abuse or beat her. 

Husband of Poonam has become very much sensitive towards violence against women issue and he has referred two cases of domestic violence to the women support centre. For past nine months Poonam is living happily with her husband in his home.