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Sensitisation on Discrimination and Violence

The Rural Development Trust runs awareness and rehabilitation programmes to address discrimination and violence against women. All initiatives emphasize on including men in the dialogue and action.

Awareness and trainings are key enablers to educate society on the problems faced by women. RDT has been conducting workshops on women’s rights in village assemblies and self-help groups to promote the empowerment of women push for an attitudinal shift in the community.

Sessions also include workshops on sexual and reproductive health by doctors to help break taboos or theatre plays addressing gender violence. Other issues tackled are early marriages or the dangers of falling into human trafficking when migrating.

Counseling centers

To support women victims of harassment, violence or trafficking, RDT runs six counselling centers in Ananthapuram district. Sessions are led by RDT staff and a female doctor, who checks the women’s health.

Shelter home

To extend rehabilitative support, RDT also has a shelter home at Bathalapalli. The serves as a safe halfway house for women in distress. Staff at the centre provide counselling to women and their family members, helping them to recover from trauma.

Training on gender violence

Trainings are imparted to staff and SAT members on different aspects of harassment and violence as well as on first response. Information is provided on women’s rights, on how to avail legal aid and medical assistance, where to report a crime, or on the functioning of family courts.

HIGHLIGHTS
 
STAFF SPEAK
 

“In the past few years, RDT has concentrated on building a team which can work on the most critical concerns related to gender-based discrimination, harassment and violence against women and girls. We are very committed to gender equality and working towards a just and caring society free from gender-based violence. Acting on this philosophy, RDT has also constituted an internal complaints committee consisting of 4 women and 1 man to deal with any cases of sexual harassment faced by women working within the organisation”.

Ms. Shakunthala, former Assistant Director, Women Programme

SUCCESS STORY
 

“For many years, I have been mentally and physically abused by my husband. He would take away the wages I earned working as a coolie. He would come home drunk and he would beat me, even when people watched from outside the house. He refused to give me money for the household and was not interested in my daily needs. One day, I locked myself in my room, poured kerosene on my body and set myself on fire. People outside heard my screams and became aware of my problem but I was not given any treatment for three days. Finally, the matter was taken to the Community Development Committee who immediately rushed me to the Bathalapalli Hospital and talked to my husband. RDT counselling centre was a boon for me. I could finally talk about my problems and I also want my husband to attend the sessions. With renewed confidence, I know I will never take such an extreme step again and certainly, won’t bear any kind of torture anymore.”
Ms. Vaishali

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