Friday, 27 December 2013

     Workshop on Women and Violence

   On 24th November 2013 at 9:00 am, a workshop was conducted with the Parishioners of St. John the Baptist Church on women and violence. The workshop was organized by Sakhya Women’s Guidance Cell .The resource person was Miss. Chatush Singh from Sakhya. Parish Priest Ryan Alex introduced the resource person to the parishioners giving them a brief view about her work. The resource person started the workshop by showing a PowerPoint presentation and asked the people what they think about violence and what types of violence on women exist. They said physical violence, economical violence, emotional violence, sexual violence and so on. The resource person discussed each type of domestic violence and explained what the circumstances are and what can be done to prevent such nuisance in our society. Later the resource person asked the people to divide themselves in the group of four and asked them to pen down on a paper what they think about domestic violence and to come up with an action plan to stop domestic violence in our society. The discussion went on for a few minutes in all groups and then a group leader from each group gave a presentation of the action plan. The action plan that they came up with had the following points:
  • ·        Social Awareness
  • ·        Involve family members in the matter
  • ·        Encourage counseling
  • ·        Approach NGO
  • ·        Family counseling
  • ·        Take help from school
  • ·        Equality between girl and boy child
  • ·        Prevent Misuse of domestic violence act

Friday, 29 November 2013

Workshop on Adoption and Safe Surrender

   On 18th November 2013 at 2:15 pm, workshop was conducted with the nursing staff in Thane Civil Hospital‘s nursing college meeting hall on adoption and safe surrender. The workshop was organized by Sakhya Women’s Guidance cell and the resource person was Savita Nagpurkar from Indian Association for Promotion of Adoption and Child Welfare (IAPA).The Social worker Kamini introduced the resource person to the nursing staff by giving a brief view about her work .The resource person started the workshop by showing two half minute videos and asked the nursing staff to distinguish between the two. In the first video the girl was sad because her family had thrown her child away as she was an unwed mother .In the second video other girl was happy because the unwed had given her child for adoption and had secured the child’s life. With the example of the video Mrs. Savita tried to explain the plight of an unwed mother .How some of the unwed mothers are forced to put their child away by their families or are killed after birth or in some cases given illegally to couples who cannot have their own child. She shared how some doctors in some hospitals illegally give unwed mothers child to a couple who cannot have their own. Back in time couples adopted children but later when the child became sick and struck by some danger disease or became physically disabled or when the couple have their own child later they used to give back the adopted child to the ashram where they adopted the child from causing a trauma in the minds of those children. Because of all these reasons the adoption process came into picture. The resource person further explained the nursing staff if they come across such cases where an unwed mother does not know what to do with the child they can help them by referring them to the IAPA which will help them through the process and help the child to be with a family through adoption. In this way unwed mothers don’t have to abandon the child in some dustbin or near litter areas. Safe surrender project was started by the IAPA to ensure that a child gets to live in a family through adoption. The adoption process requires proper documents of the family who wish to adopt pan card, address proof, salary slip. The person who adopts must have adequate income and has to have an insurance policy removed in the name of the child adopted to ensure the future of the child so that he/she is not abandoned by the adopted family. Later the resource person asked nursing staff to share their views on the topic. One nurse shared that a relative in her family had adopted a child undergoing all the legal process and now the child is as their own .Some nurses took the contact number of the resource person and interacted with her sharing some cases. The workshop came to an end at 4:00 with a song sung by the social worker and a vote of thanks to the resource person and the nursing staff.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

International Week for Elimination of Violence against Women

Saturday, 23 November 2013

    International week for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Sakhya Women’s Guidance Cell like each year this year too is going to observe International week for the Elimination of Violence against Women from 25th November 2013 to 10th December 2013. The objective of celebration of this week is to raise public awareness of violence against women and to educate them about consequence of violence against women.

Campaigns will be organized from Virar to Naigaon at market places, schools, colleges, Women Development Cells through distribution of brochures, newsletters,display of banners, individual talks and tempo rally.

