SOCIETY FOR INNOVATIVE RURAL DEVELOPMENT

Society For Innovative Rural Development

A Non-Government Voluntary Social Organization, Register under Society Registration Act 1860 Govt. of Delhi

Two Days State Level Seminar Organised By SIRD

Two days state level seminar organised by Society for Innovative Rural Development with financial assistance from National Commission for Women in March 2013

TOPIC OF THE SEMINAR: Rural Women Awareness Programme Related Women’s Problem, Dowry, Child Marriage, Domestic Violence, Health & Nutrition And Legal Awareness In Malda District, West Bengal.

SPONSORED BY: NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR WOMEN, NEW DELHI

VENUE: SUJAPUR HIGH SCHOOL COMMUNITY HALL, SUJAPUR HIGH SCHOOL (H.S.), SUJAPUR, MALDA, WEST BENGAL, INDIA

DATE: 2nd & 3rd MARCH 2013

Day 1 of the Seminar was attended by Resource Persons - Pamela Sarkar, Bisnu Mandal, Dr. Asrab Ali (H.M.O)(B.M.G.P), Haji Kitabuddin (Member, Madla Zila Parishad), Aminul Islam (Retd. Assistant Teacher), Rabiul Haque (Teacher at High School) Md. Dulal (Collectorate of Malda), Md. Nurul Islam (Social Worker).

Day 2 of the Seminar was attended by Resource Persons - Golam Rabbani (Librarian, Town Library), Zerina Begum (Pradhan, Moshipur, G.P.), Dr. Abdul Gaffar (Ex Teacher), Amanullah Haque (Retired Teacher) and Musuk Sk (Advocate).

DISCUSSIONS IN THE SEMINAR
The resource persons spoke on the issues of Women’s Problem, Dowry, Child Marriage, Domestic Violence, Health & Nutrition and Legal Awareness. Write-ups comprising of statistics on the various topics were distributed. Details on laws related to Dowry, Child Marriage and Domestic Violence were provided to the beneficiaries. Details were also provided on whom they shall approach if they are facing any problems such as dowry harassment or domestic violence. All information was provided that would make them aware of their rights.

The modified Domestic Violence Bill

The resource persons discussed the new and modified Domestic Violence Bill, Cases can be filed by a woman for any kind of mental torture, sexual harassment against her in-laws. The bill insists on maintaining a short frame instead of long procedure as it was previously done. A Protection Officer will assist the women in getting her due rights ordered by the court. The participants took part in the discussion.

The issue of child marriage and its prevalence in Bengal.
The audience was made aware that they should approach the Child Marriage Prevention Officers or any NGO, if they want to report a case.

Information on the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005
The audience was told that "Domestic violence" includes actual abuse or the threat of abuse that is physical, sexual, verbal, emotional and economic. Harassment by way of unlawful dowry demands to the woman or her relatives would also be covered under this definition.

The issue of Health and Nutrition
The audience was made aware of the importance of good health for happy living. The resource persons told the audience that many of the leading causes of illness and mortality are related to what we eat. For example, rising obesity rates in this country are primarily caused by our eating habits other health problems associated with poor diet include diabetes, heart disease and hypertension. They told the audience that they should take a balanced diet comprising of proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and fats. He emphasized on intake of pulses, fresh fruits and vegetables.

The issue of Dowry
The resource persons observed that The Dowry Prohibition (Amendment) Act, 1986 is an important piece of legislation. They said that it is an important tool to address the issue of dowry as it’s non-bailable, non compoundable and cognisable. Referring to the time of the conception of the dowry bill, they said that women’s movement was not careful enough to analyse all provisions of the law. Both dowry givers as well as takers were considered to be indulging in punishable offence and the term dowry was also vaguely defined. They said that even now, the attitude is such that society blames the woman for registering a case with the police, against her in-laws. They said that from here stems the issue of whether the section has been used or misused.

There was also interaction between the Resource Persons and the audience, which was very beneficial in knowledge sharing.

Click here to see State Level Seminar slide show