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Report of the District Level Workshop
Held at
Darisahi, East Singhbhum, Jharkhand

21st – 23rd Novemeber, 2012

First Day :21st November, 2012

This Workshop was inaugurated by Ms. Supta Mukherjee. In her opening speech she gave a brief introductory note on SWADHINA. She told about the inception of Swadhina and it’s activities at present. The journey of Swadhina was not a smooth one. It faced many ups and downs but was focused in her mission. Swadhina always struggled in favour of the marginalized people in general and women and children in particular. Her inaugural address was followed by the song ‘Manush to Ekdin Jagbai Jagbe’.

Then there was the introductory session where each participant introduced herself/himself. Each one also said a little bit of their story of struggle. Some of them also said how they got support from Swadhina during their struggle. For example Ms. Laxmipriya Kalindi told about how she was affected due to early marriage. She narrated her story of survival and how Swadhina supported her. One of the participant Ms. Chandana Kalindi told that she had applied for Indira Awas but was not getting benefits of the scheme due to limited availability of fund.

The Ward Member of Ghatshila Panchayat admitted that the resources are limited than the need, however they try their best to fulfill the need on priority basis. He also informed that a Women Resource Centre has been opened in the Block to facilitate the need of the women. Some of the participants complained that even the Mukhias did not know about the contribution of MP fund. However, it is expected that things will be in a better position once things are streamlined because the Panchayat System has recently come into existence.

It was also said that Swadhina make them aware that all the adult members (male or female) have the right to vote. Women have the reservation in the Panchayat. They must avail it properly. Swadhina motivate them to cast their vote in favour of the right person whom the voters feel that best among the candidates. It is the right of the voters. Regarding Indira Awas, it is said that the Block office is far from the village. However, they used to get information and the respective forms for different projects and schemes from Swadhina that includes the form for Indira Awas.

Then there was the issue of marriage. It is opined that the each marriage should be registered as per the law of the land. It will not only prove the marriage between two persons but also protect the rights of the woman on the property of the husband. It was also said that the dowry systems are still continuing in different forms. This is a social crime.

It is informed that while buying goods the consumer must be very careful. Always see the manufacturing date, weight and price and ask for the receipt. In case of any anomalies they should go the Consumer Court.

It is said that usually the land registered in the name of the husband. It is advisable that it should be registered in the name of both wife and husband. Lawfully wife shared the 50% of the property therefore it is legitimate claim to register Patta in both the name of wife and husband. Women should take initiative for the same. It is good that the Indira Awas are given in the name of the Women.

Mr. D C Hembrom of Land Protection Department told that they used to construct the pumphouse but it needs minimum 25 Hectres land. Individual subsidies are also available for the irrigation of the farm land.

At the outset Mr. Ramchandra Sahis conveyed his sincere thanks to Swadhina for its effort to educate the women for their rights and also supporting them to get their rights in different ways. He is happy to see that women are coming forward for their own development. He also quote Swamiji and said that a nation can only be developed if the women take participation in it. Women should come forward in the political arena of the society. They should take part in the decision making process. He said Swadhina is doing the same and educate the women towards their rights. He wished that those who have not got the chance to be here in this workshop; they should be informed about this programme. It is the duty of the participants who are present here.

Ms. Shruti Dewan, Pramukh : She congratulated Swadhina for organizing this kind of women empowerment programme. She stressed that women should have the registered Patta (land holding Paper) in their own name. It is the process of empowerment to entitlement. It is the responsibilities of the women are attending these kind of programmes and aware of the situation to educate other women too and demand for their rights.

G Maradi also conveyed thanks to Swadhina for this noble effort and their works in East Singhbhum. Emphasised that women are working more than the men particularly in he rural set up. They are working in the agricultural field as well as household cores. Women contribution in the society is much more than their counterpart. However, it is not recognized. Therefore women should go for the struggle to get the justice. They should come forward to demand their rights.

Swadhina stressed on the rights of women on the land. Swadhina believes that this is the process of entitlement of the women, it is a power to the women to establish their rights on the decision making process. Marriage registration is equally important areas where Swadhina puts her effort. It is to be noted that there are several women who are eligible for getting the Indira Awas but due to lack of resources on the part of the Government they are not getting the same. Swadhina also emphasised to enroll the girls child to the local school as part of the right to education. However, the Block Office, Land Registration Office, Marriage Registration office is far from the villages. This is a hindrance to the effort since women are not very accustom to reach those offices. Therefore, Swadhina initiated to bridge these lack by setting up Information Centre. Through information centres Swadhina disseminated information on several project, programmes and schemes which is meant for the People in general and women in particular. Swadhina also provides respective forms and formats for the same. Swadhina also helped the villagers to fill up the application form properly, deposit it and follow up the matter.

It is brought in to the notice there is no Health Centre beyond Cating. There are schools but lack of teachers. In some places there are Health Centres but without Doctor. This is the present day scenario in the service sector of the Government. Mr. Ramchandra Sahis said that we tried our best to help the people without seeing any party colour. He shared his concern for the people. Also said that he will give importance to the matters brought by Swadhina.