The campaign will draw attention to the need for continuing action to eliminate violence against women and also encourage the local people to say no to violence.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

                                              Celebrating sports day

On 19th Oct 2013 Sakhya in collaboration with UPS global volunteers organized sports at Shivshankar pada for the community women, total 55 women from Shivshankar pada, Kalam & Bandar pada Wagoli participated in the event. Sakhya staff and students divided women in five groups [Red, Yellow, green, orange and violet] eleven women in each group.  

Program started with welcome of the participants, UPS Staff and SNDT students by Mrs. Shalini. The objective of program was explained to the participants.
 “Chiri miri- Chiri miri” an energizing song conducted by Ms. Rushila brought enthusiasm among women to participate in the sports event.
Following games were conducted with women:
·         Balloon relay
·         Passing the water
·         Putting chilly in the bottle
·         Beauty contest with news papers, bindis and straws.
·         Bombing the city
Last game ‘Queen of Sheeba’ was conducted by UPS staff. 
At the end of the programme prizes and snacks were distributed to women trough UPS staff. All of them received prizes.

Women were very happy. They enjoyed the sports event. All of them participated in all the games.  In spite of their busy schedule they made time to come together.  While playing group games one could see the bonding that was taking place among the group. Each participant wanted to play and win for their group; they were cheering up, supporting & encouraging each other. 

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

 Sakhya part of Sexual harassment committee at workplace

The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013  has made it mandatory for the professional set up to establish complaint and response mechanism  to deal with sexual harassment cases  .It also recommends that committee should involve a third party,either NGO or other body who is familiar with the issue of sexual harassment, in order to prevent possibility of any undue pressure or influence from the committee senior levels.
Sakhya’s work on development and empowerment of women are receiving attention from different sectors which have initiated set up for complaint and response mechanism of sexual harassment at workplace. Sakhya was offered the membership in sexual harassment committee at Ratnakar Bank ltd., UPS Foundation,Mumbai and Gananmata Adivasi Madhyamik Ashram Vidayalay,Zar Talasarai.Ms. Hilda Fernandes, Director of Sakha has been appointed as a member of sexual harassment committee of Ratnakar Bank ltd., Mumbai and UPS Foundation, Mumbai.  Ms. Sunlia Bhise, the Social Worker of Sakhya has been appointed as a member of sexual harassment committee of Gananmata Adivasi Madhyamik Ashram Vidayalay,Zar Talasarai. They represent Sakhya in  the meeting of Committee on regular basis .

Saturday, 26 October 2013

District Level Workshop on “Adolescents and sexuality


Sakhya organized district level workshop in collaboration with five boarding institutes from Raighad district on 28th Sep 2013 in which 88 people participated. Mrs. Sunila Bhise and Ms. Rushila Rebello from Sakhya conducted the workshop.
 The main objective of workshop was to make the participants aware of physical, emotional, psychological, sexual & social, changes that takes place during adolescents and challenges and issues related to sexuality.
All the participants  belonged to adivasi “Katkari” tribe. They had come from near and far villages of Raighad such as Mangaon, Roha and Mahad. Majority participants were boarders from Mangaon, Mahad and from Roha. The workshop began with a prayer song which was followed by the lighting of lamp and introduction of the resource persons. There after Ms. Rushila Rebello conducted few warm up exercises and introduction game to put the participants in right mood for the workshop.  
Content of the workshop:
  • Relationship, types of relationship, need of maintaining relationship, Tips on how to maintain good relationship.
  • Friendship, types of friendship, qualities of a good friend.
  • Trust, how to built trust.
  • Documentary film on  Badhate Badhate Kuch Kuch Hota Hai.
  • Family life education – Imputes on Physical, sexual, emotional, psychological and mental changes during adolescent stage and challenges encountered by adolescents.
  •  Sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Dealing with family life issues.
  • Child marriage
  • Recap
  • Evaluation of the workshop
The participants showed very good interest in the workshop by participating in discussions, simulation games and group work etc.  Initially they were feeling very shy especially when they were watching documentary film however when the resource persons divided the girls and boys for sharing there they felt free to share their problems regarding sexual health.  Lots of doubts, stereotypes and bias got clarified through discussion. This workshop also helped them to minimize fears and anxieties pertaining to sexuality. They were able to learn the concept of relationship and trust fast through simulation games.

