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Elected Women Representatives of Panchayat needs protection from domestic violence

Few kilometers from Jorhat Town, along the 37th National highway, Kaliapani Block is situated. Location wise the block has easy access to the modern amenities. Good road communication, above average literacy, better economic status by virtue of proximity to the Jorhat market, ever improving health services and many more advantages has manifested this Block Panchayat as a fortunate one.

Five years back, in the year 2004, elected women representatives of this block came together to form Block Elected Women Representative Forum (BEWRF) like 24 other blocks of the districts of Jorhat, Golaghat and Lakhimpur. The EWRs of Kaliapani block christened their BEWRF as ‘Udayan Panchayats Mahila Mancha’ and formed different subcommittees under this forum to deal with various issues that might help strengthen women leadership in their block. ‘Mahila Suraksha Sammity’ is one such subcommittee which watches over the issues of domestic violence to the EWRs. Given the situation of domestic violence in the Kaliapani Block area, this BEWRF approached NEST and suggested to hold one BEWRF meeting where the EWRs and other women members of the Block could be informed about the legal provisions this country is having, in terms of protecting the women from this social odd.

On 30th July 2009 a workshop was organized in Kutikuchiya Middle English school premises of Kaliapani Block in Jorhat District to discuss the issues of domestic violence, and SGSY schemes. The venue is selected in an area 5 Km. interior of the National Highway, where the issues of domestic violence are reported frequently.

In spite of Assam Bandh called by Manab Adhikar Surakha Samittee (MASS), 70 odd women participated in the workshop. The women from other villages came walking many kilometers in absence of public transport. Along with elected women representatives, village headmen, teachers, reporters, youth club members anganwadi workers, SHG representatives, Mahila Samittee members and ASHA workers were also present in the workshop. Many other women waited for hours in the road side for a transport in vain and went back home with their misfortune.

Lipika Bhuyan, Secretary of Kalipani BEWRF, welcomed the participants and reaffirmed the objectives of the workshop. Ms. Rumi Bora, President of Kaliapani BEWRF presided the session. Rekhamoni Hazarika introduced NEST and The Hunger Project once again to the participants and hark back the objectives of the BEWRF and urged the participants to adhere with the principles of the forum on the process of the deliberations in the workshop.

After the introductory session, all the participants of the workshop introduced themselves along with their expectations from the workshop. The technical session kicked off after the tea break.

Ms. Dibya Saikia Baruah, Advocate, Jorhat Court and a specialist on the Protection Against Domestic Violence Act (PADV) started her deliberations by sharing few case studies of domestic violence and examined if such cases are available in the localities where from the participants are. When most of the participants agreed that such cases are very common in their neighborhoods, other few came forward to acknowledge that they themselves are victim of such cases.

It triggered greater involvement of the participants and the participants could find themselves on the issues brought out by Dibya. After discussing the salient features of Protection Against Domestic Violence Act (PADV), she also discussed Hindu Marriage Law and various provisions of protection for women in this law.

Dibya shared how the Indian legal system protects Political Rights, Economical Rights, Psychical Rights, Mental Rights and Sexual Rights of women. She also enlightened the participants what measures one could take in case of violation of these rights.

She informed the house about the IPC 354 which protects women from misbehavior, IPC 376 in rape cases, IPC 498 in case of dowry, IPC 125 for maintenance of old parents and IPC 406 for criminal breach of trust etc.

It was an unprecedented outlet for many participants to express their sufferings in the domestic violence. Ms. Jyoti Saikia could not resist herself without sharing her sufferings in the domestic violence to the audience. On the other hand Ms Jaluki Saikia, a 60 years old lady did not know that her sufferings could be scuffled out legally. She is a mother of 3 boys and 2 girls. She took care of all the children in absence of her husband and got all her children married. After that she is leading a forlorn life where none of her children look after her at this old age. Enlightened with the proceedings of the workshop, she wants to fight the legal battle now for her rights.

The second part of the technical session was facilitated by Mr. Rebat Baruah, Chairman of Kaliapani Anchalik Panchayats. He informed the participants about the SGSY scheme. He emphasized on the importance of Self-Help Groups (SHGs) and how SHGs could avail the benefit of the SGSY schemes.

The schemes like Bayanjyoti, Dharmajyoti, One Time Grant, Randhan Jyoti, Jiban Jyoti etc. under SGSY were discussed in details. It was a great opportunity for the women ward members and the GP presidents to interact with the AP president. They questioned why couple of applications for SGSY was rejected.

Rebat Barua gave various criteria for rejection of SHGs. One of the most common reasons for such rejection was pointed as a woman becoming member of more than one SHG and applies for SGSY schemes. He informed the house how a grading of SHGs are being prepared and how the selection procedure emphasizes on holding of regular meetings of a particular SHG.

