SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT OF THE TRUST
the regional branches of Kasturba Trust, various activities are
organized regularly but besides these regular and routine
activities, the Pratinidhis and Sevikas have carried such arduous
and important works which give them immense pleasure and sense of
achievements and need special mention so that the nature of work and
motivation can be realized and brought out. The information
regarding appreciable works performed at regional level is furnished
TASK TO PROTECT WOMAN FROM DOMENTIC VIOLENCE BY THE
1945 to till date, continuous efforts have been and are being made
by Kasturba Gandhi National Memorial Trust to find out permanent
solution of problems being faced by the women in mass. Every
possible effort has also been made by the Kasturba Trust to make the
woman strong and self-independent by removing her each pain and
problem by approaching in rural areas, far mount erring areas,
border areas and among tribal dense areas, who is deprived of main
aspect of livelihood. Kasturba Trust has always been standing with
the woman of this Country from Goa to Guwahati and Kashmir to Kerala
during difficult moments either it was a work of making half necked
tribal girls literate and to transmit them to the distinguished
posts like Magistrate, Teachers and Spoke-person or continuous
service to make available the facilities of clean and fully equipped
hospitals to the children and women resident of rural areas, where
transport facilities are not available, or to take out the women and
adolescent girls from swirls of domestic violence and morale risks
and make them able to stand on their own feet. The reason behind
such a broad network and long service of this institution is the
blessings of Father of Nation Mahatma Gandhi, the Founder and
Chairman and dedication of its Sevikas.
Gramseva Kendra (Village Service Centres)
far as to protect the woman permanent from the domestic violence is
concerned, the Trust was active for this since decades. The doors of
its Gramseva Kendra's were always opened for tormented women where
they were getting shelter also. At the same time they were given the
information about the legal rights of the woman and also rendered
them services for amicable settlement. Presently, the number of such
service centres is 200 in whole country. Out of the tormented women,
reached to these centres, some of the interested women are sent to
Short Stay Homes, run by the Trust at Provincial level, for becoming
self independent so that they can learn some art/skill for becoming
such types of short stay homes are running in the whole country
where 2260 women have been given the services. All these women have
come to these short stay homes after tormented by different types of
Most of the cases are
found to be beating by drunkard husbands and of killing nature. The
husband occurs some time hazardous conditions because of selling of
all the articles of the house. Some times husband calls his drunkard
friends, who remain the businessmen of women & girls. To protect
self and daughters from them, women come to these short stay homes.
Some of them remain literate and some of them remain half literate.
There are number of
adolescent girls, who are beaten by their husbands because of their
Women thrown away from the
houses after beaten, who take the shelter of Police and are sent
here by the Police.
Women, tormented for dowry
are admitted here. Some of them remain literate.
Such cases in respect of
widows and divorced women have registered in these short stay homes.
Even they have to bear torment at their mother's home thereby their
lives become infernal.
the Trust, these short stay homes are known as "Baa Ka Ghar". To
make these sisters self-independent, different kind of help is
provided to them. Amicable settlement is also actuated, if possible.
For this, Police help is also taken or effort is made to get them
their rights through Court.
Stay Homes help the Women in their placements according to their
education and abilities.
Trainings viz. Nursing, Printing-Typography, Tailoring, Spinning,
Weaving and Balwadi are also given to adolescent girls, who are
eligible by means of age and having required qualification.
illiterate women reach to these short stay homes are getting engaged
in the work of agriculture, cow pen or IV worker.
Beneficiaries, who took the advantage up till now, are working as
Clerk, HealthWorker, Teacher, Balwadi Teacher or doing work of
agriculture and tailoring and thereby carrying their livelihood.
Trust has taken a note long back regarding the helpless girls, who
are oppressed by their relatives or by Society. Under such domestic
oppression situation, they perform domestic work and physical work
beyond their physical capacity. Under this troublesome labour,
their childhood becomes withered and all paths of their life
development, education, skills and social life become blocked.
For all such girls, provincial branches of the Trust spread all over
the Country run "Kanyashram" or "Balashram". Number of such ashrams
is 7 where the girls are given education and nutrition so as to make
them enable to get chance of services after completion of their
education. Kasturba Trust also makes arrangements of their
year Trust wanted to women become awakening physically, mentally,
whole-heartedly to protect them from any type of oppression. In view
to boost their morale support, women consciousness awakening camps
are organized every year in whole country, wherein they are given
all type of legal, spiritual and social knowledge. In 1997-1998, 175
such camps were organized wherein 8189 took the benefit.
