Jaipur, Over 500 single women from all over Rajasthan convereged today at the Udyog Maidan here to celebrate Women’s Empowerment Day.
Speaking of the congregation’s significance, Ginny Srivastava, Senior Coordinator, Ekal Nari Shakti Sangathan, Rajasthan noted that this is the first time an important Women’s Empowerment Day event, generally known to be celebrated at block levels, was being organized at the State level.Sangathan members have gathered to share stories of struggle and strength, which will help deliberate and shape a Maang Patra (Charter of Demands)to be submitted to the state government. There is an evident hope among women here that “the newly elected government will pay attention to the demands of the single women” and will incorporate these in its future directives.
Adivasi Ekal Nari puppet team from Udaipur, Banswara and Dungarpur presented a puppet show on violence faced by single women and how the support by the Sangthan women translates into a source of strength for them. Kankoo Devi, Chairperson, Ekal Nariwho has been working for the past 9 years feels “confident and capable of raising voice”. .
Well known social activist, Nikhil Dey appreciated the efforts undertaken by the members of Ekal Nari Shakti Sangathan to raise their concerns and demand for betterment of their lives. He asked that whengovernment officials are getting their pension regularly and where our CM gets salary every month, why have the common people not got pension for the last three to six months. He urged the Sangathan to prepare a list of women who are facing problems regarding pension and to take it up forcefully with the newly elected government.
He stressed that the BJP government has assured before the elections that pension is common people’s right, and that they have formed the government, they should extend this right forthwith. He argued for increasing the pension amount to reasonable levelsor else the pension of government officials be reduced to what is being given to the common people, i.e. Rs. 500/ month. Adding to this, Dhuli Bai, a community woman from Dungarpur, remarked that pension amount in the year 1999 was Rs. 125 which after 15 years today has become Rs. 500 although the expenses have increased manifolds.
Speaking on the issue of violence faced by women, Nisha Siddhu of NFIW spoke of thethe promise that the new law against Domestic Violence brings in empowering women with clear title, tenurial and compensation rights. She She also informed of the Mahila Salah Evam Suraksha Kendras being run all over Raasthan to render relief to women against violonce.
Women representing different districts shared their experiences and struggles - Dhuli Bai from Aaspur in Dungarpur, spoke about how alcohol abuse be men is making women increasingly vulnerable to violence and atrocities
Shabnam, a Sangathan member from Swaimadhopur, narrating the struggle she had to raise for ensuring that women like her can get ration. shared that she had to lodge FIR against the DSO and the ration dealer. However, the continued waging “after a long time resulted in benefitting 600 families”.
Taking the issue forward, Komal Srivastav of BGVS highlighted the need to implement the Right to Food properly, ensuring that the list of beneficiaries is put up at the dealer shops, there is adequate increase in the quotas of ration for families