Tasaduk Ariful Hussain

Executive Director

North East Social Trust (NEST)


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JS Huntlands's picture

She leads a very busy life, between family life and home she is always on the go. She left school at the age of 16 and went into hotel and catering. By the time she was 21 she was a manager and running hotels herself. At the age of 25 she had a wonderful son and decided a new career was for her. She started working on ambulances but took 7 month leave after a family member passed away. In this time she started to write Nick 'Twisted Minds', Sean helped her to write this book as it was heartbreaking for her to do on her own. She is currently in the process of writing her next book. She also has a third book on the way which is a bit different from 'Twisted Minds'. Born December 1978 who writes under the pen name J. S. Huntlands, is a British author, best known as the creator of Nick Twisted Minds, the idea for which was conceived after fleeing domestic violence in 2006. Nick Twisted Minds has gained worldwide attention. Aside from writing Nick Twisted Minds, Huntlands has also signed a contract for her childrens books, Me and My Best Friend series. Scheduled to come out late 2009. Also Nick Dead or Alive is to come out late 2009 Huntlands background JS Huntlands. is a British author, best known as the creator of Nick Twisted Minds. Born in December 1978 in Leicester, she grew up in a little town Coalville until the age of 18. When she left school at the age of 16 with only her 10 GCSEs she went into full time employment waiting tables at her local resturant. At the age of 18 she went onto working behind the bar. By the time she was 21 she was a relief manager, running other managers hotels and resturants all over the UK, including Scotland and Guernsey. After returning back to the UK mainland. Huntlands met a man. She was attracted to him instantly and the feelings were reciprocated by him. The two of them began to spend quality time together. In 2003 they started dating. In 2004 JS Huntlands became pregnant and gave birth to a wonderful little boy. After giving birth, the love of her life seemed to change. Everything annoyed him, which made him angry and Violent. After much abuse Huntlands decided enough was enough and packed her and her sons things ready to leave their family home. Unfortunatly things were not so easy. He turned on himself. Self harming. How can I leave him now? 'He will kill himself'. Said Huntlands in one report. After he tried to beat a train accross the railway track with her 5 week old baby in the car, she had to escape. Now both her and her son's life were in danger. After escaping and moving into a womens refuge, Huntlands life changed. She had to give up work and claim benefits to live in the refuge. She became a vulnerable single mother of one. Life was hard living with 17 women and over 20 young children. Life was harder living alone with her son when the council found a house for them. They had to try and start again with their new life. Alone. Huntlands met a man who helped her to get back onto her feet again. He suggested she did more qualification and to get back into work. Taking this advise Huntlands started to gain qualifications. She started to work on ambulances, where she became a qualified Emergency Medical Technician and, training to become a paramedic. Though she was still thinking about her past and wanting to close the door on it. When she met Sean. Her view on life changed and he helped her to share things and let them out. So Huntlands decided to write about her experience. Trapped in a world of abuse and cruelty. Tanya has to try to escape to save her and her son's life.
bishwajeet sinha's picture

The large scale mis-use of DV Act-2005 has forced to think about its modification in terms of using "spouse" instead of 'husband' to make it gender neutral as well as more effective socially.
Smt Protima Das's picture

Respected Sir, I want to draw your attention towards the humiliation and harassment given to me by one of a public servant, who is on a very responsible post, and his duty includes the welfare of mankind without any bias. I want to draw your attention towards the irresponsible and inhumane behaviour to me by Tapos Das, ASI and Enquiry Officer of FIR No 325 Dtd 08.08.12 to PS Gossaigaon (Kokrajhar) regarding cold-blooded murder to my daughter for dowry by Sri Sadhan Rodra, Divisional Account Officer, PHE, Gossaigaon, Dist. Kokrajhar, BTAD, Assam and his family members on 07.08.12. With utmost sorrow, I am of the view that your support in my case will be a boon in favour of justice. My life has become a curse to me, as those animals killed my daughter brutally, and I did nothing but hearing her cry for help. I filed an FIR no 325, Dtd 07.08.12 at PS Gossaigaon (Kokrajhar) in this regard, but local police authorities giving undue favour to the accused persons and on the other hand, teasing mentally and physically to me, the mother of victim. This is just opposite to the objectives of Police, which is nothing but the service to mankind without any discrimination and procrastination. I just want the justice in this case, as her serving father in laws is on a powerful post and wealthy enough. The Enquiry Officer and the principal accused (father in laws of the victim) can tamper the case at any level, but I am sure that with your help and support I can get the justice. Please help me and take necessary action at the earliest, so that, those inhumane beasts can be sent behind bars of law. Their hunger for money and property took the life of an innocent girl, just after two months of her marriage and the same hunger can bring injustice to me. Help me please. Thanking you. Yours sincerely, Smt. Protima Das. W/o Sri Gopal Das, Dalgaon, Gossaigaon Dist. Kokrajhar, BTAD Assam. Phone No. 08967849322

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