The first day of the Workshop came to an end with sharing greetings to each other and the song sang by altogether.

Second Day : 22nd November, 2012

The Second Day started with the recapitulation of yesterday’s deliberations, sharing and reporting. Ms. Saswati Roy facilitated the same. It was decided to discuss the following 6 areas:

  • Women’s rights to land and property
  • Women’s rights to Saving
  • Equal opportunity in Education
  • Women’s right over Household Resources
  • Women’s right to Housing and Shelter
  • Women’s right to livelihood opportunity


Women’s right to land and property is very important. Most of the agricultural activities done by the women. Then it is essential to have land in the name of the women not the men alone. There are laws and act under Hindu Succession Act. We must know all these and taken advantage of the same. Women are migrating to near by states for their life and livelihoods. This trend is not good for the healthy family. Government must take up this issue very seriously. NREGA should be implemented strictly and women should get job under it. It will prevent migration to great extent. However, it should taken care of the proper payment to the women under this scheme. Government should see that those women do not have any land in their name they should be given land through land reform. There must be some resource mapping in every village. Women should do the mapping and own the same.

Regarding Savings, she said that most of the women do not have any savings account either in Bank or Post office. At the same time it is also true that women are earned but they do not know how much they have earned since they do not have any kind of account. Moreover, money taken by their husband. It would be great help to them if they open Savings account and deposit the money there. It will support them at the time of urgent need. Also it will help them to get government support through this account. Swadhina is doing awareness toward this and organized camps for the same.

Mr.Gautam Rana talked on the right to education. He said each school has Prabandhan Samity consisting of 16 membes. Out of which 12 are from the gurdains. Special care has been taken to see the women are more in number in this samity. Parents gone for work by leaving their children at home. It is a real problem. There should be free education up to class V to all. Special drive has been taken through different schemes to educate the girl child who have left the school due to various reasons. Each school should have separate toilet for the girls and the play ground. We have to think seriously to provide school dresses to the students. If the members of the Prabandhan Samity does not function properly then it can be changed. All the fund under RTE comes in the name of Prabandhan Samity. There are three signatories. There is provision for home-based teacher for the physically challenged students. He also shared the information about the provision of number of Para Teacher, Teacher, Head teacher etc. He said due to RTE all the school in Ghatshila Block has separate toilet for the girls and also the boundary walls. RTE also sees that how many children between 0-18 have enrolled their name in the school but not attending. They make a list of it. And brought them under the education fold through NPGL.

Lady supervisor of ICDS shared her thoughts. She said whatever we want to do; we must put the people in the centre of our development process. They are the subject. We must understand our roles and responsibilities. We must see that the women should study at least graduation standard. Also we have to see that there should not be any marriage solemnized below the age of 18 years.

CDPO told that we must develop our potentialities. Each one of us talents. These has to be nurtured. Nobody will give you rights. Rights has to be earned through struggle. There should be strict implementation the act against the women feticides. She talked about several schemes for the women such as

  • Laxmi Ladly Yojona ; any family having income below 72,000 per annum are entitled to get this
  • For each child there are food available worth of Rs.6/- per day at ICDS centres
  • Each mother should teach their children how to keep hygienic

She also told that one should know what are the rights s/he must enjoy. They must demand for their rights. All kinds of superstitions must be stopped. There are killing of the women (particularly tribal) in the name of Daini (witch). Law full action should be taken against those killer. These kind of matters should be brought in to the notice of the Block Officers. All the marriage couple should register their marriages. It is the weapon for the struggle of the rights of the women.

Ms. Parbati Murmu, Mukhia, Paora Panchayat told that literate women can bring the womens empowerment. Each women should be healthy. We must take nutritious and properly cooked food. Women must not neglect this area. Education is a must for the women. We must put all our effort to educate the women. There must be land patta in the name of the women. They must have saving accounts.

Ms. Supriti Murmu told that essential need to have women empowerment as follows

  • Education to women
  • Know the rights of the women
  • Awareness among the women
  • Actively involved in the socio-political, economic matter
  • Equal rights for female and male should be uphold
  • Women should have self-confidence
  • Strengthening the women organisation
  • Struggle for the rights

Mr. Kashiram Pingua, Marriage Registration Officer told that Marriage registration certificate is an essential part of our life. It is also mandatory according to law. It is a weapon to fight against the casteism. People can take the Marriage Registrar at the place of marriage and do the registration. In that case party has arranged for the transportation of the Officer. Marriage registration is a social security. It is the lawful entitlement of the wife on the property of her husband. There is a need of at least one witness from each side (bride & bridegroom) to be present along with the couple at the time of Marriage Registration. Fees must be deposited along with the application for marriage registration.

Third Day : 23rd November, 2012

Today’s session started with the Saontali Song sang by Sarala Hansda. It was more of the reflection of the people who are associated with Swadhina’s activities.

