Arpan

Project Theme

Ending Violence Against Women

Target Group

Others

Project Period

01 Jul 2015 - 31 Mar 2016

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Introduction

Women form the backbone of the hill economy and bear the triple burden of rearing the children, working in the fields and looking after the old people at home. Migration of men in search for work makes life more difficult. The increasing incidents of abuse and violence on women have been on the increase, both at the household level and in the society at large. As per the 2011 census of the State. The sex ratio stands at 963:1000. According to the National crime record Bureau’s report of 2011, 996 cases of VAW were registered amongst which 129 were rape cases, 289 kidnapping, 83 dowry deaths, 307 domestic violence, 116 teasing / stalking and 72 cases of sexual abuse .Studies have revealed the fact that women facing violence are forced to remain silent and accept the violence, as the formal justice system and support structures often fail to respond positively to women survivors. The main constraint remains the socio-cultural, socio-economical and socio-political patriarchal- caste based approach to justice. As a result, the perpetrators are not punished and VAW continues.

ARPAN with its base in District Pithoragarh is working at the village level with rural women, youth (boys and girls) and other stakeholders (Government, media, other agencies) to address the issue of women who face multiple kinds of violence. ARPAN is also coordinating the state level network Sajha Manch currently effective in the Kumaoun division. This project is aimed at increasing the field area to include the Tehri Garwhal region, as well as to strengthen the voice for effective implementation of laws that address violence against women.

Through network members ARPAN will build linkages between aggrieved women and formal justice system and every effort will be undertaken to ensure access to various support services. At the community level, the focus would be on reducing the social acceptance of violence against women.  

 

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 tribals, Dalit, PWDs, and other backward caste women in the state of Uttarakhand.

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 ARPAN is based at Pithoragarh from where they are directly implementing the project in 2 blocks of Pithoragarh district and covering thirteen districts of Uttarakhand through the network called Sajha Manch. The coverage area of the project is as follows :
  • Total number of blocks-2
  • Total number of villages -11
  • Total number of Panchayats - 10
  • Direct beneficiaries- 14,400 women 6,400 men
  • Coverage through Sajha Manch : 
  • Total number of blocks - 42
  • Total number of villages-215
  • Total number of Panchayats-130

Direct beneficiaries-39100 women and 12400 men through case work ,interface with community and stake holders 

Till now Arpan and Sajha Manch have provided support to 2202 women survivors through case work. 729 Direct incidents report were registered with the support of Sajha Manch members. Total membership in Sajha Manch is 52 organizations and 29 individuals. 

 

Results to be Achieved / Impact: 

  • The district units of the collective on VAW will be strengthened in all the 13 districts of Uttarakhand. This well established network will advocate on the issues of VAW, gaps in PWDVA.  
  • There will be Increase in the membership of the network. As people are becoming aware of the consequences of gender violence and feel the need to challenge patriarchy they are seeking to join in with collective activities and learning’s.  Awareness generation will be created at mass level on gender based discrimination and violence. People and organizations will be mobilized on VAW issue which will result in increase in membership. Membership drive and orientation programmes will increase.
  • 33 Vigilance group formed at Pithoragarh (district level) will become strong and will voice their concerns on VAW issues.     

 

Prior Achievements:

  • Expansion of the Sajha Manch / network on VAW to other districts in the State. Till last year the network partners were from the 6 districts of Kumaon. This year the reach has expanded to as per need and demand from Garhwal region also.  At Present district units have been facilitated in entire state in 13 districts. Membership has increased and had reached to about 59 organizations and 29 individual.
  • Increase in Budget for implementation of PWDVA from Rs. 50 lakh to Rs.55 lakh in 2014-2015 at state level.
  • At the grass-root level 33 CBO formations was facilitated and trainings were organized for building the capacities of 33 groups on the issue of gender justice. Out of which 22 Youth groups have also come up to support issues of VAW in the villages.

 

Quotes of Beneficiaries: 

“Aaj meri takat mera bhai hai wo meray sath kandhay say kandha mila kar kharay hai. Unkay sath sajha manch kay aur sathi , bahi log meray sath hai aur yahi mujh ko bharosa dilata hai ki mai apni ladyee zarur jeetugi…” Daiju

 

Case Studies/Human stories:

There was a girl named Nirmla in Thari village of Pithoragarh district. She used to reside with her mother father and younger sister brother. Her father used to earn his living from doing labor and entire family was depended on it for survival. Nirmla could not study further after class 9th. Her parents married her when she was 17 years of age so that they can be free from responsibility.

On April 18, 2002 Nirmla got married as per Hindu customs in village Thari of Pithoragarh district and started living at Gorihaat with her husband and in-laws. Her parents spend more than their capacity on gold ornaments and other things in her marriage. Still after some time of her marriage her husband Rajendra started physical and mental harassment for not brining enough dowry.  In-laws also started abusing and beating her. During this period Nirmla gave birth to a boy and later to a girl.  Boy is 9 years old and girl is 6 years old. 

One day she called her brother and told him how her in-laws and husband have beaten her very badly. Her brother called ambulance and she was hospitalized.  Nirmla’s parents came to know about the women groups working on PWDVA 2005 and they went to seek help from them. 

Her parents went to ARPAN office and Nirmla was shifted to her parent’s house. After husband Rajendra’s counselling Nirmla agreed to go back to her in- laws house after assurance from her husband that he will not beat her neither his parents will beat her.  

Within no time again her husband and in-laws started beating and abusing her. She was forced to leave the house without children. Nirmla approached APRAN office and was shifted to her parents’ home in Thari village.  

With the full support of women group of her village and ARPAN she is confident enough that judiciary will give decision in her favour. She will be allowed to stay in her in-laws house along with her children without interference of her in- laws and husband.  She can take care and nature her children.