Shakti Shalini started as a healing process for two mothers who had lost their daughters to a horrifying death. Ms Satyarani Chadha and Ms Shahjahan began Shakti Shalini on 31st August, 1987 soon after their daughters were burnt alive by their in–laws due to insufficient dowry. The brutal murders of their daughters launched Ms Satyarani and Ms Shahjahan into a fierce battle against gender violence. They galvanised to tell their story to everyone: to the media and to the public. Their loss touched the hearts of people and they became the whistle–blowers of a generation.
The late 70s and 80s were a period in which various feminist discourses gained attention. These were also the times when UN had declared 1975–1985 as women’s decade. One of the first issues to receive countrywide attention from women’s groups was violence against women in the form of rape, self–immolation and dowry deaths. This was the context in which Shakti Shalini was born. Shakti Shalini began with two services – counseling and a shelter home. Pehchan, the shelter home established by Shakti Shalini, became the first shelter home for women in distress in Delhi, India.
Shakti Shalini is Delhi based Non–Governmental Organization that has been actively working against all forms of gender and sexual violence since 1987. Gender and sexual violence is a critical social evil in India and needs concerted effort at individual, social and policy levels to bring about change. Shakti Shalini has a holistic and inclusive approach. We work with individuals, families and communities; with women, men, children and LGBTQ community members. Our mechanisms for promoting gender equality are four fold: Responding to Violence, Preventing Violence, Educational Enhancement programs to train future social workers, and Darmiyan, a Literature Platform dedicated to creating awareness for gender equality.
Response Mechanisms come into action after violence has taken place. They include Pehchan, a Shelter Home for women in distress and a Crisis Intervention and Counseling Center (CICC). The CICC provide legal, medical, mental healthcare, regular counseling and crisis intervention services to all clients. Additionally, Shakti Shalini responds to all sexual/gender violence cases at nineteen police stations across South-East Delhi.
Preventive Mechanisms aim at the prevention of everyday forms of sexual/gender violence and discrimination. This includes Community Outreach programs in five disadvantaged communities in Delhi, a Kushalta Vikas Kendra (KVK)/ Skills Development Center for Combating Violence and the Artivism initiative that aims to use arts for activism and social change in favour of gender equality.
Educational Enhancement program includes the range and variety of internships and training programs offered at Shakti Shalini for people who aspire to be social workers and future changemakers.
Darmiyan is a multi-lingual literature platform hosted by Shakti Shalini wherein we share life narratives of survivors of gender/sexual violence. Additionally, the platform also hosts poems, articles, stories.
One is not born a woman, but becomes one.
– Simone De Beauvoir
Women supported by Shakti Shalini since 1987
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