On the eve of International Women’s day Shakti Vahini, a national level anti Trafficking Organization has organized a Meeting on Women Empowerment with the Anganwadi Workers of Matigara, Kharibari, Naxalbari and Phansidewa block of Siliguri Sub Division. The programme was organized in collaboration with the Department of Women and Child Development and Social Welfare, West Bengal.
The programme was organised as part of the Anti Trafficking and Justice Project which is supported by European Union.
The programme highlighted on the issues of “gender violence” and various “crimes against women” taking place in India with special emphasis on the scenario of West Bengal including the heinous crimes like women and child trafficking.
The discussions were held on the issue of “gender violence” and how since the conception of a girl child, she has to face atrocities and adverse situations.
Even though, by any means she is able to survive and see the light o the world, she is discriminated in all aspects including health, education, dressing patterns and all other aspects of her life. It was commented by Ms. Vidhapathi Agarwal, Teacher, Political Science, Siliguri College that since birth of a child she bears the surname of her father before marriage and after marriage, she bears the surname of her husband. So, at every phase of her life she faces, “identity crisis”. Apart from that it was mentioned that not only within the family she faces crisis, but in the outside world too, she faces adverse and crisis situations where her respect and dignity is at stake. In this regard, it was mentioned that issues of “rape” and “sexual violence” is at rise in the country where everyday such cases are reported. Other than that cases of “dowry” and “wife battering” are regular phenomena in the country.
Light were also thrown on the issues of human trafficking with special focus on “women and child” trafficking where girls and women are being trafficked for various reasons from the districts of North Bengal, mostly for domestic help, forced marriage and commercial sexual exploitation and Shakti Vahini working in the field of anti-human trafficking and women rights is combating these social evils both in the source and at the destination areas.
Shri. Savari Rajkumar, ADCP, Siliguri Commissionerate mentioned that Siliguri is considered to be a “corridor” in regard to human trafficking connecting the Dooars region of North Bengal with the destination areas of Delhi and other bigger cities. He also discussed that women issues are much highlighted issues where special emphasis and concern is needed. He also mentioned that for ensuring women rights, Women Police Station is there where issues related to women are dealt.
Mr. Nishikant, Executive Director, Shakti Vahini also discussed thoroughly on the issues of human trafficking and how trafficking takes place which takes place in a channel system. Other discussions were also held on law related aspects covering the “Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005” and its intricate details.
The discussion was accelerated with the videos shown on violence against women, human trafficking and a newly introduced scheme by the Department of Women and Child Development, Govt. Of West Bengal for addressing the issues of girl child’s education, child marriage and trafficking- Kanyashree.