Family Consultation Centres one in Raipur (Chhattisgarh) and another
in West Bengal are running by the Trust, where hundred of women,
tormented by domestic violence are provided full support.
In this way ideal works like to get the women community free from
domestic violence for which continuous society innovation, change in
women mentality and to provide shelter and self-independency during
difficult situation, are done by the Kasturba Gandhi National
ACHIEVEMENT OF ASSAM BRANCH OF THE TRUST
Assam the prominent member of North - East frontier of India has
been exploding with the heat of BODO and ULFA terror and unrest
since more than ten years. Assam branch of Kasturba Trust has
attempted to bring solace to the affected people and common people.
Increasing incidents of terrorist violence in Assam had created an
atmosphere of fear and tension. Kasturba Trust brought the courage
in the people to say 'No' for the violence either posed by
terrorists or by the other side. Thus a voice and urge on
non-violence and peace came out with courage and fearlessness.
this Trust's Assam branch decided to form an anti-violence friend's
forum in association with influential women social workers and women
organization of the province. This forum that afterwards formed many
citizens peace committees was a great success in breaking the ice
created by fear of the guns. The peace committees in cities and
villages are still coming up, being formed and actively working in
their respective areas. Many of the women's non-violence rallies
took place from south to the north of Assam against the guns and
violence. In one of these rallies a strange incident came up.
Preparations were going on for a women's anti-violence rally and
meeting. Women participants for nearby 8-10 villages were assembling
with play cards. One our Sevikas was preparing to leave with women
from her village when some of the youths of that village ordered her
to come and meet them in their room. The Sevika knew that these
youths are members of the violent group which was responsible for
spreading violence in Assam yet she had the courage to talk with
them in their room where she was welcomed with guns and pistols
lying on a table. On her entering the room, two youths went behind
her, thrust two pistols in her back and order her to stop the rally.
The Sevika did not loose her courage and told them that only those
who started it can stop the rally. She also told them that she would
not tell the women participants to stop the rally even if you kill
me, because the decision to hold the rally is of the women
participants and not her. Her fearless posture and the selfless work
done by her in that area influenced those youths who believe in
violent solution of every problem. They released her and let her go.
Even today she is active in her work courageously. This example of
non-violent revolution presented by our Assam branch is unique.
Trust's women peace workers or Shanti Sevikas organised the
non-violence rallies on each and every village centre of the Trust.
Though they were threatened their lives by the terrorists but they
did not give up the noble cause of peace. They all resolved and
announced their village service centres as peace centres where all
the routine activities of Gandhian constructive work for a
non-violent society have been running since decades. Beside these
activities they decided to give prime priority to local peace
against terrorism or any unrest. Ten villages around a peace centre
was the area of action for the Shanti Sevikas. So they would rush
day or night after receiving the information of any adverse
situation of violence of the terrorists or the dreadful flood or any
attack across the borders. Shanti Sevikas were to reach to the spot
and act to support the peoples. Automatically people were
encouraged, victimized were comforted and a vital role was played by
them in establishing the peace without carrying for their own lives.
message of peace and justice, humanity and brotherhood, confidence
and courage of non-violence was also spread out among the citizens
of towns and villages by Padyatras (long-long door to door walks)
and public meetings, addressing the new generation in the schools
and colleges by the Shanti Sevikas, hundreds and hundreds of such
meetings and Padyatras are going on every year till today.
remarkable adventure of women's mother power towards peace was
performed by one of the Shanti Sevika who was working with her
assistant Sevika at a peace centre at the northern border of India
and Bhutan. The area was badly destroyed by the terrorists. The
roads were broken and blocked. Communication facility systems were
badly damaged and all the government offices in the locality were
burnt out. So the area was out of the state control and state
offices and employees flew away to the district headquarters to save
their lives. But Shanti Sevikas of Trust centre called Shimlabari
decided not to leave the area. They said, "they are for the people
and they believe on people love towards them". They not only stayed
over in that dreadful area where most of the men had guns in their
hands and distrust and suspension in their eyes. But they kept
moving among the villages fearlessly and Trustfully with love and
compassion in their hearts for everyone.
women of the villages were dumb and confused by the terrible bloody
circumstances. Shanti Sevikas called them together not to preach
them peace but to listen them, organize them in 'Self Help Groups';
the young people came forward and asked to be organised in 'Self
Help Groups', because our main problem is unemployment and we need
equal recognition from the other socalled higher communities. More
than 400 Self Help Groups were formed in one block area, women
groups, youth groups, adult groups, mixed groups and all kind of
Self Help Groups. Now these groups needed to start work. Some kind
of livelihood with dignity. Shanti Sevikas went to district
government office asked them to provide the money of different state
schemes to these groups. Money for fish farming, vegetables and
fruits growing, weaving and sewing, small home industries, poultry
farming and bee-keeping and any other village level entrepreneurship
which the group wanted to start. The scared officers of terrorist
movement in shadow of the Shanti Sevikas started reaching to the
people again and the young men, once terrorists hindering and hating
the government officers, started going to the government offices at
the district headquarters and talk to the officers across the tables
for the different constructive productive works they were running
with their groups. Thus guns were thrown and gone out of borders and
the people started working with soil and waters, fillers, and looms
and bees and hens.
Kasturba Trust, Assam has now become the centre of activities to
bring various voluntary organization and social works of Assam and
north- east as whole together for joint effort for peace.
During the devastating floods in Nalvari, Assam, a team from the
Assam branch reached the affected area and, in very difficult
circumstances, did a commendable job of helping rescue people and
providing relief in the form of food, medicines, clothes etc.
Addiction is one of the main problems
of Assam. The young generation has become a victim of addiction and
there is rise in immoral acts. A committee has been constituted,
rallies were organised, people were being alarmed and even the Chief
Minister has been appealed to. The prohibition campaign has been
promoted in this way.
Pratinidhis of different institutes of Assam, followers of Gandhian
thoughts and Sevikas of Kasturba Trust jointly started self-reliance
& Sadbhawana Yatra. The main object of this Yatra was to encourage
the culture and life style of non-violence, self-reliance & to
establish Sadbhawana (harmony among the people). During the Yatra,
meeting were organized and given information about agriculture,
go-sewa (serving the cows). Public welcome this Yatra on every
place. During the Yatra, Sevikas constituted 115 peace committees.
In addition to number of problems
being penetrated in Assam, dowry system also shown its intensity
thereby many girls became victimized in the whole year.
Daughter-in-laws also compelled to suicide because of the dowry. One
daughter-in-law was ignited by her husband & mother-in-law. This
news was spread out everywhere like fire. Immediately on receipt of
this information, Sevikas of the Trust became active and took
meetings with different woman institutions of Guwahati, turned out
rallies & shown activeness in presenting memorandum to district
collector demanding that the appropriate punishment should be given
to culprits. This courageous step taken by the Sevikas of the Trust
was admired in general.
ACHIEVEMENT OF RAJASTHAN BRANCH
Kasturba Trust is committed to empower the rural women of India and
this has been carried on continuously for millions of women in its
long journey of 60 years. There has been different ways and means of
empowering them according to their conditions and problems in the
Though the conditions of widows throughout the country is not good
and also not improving rapidly after the freedom of the country, it
is worse in rural Rajasthan where women could become widow from as
early as 5 year of age. Thus a special scheme called "Single Women
Empowerment Scheme" was started under the Rajasthan branch of the
Kasturba Trust. The training under this scheme was not just of the
economic empowerment of those widows and deserted women but more of
it was the building their sense of self-confidence and self-respect.
Other organizations who have since the past few years, been actively
organizing widows were also made involved in this "Single women
this scheme, 3 monthly training and orientations were organized.
Each of such batches was having 25 to 30 women of the age 16 to 35
years. Widows had very little chance to be remarried; some of the
communities like Meenas had a tradition of remarrying the
deserted women by paying the high costs to the parents and the
former husbands. It could happen with a woman for 5 or 6 times. The
women had no choice and decision of her own for her own life as if
she wants to remarry or not. At least sometimes a women getting
terrified of a new husband and new in-laws family. Widows have
another story of cursing their own fate for their husband's death
and feeling guilty because their fates had caused the expiry of the
son of some one else. With a permanent sadness on their faces,
completely lost self-confidence, deprived out and of all their
rights on the legal properties and belongings, they were miserably
the above scheme they were helped to change their mindsets by
providing knowledge about values of independent life, the woman as
human being, laws protecting their rights, stories of the single
women reaching to the heights in the society, the Gandhian thoughts,
religion and spirituality and specially by enjoying the open and
free atmosphere out of their restricted home environments and
villages by singing dancing playing dramas, talking, questioning and
developing their personalities.
the other hand of handicrafts skills like embroidery, tailoring,
running a shop, soap making and watch repairing also make them
independent. After the three months of training and orientation
course many of them uttered these words while leaving for their
homes. "The days of crying has gone now, we would smile with our
hard work" The days this training has also imposed a very powerful
impact on their lives when they were back to their villages. Some of
them started a small village shop in a part of their family house
where they reside, started doing tailoring or embroiding for the
village people and earn a good part of their living. These trained
and awakened women, though not a big number but have understood that
for building their strength they need to come together so they have
started organizing themselves.