Awareness through campaign

Awareness raising is the first step in a campaign to change behavior.”In order to initiate the march towards gender equality we need to give visibility to the issue of violence against women which will facilitate a dialogue among individuals with different perspectives, to develop concrete lines of action to combat violence against women.  Hence Sakhya organized awareness campaigns in Thane district to bring the issue of violence against women in the forefront.

From July to September 2013 Sakhya organized campaigns at Schools,Ganpati Mandals , Bus Depo and Railway Stations.


 Holy Cross English School, Nirmal, Samarth Mitra Mandal(Thane),Aamche Mitra Mandal(Thane), Jabhi Naka(Thane),Nalasopara to Virar(train campaign), Vasai to Panvel shuttle , Dahanu Churchgate Local Train , Hanuman Mandir Nallasopara(west)Ganesh mandal , Jagruti Mitra Mandal,Nalasopara(W)                                                                                                                           Methodology

Leaflets and newsletters distribution, street play, one to one talk, introduction of Sakhya , answers of question.   

Sakhya reached to 2000 people through campaigns creating awareness among people about domestic violence, spread message to say no to domestic violence,                                                                                                  encouraged the people to take proper action against domestic violence                                                     and created an awareness of Sakhya and its functioning.

Violence against women is on increase. The rate of female infanticide, rape and honour killing and domestic violence is high especially in the northern states of India, these states include, Punjab, Haryana, Bihar, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. Sakhya and PSSS together decided to organize a workshop on domestic violence for the social activists of above mentioned states.

¨      To sensitize participants on the issue of domestic violence, its types, effects on victims, their children, family and society at large.

¨      To impart necessary skills and knowledge among the participants regarding domestic violence act 2005 and intervention strategies to deal with the issue.

¨      To empower the participants to take action in the case of domestic violence.  

With the above mentioned objectives Pragati Social Service Center in collaboration with Sakhya organized a workshop at Karnal (Haryana)on  domestic violence for the states of Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttarpradesh on 16th Sep 2013 in which 40 people participated  .Ms. Rushila Rebello and Mrs. Sunila Bhise from Sakhya conducted the wokshop.
The workshop started with a short prayer  led by Fr. Sandeep Pereira from Pragati Social Service Center .  Thereafter an introduction game was conducted by Ms. Rushila Rebello through which the participants were asked to share their expectation of the workshop.
Following were the expectations of the participants from the workshop.
·         Role of youth to stop Domestic violence.
·         The role of NGO to stop DV.
·         Meaning of DV.
·         Types of DV.
·         How to do awareness on the issue of DV.
·         Legal aspects of DV.
·         How to help DV victim.
·         Need to know why women are victim of DV in most cases.
·         Need to conduct self defense course for girls.

Content of the workshops:
·         True or false related to gender.
·         Gender bias and common gender stereo types.
·         Violence against Women ----VCD
·         Situation of violence against women in India.
·         Statistics of violence against Women.
·         Forms, and causes of violence against women.
·         Domestic Violence
·         Statistics of domestic violence
·         Types of domestic violence and personality of abuser and victim
·         Documentary film – Char Diwari
·         Effects of domestic violence on victim, children, family and society at large.
·         Impact of domestic violence on fundamental rights of women
·         Domestic violence act 2005.
·         Intervention strategies in dealing with the cases of domestic violence.
·         Action plan on how to identify and deal with the cases of domestic violence. 

