निर्धार समानतेचा – Project of ILS Law College in association with SWISSAID, co-funded by European Union
ILS Law College has always been committed to walk on its path circumscribed in its mission statement ‘Krunvanto Vishamaaryam’ which means creation of discrimination free society. The differential treatment that women receive has always bothered us. Our decade old association with SWISSAID has been very fruitful in working for women. Training Domestic Violence Counsellors, training Judges, publishing manuals for different stakeholders, preparation of expert’s videos, workshops for grass root workers and employees are some of the initiatives undertaken jointly by ILS Law College and SWISSAID. The experience gathered while working in this area brought to light the need for intervention in Marathwada region for addressing two main issues – child marriage and domestic violence. We realised that Marathwada region has not benefitted by the developmental activities carried out in Maharashtra. We also observed the violation of women’s rights and dignity on the grounds of caste, honour and masculinity as a usual practice.The unfavourable climatic conditions have put the small and marginal farmers in vicious circles of poverty. The poor economic conditions affect childhood, especially with a greater impact on girls.
Age-old caste based patriarchal notions coupled with poverty, leads to child marriages and very often forced motherhood which in turn affect the mental, physical and emotional health of the children. Rigid adherence to gender norms result into higher incidence and normalisation of domestic violence. Human rights of the ones affected by child marriage and domestic violence are rampantly violated. Recourse to law and legal mechanisms is hardly resorted due to low level of awareness about laws. Even the law students, law teachers and the government duty bearers are not sensitised to handle these issues and render aid and assistance to the affected women / girls / children. This lack of sensitisation and knowledge of laws deprives the victims from having appropriate redress for their sufferings, driving them away from seeking help.
ILS Law College and SWISSAID alongwith local NGOs, namely, Halo Medical Foundation, Manavlok and Gramin Mahila Vikas Sanstha joined hands and have initiated a project for a period of three years from 2023 – 2026 for Addressing Gender-Based Violence and Discrimination, Particularly Domestic Violence, and Child Marriage in the Marathwada Region of the State of Maharashtra, India – titled “निर्धार समानतेचा’. This project has been co-funded by the European Union and Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation. The project aims at empowering the girls and women especially from Marathwada region by creating a sensitive and supportive environment which is responsive to their concerns.
A legally informed and sustainable support system will be made available at the local level under the project for providing appropriate and timely legal help and assistance to the victims of child marriage and domestic violence.
Maharashtra State Legal Services Authority and Women and Child Department of Government of Maharashtra have extended their support for the effective implementation of the project.
The project aims to:
- Increase capacity of civil society actors and government duty bearers to prevent and respond to gender-based violence and discrimination cases,
- Improve knowledge and understanding of gender and human rights among students,
- Enhance access to legal aid and support for survivors,
- Bring about a positive social impact through promotion of a safer and more equitable society.
The project has three verticals –
- Capacity Building Program for Legal Aid Centres of Law Colleges in Marathwada
Intensive training programs will be organised for the students and teachers of law colleges in Marathwada. Training will be given to a total of 80 students and 4 teachers from eight colleges situated in seven districts of Marathwada. Following colleges from Marathwada are associated with us for the project:
- Maharashtra National Law University, Aurangabad
- Manikchand Pahade Law College, Aurangabad
- Dayananda College of Law, Latur
- Dr. Bapuji Salunkhe Law College, Dharashiv
- Narayanrao Chavan Law College, Nanded
- Swatantrya Senani Ramrao Awargaonkar Law College, Beed
- MSP Mandal Shri Shivaji Law College Parbhani
- MSS Law college, Jalna
Through these trainings the legal aid centres will be sensitised towards gender issues. The project will address the knowledge gap and create ‘assistance hubs’ for children, girls and women. The trained students and teachers will pass on their learnings in the outside world and especially in the legal profession, enabling efficient handling of concerns of these victims in a more humanistic manner. This will result in providing efficient support services to victims of gender discrimination and gender violence.
2. Capacity Building Program for Staff of One Stop Crisis Centres
Staff members of One Stop Crisis Centres in Aurangabad, Latur, Osmanabad, Nanded, Beed, Parbhani, Jalna and Hingoli will also be trained in law and IT skills. The members of one stop crisis centres will be better equipped to deal with issues of girls / women approaching them for help.
These trainings programs will bring in a cascading effect and create a self-sufficient and 3. self-generating model for fighting against gender discrimination and violence.
3. Development of Online platform for generating awareness in regional language.
Online platforms have become a powerful tool of community engagement. We have tried to utilise this platform for generating awareness about gender based discrimination and gender based violence. A dedicated platform – www.violencenomore.in has been created which hosts information and creative content on gender related issues in regional language, especially Marathi and Hindi. The content is created by students and teachers of ILS Law College with the help of subject and technical experts. The platform is also used for hosting online activities and competitions.
Please log on to www.violencenomore.in for additional details.
OUR PROJECT PARTNERS:
Manavlok Halo Medical Foundation Gramin Mahila Vikas Sanstha
Maharashtra State Legal Services Authority Women and Child Department, Government of Maharashtra
- The Project was officially launched on 2nd September, 2023 in the presence of Hon’ble Chief Justice of Bombay High Court, Mr. Devendra Kumar Upadhyaya and Commissioner of Women and Child Department of Government of Maharashtra, Dr. Prashant Narnaware.
Project Launch Ceremony Hon’ble Chief Justice Mr. Upadhyaya addressing the audience