Nivedita Foundation (NF)

Project Theme

Transformative Women's leadership

Target Group

Others

Project Period

01 Apr 2016 - 31 Dec 2016

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Introduction

Nivedita Foundation is a non-governmental charitable organisation, registered under charitable and religious Trust Act 1920, working since 2006. NF works with rights based approach believing in developing women’s leadership and work through women’s collective, in order to enable them to bring structural change and to strengthen the collectives. It mainly works in the favour of exploited and marginalized pushed to the thresholds of the society especially  women and marginalized communities  such as tribals, schedule class people and minorities so that they could access their rights and be empowered. The organization believes that women should live a life of independence and dignity in a violence and exploitation free environment.  In order to achieve the targets the organization vows to create a strong network of women able to create pressure groups so that at the time of injustice even administration and government could be pressurized to take impartial decisions so that lives of women and marginalized could not be hindered.  

To achieve its objectives NF has created  strategic network with women and concerned stake holders. Presently, NF is supporting a women’s collective called Chhattisgarh Mahila Manch spread across Chhattisgarh. CMM is an active, powerful and effective state level organization of voluntarily motivated and dedicated women and activists used to raise women related to issues and decisively fights for their rights and violence against women. From providing medico-legal support to counselling it help the women to evolve as leaders, contribute in decision making for their own cause. Mass mobilaization on the women centric issues is another prominent agenda of CMM.  

CMM under NF successfully filed 62 women interest centric case legal cases in the court and successfully fighting for the cause. These cases include the cases of sexual assault, domestic violence, atrocity and murders, out of which 56 were reported resolved. 20,000 women were mobilized on issue of Gender equity, Land rights for women, joint ownership (Husband and wife) of land (home steed and agriculture) alcoholism and displacement. 200 women were facilitated to gain access to join Land titles, 762 women supported by CMM to benefit from the MNREGA, FRA. 433  women facilitated to join Gram Sabha meeting. (Local Self-Governance Institution). NF carried out study and made documentation on women’s rights in Chhattisgarh. 12 women leaders from the state are representing women related issues in to the state and central government in the area of policy/advocacy. NF roped 365 Adolescents girls and formed network named as Chhattisgarh Kishori Balika Sangathan which again formed  active 16 village level Adolescent Girls organisation (named as Kishori Balika Sangathan). This trained 110 Adolescent girls in the theme of Right to Education, Domestic Violence, Pocso Act (protection of childrens from sexual offence). 23 adolescent were trained on reproductive health and services.

 

About the Project: 

The project includes three fold approaches including preventive and redressal approach to reduce DV against women & Girls. The first approach which also includes under preventive measures include Gender sensitization of youth and men to change their traditional perceptions as to gender role and responsibilities. This will be done by working with community groups (Village level Community Based organisation), adolescent youth groups (Girls and boys), women and men groups and conducting gender training programs, improving local resource base livelihood options, building village to block and district level women’s forum and develop leadership quality of CMM members. This will also involve strengthening Chhattisgarh Mahila Manch, the women’s collective at state level to have a strong grassroots presence to support and address women’s issues across the project area and at the state level. 

The second approach includes redressal measures that involve supporting and empowering survivors of violence to get justice. Specific interventions designed for this purpose include formal and informal support services. The purpose of these services are boosting their self-confidence to take decision, social, psychological, economic and legal support, etc. 

The third approach includes advocacy, policy level changes and effective execution of PWDVA. It will help women who suffer domestic violence. Regular advocacy will act as a pressure mechanism to enable effectiveness in execution.

 

Results to be Achieved / Impact: 

  • To strengthen Chattisgarh Mahila Manch. 
  • To strengthen vigilant committee members who can address VAW and take up the cases 
  • To establish and streamline women support center
  • Strengthening youth groups: They will be the cadre who would help spreading awareness on VAW at village level and help to curb it within their respective families.
  • Formation of survivor’s forum, this will be a platform where survivors come together and share their lives to get strength from each-other, this will help rebuilding their self-confidence and rejuvenate their lives.  
  • Engagement with and Advocating various Stakeholders and Government agencies for effective implementation of PWDVA and revisiting the CG state women policy, with the aim to make it more inclusive, contextual, participatory and holistic. It is important that it is relooked from a lens of gender equality. 

 

Outcomes: We have so far achieved (Achivements):

  • 20 Vigilance committee formed in 20 villages having more than 400 members. It includes teachers, anganwari worker, elected representatives, etc.
  • 20 village level women’s group formed, all women in the village is a member of the group.
  • 20 youth groups including boys and girls formed having 102 members. 
  • Interface with the police department of Sakti block on regular basis on the issues of VAW. As a result of the group meeting with police, they took cognizance of five cases of VAW immediately. 
  • Rapport building in 20 project villages.
  • Organised State Level Convention on disseminating the findings of concerns that women shared from all across the state, to be incorporated in the state women policy in CG. 
  • Advocacy initiatives at village, district and state level have begun on the issues of domestic violence with various stakeholders such as Protection Officers, Service Providers and police.
  • An intensive campaign of 16 Days of Activism ran successfully from November 25 to December 10, 2015 covering major stakeholders, such as women, men, youths, educational institutions, police department, judiciary, working women, women and child development department, jati panchayat, gram panchayat, elected representatives. 
  • Cycle yatra and Pad-yatra was organized in 20 intervention villages covering more than 100 kms, including village level meetings, focused meetings with the women, songs, street theatre, wall painting.  
  • Media extensively covered events organized by Nivedita Foundation – the issue of VAW got space more than 40 times.
  • Women Support Centre has been established at the NGO premise.

 

Quotes of Beneficiaries: 

Santoshi Rathia, 38 years, Odekera billage- ‘I have never been out of my village, that too without the family members. I was very nervous when I went to Odisha and Raipur with NF, but now say with proud that I have friends in other states. I also became aware about domestic violence, which I never thought was a crime’.

Kavita Sidar, 19 years, member of youth committee, Komo village, Dabra block: ‘I had always been reserve by nature, so I used to be quiet when someone tease me. Now, with frequent trainings, where we are enabled to speak up, I register my protest if I dislike something.’

 

Case Studies/Human stories:  

Uttara Mahant was married to Balwant Das (Father Kheek Das) of village khachora. The marriage was happy initially, it was only after a couple of months that dowry demand began from her husband in various ways. With the demand, husband’s and in-law’s behaviour also changed for worse. It was then that it was revealed to Uttara that her husband was married twice earlier. He claimed and threatened Uttara that he had murdered his ex-wife and is still scot-free. So, she can’t do anything against her. When she verified from her neighbours, they endorsed his claim. Uttara was still living with him and wanted to live with him as she her natal family belongs to an extremely low-economic background and she didn’t want to add difficulties of her already distressed family. But, she was thrown out of the home when she was two month’s pregnant. At present, she is just 20 years old. 

She came to know about women support center at NF and approached them. The team counselled her and her husband, which failed, as her husband was very adamant. Since, Uttara wanted to go back to him, he agreed finally, but again deserted her after 10 days.  She is at her natal family now. She is at a very tender age and totally shattered with the upheaval in her life in that young age. Now, with the continuous counselling from NF, she has decided to fight the battle for justice for her and her unborn baby. So, with the help of NF, she has filed DIR.