Date: 
Thursday, January 11, 2018
Center: 
Ammachi labs

Objectives: To empower women to have a stronger voice in personal, family, and community decision making through the provision of specialized skill training. The primary focus of the training was in legal awareness on various programs and schemes that have been introduced by the Government of India for the welfare of its citizens. The other key training was on financial literacy to encourage more financial independence.

Results: 12 villages received legal awareness training, including 7 large-scale community awareness events. A specialized training course on Legal Aid was developed out of these efforts for women in rural communities. These same communities also received a customized financial literacy training to support their SHG efforts.

Our holistic approach to women’s empowerment factors in the different domains of empowerment such as economic, social, legal, physical and psychological. While our ultimate goal is to support entire communities in sustainable development and to emerge from poverty, we have understood that the most effective way to do this is by empowering women. Women are at the center of the family, and therefore the center of any community, yet they are a generally underserved group in the rural, Indian context. Our work at the CWEGE is primarily for women in rural India, reaching those “last mile” communities that have struggled to take part in sustainable development initiatives by the government. Together with them, we identify what environmental, political, economic, social, and personal vulnerabilities they face and work to figure out what the best ways are to bring about desired changes. In concert, we then decide on what physical and psychological capacities are required to address the identified vulnerabilities. Through AMMACHI Labs’ cVET and Life Skills training courses, along with a dedicated field team and strategic deployment model, we help to strengthen those capacities, thereby increasing their coping abilities. Our approach helps to create and support communities of empowered women leaders.

The CWEGE defines empowerment as a process of development where a person’s or group’s capabilities expand, allowing for a person to achieve the life they want and for the overall community to improve. We measure empowerment broadly by four Indicators of Empowerment: The Women’s Empowerment projects within The CWEGE are designed and deployed with these indicators in mind. Through our extensive experience in villages across the country, we have come to learn several best practices which ensure a project’s success and sustainability. One of these best practices is ensuring women have a capable voice in local governance, legal protection, and financial independence. We have made great strides in engaging village women with local governments, but have found that legal protection is lacking for much of this population.

This project builds on previous successes in women’s empowerment initiatives, and expands on the legal and financial literacy aspects of village life. Women in rural areas experience proportionally higher cases of domestic violence, child sexual abuse, human trafficking, child marriage, and other social ills. Legal protection services are extremely rare in urban areas, and even more so in rural communities. Over the past year, we have worked with legal experts to create a “Legal Awareness Training” package to address this problem. Special legal aid workshops were conducted in all of our adopted villages to help women access the legal services they need. Our research lab has created a range of specialized training content to promote awareness in these areas.

Financial literacy, especially for Self-help Groups (SHGs), to ensure that money earned is properly accounted for, saved, and good financial planning practices was found lacking in many communities. Expert consultants from Amrita helped the field team to create a special packet for our newly formed SHGs to help them gain these important skills. This packet was introduced in all of the villages and incorporated into the SHGs skill training.

Legal Activities conducted: Legal awareness in the villages helps to promote consciousness of the relevant laws that are meant to protect citizens, provide services to help those in need, and to take advantage of programs that can help communities emerge from poverty. The field team conducted many legal awareness sessions across India that proved very successful. The activities saw active participation from women and children, along with men, in the villages. Law graduate and field expert Ms. Seema Choudhary aided in creating a curriculum in this area, and then conducted workshops for villagers in Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Chattisgarh, Odisha, and Madhya Pradesh.

The awareness sessions included information on various government acts such as the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005, Free Legal Aid 1987, POCSO Act 2012, Right To Information Act 2005, The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012, The Prohibition Of Child Marriage Act, 2006, Labour Act, Public Interest Litigation (PIL), Cybercrime, Police Act, Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, 1994, CrPc 156(3),

Awareness was also given on relevant Government schemes that could be useful to the community. These included: Jan Dhan Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Yojana, Teelu Rauteli Pension (for Uttrakhand), Rajya Vyadhi Nidhi (for Uttrakhand), Bharatiya Mahila Bank Schemes, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005(MGNREGA)

The following table summarizes the workshops and activities conducted in the villages:

Place

Activity

Participants

Gudipadu, Andhra Pradesh

The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005, Free Legal Aid 1987, POCSO Act 2012, Right To Information Act 2005, The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012, The Prohibition Of Child Marriage Act, 2006, Labour Act, Public Interest Litigation (PIL), Cybercrime, Police Act, Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, 1994, CrPc 156(3)

 

Government Schemes like Jan Dhan Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Yojana, BMB Schemes, MGNREGA 2005

363

Kanti, Haryana

The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005, Free Legal Aid 1987, POCSO Act 2012, Right To Information Act 2005, The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012, The Prohibition Of Child Marriage Act, 2006, Labour Act, Public Interest Litigation (PIL), Cybercrime, Police Act, Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, 1994, CrPc 156(3)

 

Government Schemes like Jan Dhan Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Yojana, BMB Schemes, MGNREGA 2005

508

Pandori, Jammu

The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005, Free Legal Aid 1987, POCSO Act 2012, Right To Information Act 2005, The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012, The Prohibition Of Child Marriage Act, 2006, Labour Act, Public Interest Litigation (PIL), Cybercrime, Police Act, Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, 1994, CrPc 156(3)

 

Government Schemes like Jan Dhan Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Yojana, BMB Schemes, MGNREGA 2005