Action plan made by the participants is as follows:

Groups were made according to their locality and were asked to develop action plan.
·         Develop good knowledge on the issue of D.V.
·         Listen and understand the problems of women.
·         Dissemination of information in self help group meeting.
·         Conduct workshops with local NGOs on the same issue.
·         Networking with police department.
·         Work on the issue of Dowry.
·         Rapport building with protection officer.
·         Learn to write a D.V. application.
·         In case of D.V. happening in their area they will inform the protection officer.
·         Be a part of W.V.C. In police stations.
·         Provide self defense class at school level.
·         Provide awareness on the issue of D.V. in society.
·         Sensitize health organizations on the issue of D.V.
·         Empowering Mahila mandals.
·         Organize Gender sensitization programme in various  areas.
·         Promote education of the girl child.
·         Stop early marriages.
·         Give importance to girl child in society.
·         Provide more employment to women.
The participants appreciated the workshop conducted. It brought awareness among the participants they learnt different skills to deal with the cases of domestic violence. Sakhya staff received a very positive feedback of the workshop. Following is the feedback we received from the participants. 
·         It is a good awareness session; we learnt the skills to handle domestic violence issues.
·         It is very informative session.
·         We will be conscious of not we will not make difference between girl and boys.
·         I am aware of domestic violence, now I can address the issue in my village and try to help women.
·         I feel this is related to my own life.
·         First we will stop gender discrimination in our own family.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Creating awareness among students and community girls about human trafficking

On 31st July Sakhya organized a workshop on human trafficking for the community  girls and  students of St. Xavier placed for field work in Sakhya .The resource persons Mr. Mervyn, Mr. Michael and Ms. Christina from the IJM (International Justice Mission) gave the students a profound knowledge on human trafficking.
The objectives of the workshop were as follows:
·         To make the students sensitive about the human  trafficking issue.
·         To identify human trafficking in nearby locality and inform the about it to IJM team.
·         To motivate them to take action against the wrongdoer by volunteering to be a witness in rescue operations conducted by IJM.

IJM [International Justice Mission] is an NGO that works on rescuing sex workers from ‘Brothel’.
In the beginning of the workshop Ms. Christina divided participants into five groups and gave three topics on which the participants had to act. These topics were namely, female infanticide, domestic violence, starvation of farmers etc. Role-play was followed by discussion. Then Mr. Michael gave orientation about rescue operations of IJM and the involvement of police force in it, challenges encountered by them while doing rescue operation.  He also shared his experience of working with IJM. He shared some statistics which reveal that the economic profit all over the world gained from human trafficking is much more than profits gained by any other high-end multinational companies.
The students of St. Xavier College found the workshop very interesting. They participated well in the workshop by asking questions related to sex trafficking. They promised to share the information with their other friends and organize same workshop in their respective parishes.  


  A visit   from Foyer Pierre Olivaint, France      
A team from Foyer Pierre Olivaint, France including Ms. Hazal D’lima, Ms. Pascal Puppinck, Ms. Minh Thu, Mai, Ms. Stephanie, Ms. Anais, Ms. Coralia, Ms. Noemia, Ms. Rosaria and Ms. Martha paid a visit to Sakhya Women’s Guidance Cell on 12th August 2013.The purpose of their visit was to get exposure about Sakhya’s work. To make their visit meaningful a two hours meeting was organized where all the staff were present.
When the team reached , they were given a warm welcome in traditional way with arti by the students of Holy Cross School .The meeting was initiated with formal welcome of the team with flowers . The staff of Sakhya gave a brief introduction of themselves. The two beneficiaries whom we helped overcome their problems were also present and they gave their self introduction. Ms. Hazal D’lima made the team understand Hindi and English conversation translating into French.    The inauguration of the Laptop and the Projector sponsored by the student’s team of France took place by cutting ribbon .After inauguration ceremony Ms. Rushila Rebello threw a light on Sakhya’s mission, strategies of work and the result of the activities carried out through power point presentation. They appreciated Sakhya’s result oriented work on gender issues and they were curious to know more about rescue work, the types of cases we handle and the campaigns we organize. Ms. Rushila Rebello gave them detailed information and helped them to know in depth about Sakhya’s work.  The Students team shared their own experiences of how they were successfully able to raise fund for Sakhya.
They were each given a small gift as a token of appreciation from Sakhya. The meeting concluded with vote of Thanks from Ms. Philomina Vaz.