Secretary of State (Minister) for International Development, the Government of UK visited Jan Sahas program
Jan Sahas Program
Ms. Priti Patel, Secretary of State (Minister) for International Development, the Government of UK and British High Commissioner to India Mr. Dominic Asquith visited Jan Sahas program at Bhopal on 14th August, 2016. During the visit women and girls share the issues related to sexual violence, trafficking, manual scavenging, slavery and caste atrocities. They also shared their struggle, strategies and success.
Jan Sahas’s community leaders led conversation to share their challenges and problems during their practice of manual scavenging. Leaders of Garima Abhiyan Kala bai, Ladkuwar bai and Sevanti ji shared their struggles. Two women shared their life long history being a manual scavenger explained the issue of caste dominance, slavery of manual scavenging, their liberation process through Garima Abhiyan and hurdles faced like violence, boycotts and atrocities on them. Moreover, they also shared their experience related to active leadership on liberating other manual scavenging women and policy advocacy at State and national level. Ms. Patel was quite impressed with the victory of Jan Sahas and respected the struggle of community leaders on eradication of manual scavenging practice in India and the advocacy efforts for new legislation.
Secondly, a case history of Mr. Buddhuram, once upon a time being bonded labour shared his struggle and support of Jan Sahas to live life without slavery and with dignity. He explained his journey, feelings and experiences being bonded labour- abusive, disrespecting and violence too. He also shared his reason of becoming bonded labour and how caste system works in India which leads one to become life time bondage to upper caste wealthy person. Bonded Labour Eradication Campaign of Jan Sahas supported Mr. Buddhuram to realize his rights and made him free from bondage.
Later, Jan Sahas’s legal aid support work was presented by one of the caregivers of the rape survivors of Ujjain and Dewas district. There was a long discussion on sexual abuse and rape issue in India and Madhya Pradesh. It was also stated that Madhya Pradesh state tops in crime record and day to day such cases take place everywhere in India. Whole sequence of experience was narrated by the affected survivor and caregivers.
Jan Sahas not only supports the victims and survivors of rape and slavery but also supports them to rebuild their dignity and to live a life with full of social, economic and political empowerment. As a result today thousands of survivors and liberated manual scavengers have taken alternative livelihood option with full of dignity and some of these liberated women are working with Dignity & Designs. They also shared their own experiences to work with D & D – a garment producing company and initiative skill development and school for entrepreneurship development
On the closure of discussion, women felicitated Ms. Patel by giving them Kurtas made by them and a memento of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar (a Symbol of Dignity). Ms. Patel happily accepted this and expressed her gratitude towards everyone for coming to meet. Also, she ended up her meeting ensuring taking up and highlighting these issues at international level to eradicate all forms of slavery.
In addition, Correspondent and Campaigner of Jan Sahas – PACS Program interviewed Ms. Priti Parel on Violence against Women & Girls and Efforts of Jan Sahas. Please see below YouTube link of the interview: