Gorakhpur women form self-defence groups

Friday, February 4, 2011

GORAKHPUR - Women residing in different villages of Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur District have formed around 160 self-defence groups to fight against exploitation and sexual harassment.

Mahila Samakhya Secretary Janki Devi said the groups would protect women from being exploited.

“When we get the information about women exploitation, violence and their problems, then we help them from local to district level by using sticks. We help them in getting their rights and we work against women’s exploitation,” she said.

Mahila Samakhya is a government programme that seeks to promote women’s education.

According to the members of the programme, these groups not only work for women empowerment, but also for villagers, helping them get necessary documentation such as ration cards and Below Poverty Line (BPL) cards to avail of government-sponsored plans.

Shriprakash Mani Tripathi, Head of the Department of Political Science, Gorakhpur University, said that the voice of this programme is capable of reaching the larger society.

“Their movement not only helps women in getting their rights but also will be successful in stopping violence against them. This is a social movement,” said Tripathi.

The Mahila Samkhya programme was started in 1989 for the education and empowerment of women in rural areas of states like Jharkhand, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. The programme focuses on socially and economically marginalised groups of the society. (ANI)

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