The first topic was on Savings Accounts

Ms. Duli Besra: She said that she came here for the first time. She never goes out. She finished her graduation and is doing her post graduation.She opened savings account at the Bank. She expressed her gratitude to Swadhina and wished th atall the participants should open Savings Accounts.

Ms. Rupali: She said that she opened Bank Account in 2006. Prior to that she spent all her money. She said it gives her courage to do some works.

Sushila Hembrom: It is Swadhina who taught me a lot. I am now going to college. Opened Bank account also. I saved some money. I do not need to ask for loan from any body at the time of need.

Alochona : I have also opened Savings Bank Account. It encourages me to earn more. I took bank loan for business. Now I earn from my business with which I repay the Bank loan and also save some. It gives me confidence.

Sarala Hansda: Opened Account in 2006. Also did LIC policy in 2011 by the motivation of Swadhina. I am proud of it

Asma : Opening a bank account was never known to me. It is Swadhina who helped us to do that. At the beginning I was little nervous to go to the Bank. Now I am confident enough and it also gives me courage to go to other offices also.

Renubala Mahato: My father used to give money since 1990. He was working in copper mines. I saved that money. I am actively involved in Self Help Group. I spent money for my daughter’s marriage by my own nor from my husband. I also contested in the Panchayat Election from my own pocket.

Second Topic was Marriage Registration

Alochona: Swadhina aware me about the marriage registration and it’s importance. I understand that it is an important document for the rights on the property of my husband and social security.

Pradip Mahato: He said that it is vey important. It will help her wife to get the rights on the land and property. It is also necessary to open joint account. Also necessary while both of us are the outstation.

Basumati Mahato: Marriage registration is important for the future. For any kind of family problem in the future it will be helpful particularly for the wife. People should contact Swadhina.

Dr. Probal Sanatani (Journalist): He said that women are working through out 24 hours a day even while they are sleeping. Men can not be compared with women. But the vital question is why then women are exploited? I personally feel that women should be self dependent in terms of family, mentally as well as economically. The economic activities of the women should be encouraged and they themselves should involved in it. They must demand their shares. Any kind of financial support will boost the women to reach toward the self confidence and self dependency. There are several ways to earn .He has given some examples too such as making paper packet, supply (home delivery) food particularly at the city, sale handicraft works like bamboo busket, grass rope, growing vegetables, preparing tomato sauce etc.

Bandana: She said that she is working in an NGO. She saved some money and deposit it in the Bank. Villagers we do not see me as good in character since I used to move village to village for my profession. However, I do take care of my physically ill father and also i spent money for my sister’s marriage. I have the courage to fight against the odd. Now, villagers realized their fault.

Ambika Chakroborty: She is the Ward Member of Gopalpur Panchayat. She said that women are not inferior to any one. Women is a strength itself. Then she sing a socially motivational song.

Renubala: She said that any kind of practice of Untouchability has to be strongly condemned. Strengthening women organization is a must towards the women empowerment. We should meet regularly not only for the savings but to share our pains and agonies, our activities, our struggle and Hope to each other.

Bela Deori: She is the Board member of Social Welfare Department. Women are not enjoying equal rights in the socio-political and economical arena of the society. Women should approach to Social Welfare Department for their development. We are particularly concern for the women and children. Department also take care of the children whose mothers are going for work. Department also helped the Self Help Group in various ways.

Professor Badal Chandra Bhakat: Women should get equal rights in every sphere in the society as in the case of men. It is our duty and responsibility to be with the women struggle for their rights. Women must be economically empowered. They should be consciously take part in the decision making process for their development. Though women are taking part in the household works as well as in agricultural field; yet we are not consider them as earning member of the house as the male member. This kind of thinking process is the shame for the society. We must get out of this understanding. Women should take part in the politics too. It is urgently needed more of political participation of women will help more of equality in the society of the women. Women should take their own decision and should not give the authority to other to decide on their behalf. Last not but not least the women organization should be strengthened.

Principal Para of Musabani College: To fly, both wings of a bird has to be functioned equally. Or else it won’t fly. Similarly for the progress of a society women and men should be equally on the same footings. Education is the process to make the society aware of this equal rights. Patriarchal society made all possible ways to exploit the women. This has to be broken. This is a challenge before us to establish a Just Society.

Jagadish Bhakat: He is the Pramukh of Ghatshila. We must have the development of our thoughts. We must seek for equal rights through all our deeds. It is evident that women used to go to market or some other place with their husband. This is an understanding which has been introduced by the patriarchal social system. Women also need to come out of this system.

Then there were discussion on different schemes of the government particularly for the women and children.
The workshop came to an end with the vote of thanks to all the participants and resource persons by Saswati Roy on behalf of Swadhina.

Swadhina, 34/C Bondel Road, Kolkata (Calcutta) 700019, West Bengal, INDIA
Tel: (+ 91 33) 32451730 / 22870934
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