ACHIEVEMENT OF BIHAR BRANCH
Voyage of friendship Alias Voyage of Affection - Bihar is the land,
which had once shown the path of non-violence to whole of the world,
but today the same Bihar is burning in the fire of violence. Today
massive offences are taking place; massacres and kidnapping are
common clamps of communal hatred are tighten. The sea of castism has
engulfed village after village. The atmosphere of caste-based
politics has become virulent. It was, therefore, imperative to bring
solace and apply the soothing touch to the people of this burning
land so that innocent children, elderly people and women could keep
away and breath the air of peace and solace.
provide a cool touch to the burning arms of the people, Trust branch
launched a voyage of friendship, which was rightly named as voyage
of affection. Started in the month of December 1999, "Maitri Yatra"
as was called locally, started spreading the message of friendship,
goodwill and peace and love to unite the dispelled hearts. To
promote the sense of goodwill, a team of peace-force was attempted
so that path shown by dedicated and creative people could be
followed to build right atmosphere. To promote goodwill and
self-confidence, the Peace Marcher Sevikas went village to village
and house to house arranged small and big public meetings and helped
in erasing the pangs of bitterness from people's minds.
The personal contacts made by Sevikas
have made impact on people. Frightened people who were scared to
oppose the sufferings forced upon them are now responding to the
voyage of affection taken out by the Trust Sevikas. The response to
this voyage was so profound that where ever the Sevikas reached
village people came out enthusiastically to welcome them. They also
organized seminars and workshops to encourage village people to
think over the problems and its solution.
On the conclusion of this mission of
affection, s seminar was organized to assemble important and
enthusiastic people of 10 villages to talk out the programme for
future course of action. In this seminar the villages showed their
willingness to continue with the campaign and asked the Trust to
start peace camps and peace school for the young boys and girls of
those villages. One or two youth peace camps and peace marches
(Shanti Padyatra) were organized every year.
People were so such enthustic that
even the daughter in laws of the village community joined the peace
camps of boys and girls. Rallies, Nukkad Nataks (Street Plays) and
cultural programmes were organized for spreading the message of the
Since 2003-04 a Shanti Sena Vidyalaya
(Residential Peace School) was started for the girls who went to
their villages after the training and started voluntary peace works
in their respective villages. Next session is started again with
same number of members of young women. Young men who have
participated in the peace camps are active in the villages and draw
the guidance from the provincial branch and Sevikas.
ACHIEVEMENT OF TRIPURA BRANCH
Tripura Branch is a newly started
branch running few schools and Balwadies but there Sevikas were very
keen to start some work for peace and non-violence.
Tripura in the shadow of fear and tension, the only
reprieve was a gun. No creative activity was possible because
of violence and this was made possible by the courageous approach of
our Tripura branch Sevikas. They organized a 3-day Shanti Sena
Training Programme in which 50 women from three districts of Tripura
took part. Tripura population comprises half of the local
tribal people and the other half is a Bengali-speaking settler and
there is always tension between these two ethnic groups.
During past few years this tension has reached the level of gun war
resulting in bloodshed. In spite of this, in the training
programme half participants were original population and remaining
half were Bengali settlers who took part and strived to work
together in search of peace.
In the cyclone that hit Orissa coast
on 28th October, 1999, Trust's 7 health workers from National Head
Quarter reached there in November 1999 to work and help the huge
relief work of the Orissa branch of the Trust. Afterwards Trust's
Bengal branch also joined them. All these women health workers and
other Sevikas stayed in the cyclone hit area there for many months
and during this period how they worked under most deplorable
conditions is really most praiseworthy.
around there were frightening scenes and silence of death, heaps and
heaps of rotting dead bodies. Those left alive, their lives were
non-existent. The condition was so much deplorable that there were
deader than left behind to burn them. One has to stand over a dead
body to retrieve another from down below and our Sevikas did this an
unprecedented brave act. What they did during this catastrophic
moment was a heroic dead. They burnt dead bodies to prevent the
SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT BY JAMMU & KASHMIR BRANCH
Living under continuous threat of
bomb shelling and war vagaries. The people living in border areas
of Jammu and Kashmir were forced to evacuate their dwelling villages
and take refuge in Devipur refugee camp. On realizing their plight
our Jammu & Kashmir branch came to their rescue and organized
rehabilitation work by providing Young children schooling facility,
girls and ladies with handicraft and stitching materials and medical
aids to each and everyone. All this has brought some solace to those
affected although they may not forget the agony of loosing their
households and assets.