By OUR STAFF REPORTER
DEHRADUN, 26 Sep: Mamta Samajik Sanstha conducted a ceremony at Herbertpur to share the achievements of its women safety net project which is being undertaken in the villages of Vikasnagar over the last 5 years with the support of TPAK-JICA, Japan, to combat any kind of violence against women and girls. Over 120 participants from 10 villages and representatives of the state women commission, women & child development department, TPAK & JICA, and Mamta team participated. Tonokawa Hiroyasu, Deputy Director General, and Hattori Yuki from JICA witnessed the ceremony. Tonokawa congratulated all the SNG members and village people for their valuable contribution to runing the WSN project. He said that he had come to India and Dehradun to monitor the progress of the WSN project and was happy to see what was being done in the villages. He felt happy that in the villages, SNG members had shown keen interest in the project activities. The villagers were ready to take responsibility for the activities of the project. In the presence of JICA representatives, 92 safety net group members of the villages signed a pledge and handed it over to the Mamta team that they would protect rights of women and girls and stop any kind of violence against them. Also, all the participants, guests and representatives of state women commission, women & child development department, Mamta team, T PAK and JICA signed on a wall poster to protect the rights of women and girls. Earlier, Beena Walia, Senior Programme Officer, Mamta Sanstha, welcomed the guests and the participants and conducted the programme. JM Singh, Chief Functionary of Mamta Samajik Sanstha, shared the achievements of the project with the participants. He said that 137 community members were identified, sensitised and trained as safety net group members on issues of domestic violence and any kind of violence against women and girls in these villages. As many as 1099 women, girls and men participated in 3 kinds of training like reproductive child health, leadership development, government schemes for women and girls, and trauma management. Also, 760 students from government inter colleges in Vikasnagar participated in the quiz and poster competitions. Over 1300 victims of domestic violence called at Mamta Sanstha and 366 victims stayed at the drop in centre of Mamta for medical care, legal aid and counselling. Their problems were solved by Mamta team and serious cases were referred to the state women commission for further help and support. Over 6000 women, girls and men participated in the sensitisation meetings at the village level. He added that in the first 3 years of the project, the Mamta team conducted village meetings but, later, selected safety net group members took over, held meetings and provided support to the victims of domestic violence. Kamini Gupta, Member Secretary of the state women commission, addressed the participants and said that every girl of should be educated. There should be no discriminationg between boys and girls. She urged those present not to get daughters married before the age of 21, preferably when she became independent and achieved some success in life. Machiko Buckley from TPAK, JAPAN appreciated the contribution of safety net group members and Mamta team in creating a safe environment for women and girls. Reiko-Itakura from TPAK, Japan, and Mamta team Shiwali, Shivani, Meenakshi, Rampal and village volunteers played an important role in organising this ceremony.