Smile Foundation organised a mime show on ‘Safety of Girls’ to celebrate International Women’s Day under its girl child and women empowerment programme, Swabhiman. The show portrayed different situations exposing the vulnerability of girls both inside her home and when she steps out.
Present at the occasion, the special guest at the event, Ms Sunita Chaudhary, the first auto rickshaw driver in Northern India (New Delhi) felt that the government should take special measures to ensure the safety of girls. Sunita said, “The initiatives from Swabhiman to sensitise the masses is quite praiseworthy and a step in the right direction as it will help in generating awareness on the concerns of safety that is the need of the hour.”
Safety of girls is a matter of prime concern when the incidences of eve teasing, rape and molestation are alarming. The recent data released by Delhi Commission for Women(DCW) also says that among 1,975 complaints received in 2009-10 so far, 1,122 fall under the marriage and family category. Of these, harassment by husband, in-laws and dowry demands are reported highest at 936. In the category of violence against women outside their house, the DCW has received 227 complaints in 2009-10.Of these, abduction and illegal confinement top the list at 9 ,followed by 41 cases of harassment by neighbour,37 cases of rape and molestation,32 cases of sexual harassment at work place and 27 cases of murder, suicide and dowry deaths.
This Mime Show aims to sensitise the privileged masses regarding the concerns of safety of girls believes Priyanka Jain Vats, Sr. Programme Officer, Swabhiman. “This is an advocacy effort to make the world realise ‘Beti Bhi Apni Hain’ (the daughter is also ours) she added. The show focused not only on the problems but also facilitated the ideal approach in different situations.
Swabhiman under its Advocacy programme has trained the community educators and health volunteers on various other aspects of women empowerment among which self defense techniques has been a prime area in order to build the confidence of the target population in various communities across Delhi.
Swabhiman meaning self respect in Hindi is a girl child and empowerment programme of Smile Foundation started in 2005. The aim is to bring pride and dignity to underprivileged girl child living in the slums of the country. At present, Swabhiman is operational in 10 urban slums of Delhi, reaching out to about 1, 00,000 underprivileged population. Through the programme, Smile Foundation educates and empowers community women and adolescent girls by providing them healthcare and life skill education.