188

Byse, Karnataka

The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005, Free Legal Aid 1987, POCSO Act 2012, Right To Information Act 2005, The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012, The Prohibition Of Child Marriage Act, 2006, Labour Act, Public Interest Litigation (PIL), Cybercrime, Police Act, Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, 1994, CrPc 156(3)

 

Government Schemes like Jan Dhan Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Yojana, BMB Schemes, MGNREGA 2005

235

Kodur, Karnataka

The Prohibition Of Child Marriage Act, 2006, SC & ST Act 1989,  Right To Information Act 2005, The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012, Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 

55

Nala, Uttarakhand

The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005, Free Legal Aid 1987, POCSO Act 2012, Right To Information Act 2005, The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012, The Prohibition Of Child Marriage Act, 2006, Labour Act, Public Interest Litigation (PIL), Cybercrime, Police Act, Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, 1994, CrPc 156(3)

 

Government Schemes like Jan Dhan Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Yojana, Teelu Rauteli Pension (for Uttrakhand), Rajya Vyadhi Nidhi (for Uttrakhand), BMB Schemes, MGNREGA 2005

600

Udaipur, Uttarakhand

The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005, Free Legal Aid 1987, POCSO Act 2012, Right To Information Act 2005, The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012, The Prohibition Of Child Marriage Act, 2006, Labour Act, Public Interest Litigation (PIL), Cybercrime, Police Act, Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, 1994, CrPc 156(3)

 

Government Schemes like Jan Dhan Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Yojana, Teelu Rauteli Pension (for Uttrakhand), Rajya Vyadhi Nidhi (for Uttrakhand), BMB Schemes, MGNREGA 2005

200

Dunda, Uttarakhand

The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005, Free Legal Aid 1987, POCSO Act 2012, Right To Information Act 2005, The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012, The Prohibition Of Child Marriage Act, 2006, Labour Act, Public Interest Litigation (PIL), Cybercrime, Police Act, Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, 1994, CrPc 156(3)

 

Government Schemes like Jan Dhan Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Yojana, Teelu Rauteli Pension (for Uttrakhand), Rajya Vyadhi Nidhi (for Uttrakhand), BMB Schemes, MGNREGA 2005

700

Chandrapuri,

Uttrakhand

The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005, Free Legal Aid 1987, POCSO Act 2012, Right To Information Act 2005, The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012, The Prohibition Of Child Marriage Act, 2006, Labour Act, Public Interest Litigation (PIL), Cybercrime, Police Act, Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, 1994, CrPc 156(3)

 

Government Schemes like Jan Dhan Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Yojana, Teelu Rauteli Pension (for Uttrakhand), Rajya Vyadhi Nidhi (for Uttrakhand), BMB Schemes, MGNREGA 2005

21

Malgaon, Chhattisgarh

The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005, Free Legal Aid 1987, POCSO Act 2012, Right To Information Act 2005, The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012, The Prohibition Of Child Marriage Act, 2006, Labour Act, Public Interest Litigation (PIL), Cybercrime, Police Act, Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, 1994, CrPc 156(3)

 

Government Schemes like Jan Dhan Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Yojana, BMB Schemes, MGNREGA 2005

150

Guptapada, Orissa

The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005, Free Legal Aid 1987, POCSO Act 2012, Right To Information Act 2005, The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012, The Prohibition Of Child Marriage Act, 2006, Labour Act, Public Interest Litigation (PIL), Cybercrime, Police Act, Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, 1994, CrPc 156(3)

 

Government Schemes like Jan Dhan Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Yojana, BMB Schemes, MGNREGA 2005

154

Vellaramkunnu, Kerala

POCSO Act 2012,  Right To Information Act 2005, The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005

80

Karanjee, Chhattisgarh

POCSO Act 2012,  Right To Information Act 2005, The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005

402

Nani Borwai, Gujarat

The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005, Free Legal Aid 1987, POCSO Act 2012, Right To Information Act 2005, The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012, The Prohibition Of Child Marriage Act, 2006, Labour Act, Public Interest Litigation (PIL), Cybercrime, Police Act, Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, 1994, CrPc 156(3)

 

Government Schemes like Jan Dhan Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Yojana, BMB Schemes, MGNREGA 2005

157

Impact:

 

Ukhimath: Premadidi, a woman leader and survivor of domestic violence by her alcoholic husband inspires even children to join a community meeting to close down a local liquor shop by filing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL). Domestic & sexual abuse are often associated with alcohol abuse and by filing a community petition citizens can exercise their rights to public welfare and safety.

Nala: Our facilitator for the Nala village training center in Uttrakhand, faced many problems before joining Ammachi Labs. She had very little support from her husband and struggled to keep herself safe and her family healthy. She wanted desperately to care for her children, but was unable to find help from government programs or other organizations. She then decided to join a training program to learn how to use computers, hoping she could get a job with these skills. After a legal awareness workshop, she took the opportunity to become a Paralegal Volunteer (PLV) and received the training in October, 2017 at the District Legal Service Authority (DLSA) court. After her training, she immediately started conducting legal awareness program along with the District Judge. These programs gathered up to 300 people and gave awareness on domestic violence, dowry, cyber safety and child marriage. She also spread awareness in schools and Mela (festivals) where she speaks with people and distributes materials on legal topic.
From 2017 she has been actively helping the villagers especially women who have been victims of domestic violence to file case and seek legal protection against domestic violence.

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