ABOUT THE PROGRAMME
Shakti Shalini began its “Community Outreach Project” by working in two communities, Jal Vihar and Nehru Nagar Block 10, in 2014. In 2018, the
organisation expanded to working in five communities, namely, Jal Vihar, Nehru Nagar Block 10, Nehru Nagar Block 7, Shriniwaspuri, Aadiwasi Camp.
Shakti Shalini currently works with five disadvantaged communities in South-East Delhi. Our community outreach program is a form of direct negotiation and communication with the residents of the communities that aims at bringing about an ideological and cultural change in favour of gender equality and zero tolerance to violence. To achieve our aim we work at the level of the individual, the family and the community; with women, men, adolescents and children in the communities. The entire community outreach program is conducted by our Community Outreach Workers who daily interact with the women, men, adolescents, children and families of the community, gaining their confidence,
discovering their grievances and attempting to address them.
Four protection committees are established in each community – one each for men, women, adolescent boys and adolescent girls. The committees consist of the residents of the communities themselves and become grass-root change-makers from within. Each Committee organizes scheduled and regular meetings to discuss their problems, experiences and opinions in order to gradually negotiate the gender relations operating within their communities. Further, we regularly organize health awareness and free health checkup camps in the communities that are facilitated by medical practioners. Shakti Shalini’s affiliated advocate conducts legal awareness and advice camps. Shakti Shalini engages community men, women, adolescent girls, boys in various life skills training program that include developing smart communication and negotiation skills, knowing conflict resolution and problem management skills, developing self-esteem and a confident personality, knowing how to ensure one’s safety and basic self-defense skills. Finally, Shakti Shalini organizes a variety of workshops and events in the communities such as a games, sports, races, movie screenings, and discussions and so on.
In last three years, the “Community Outreach Project” has significantly expanded itself, mobilised more than 8,000 socio-economically marginalised individuals directly, formed 20 protection committees (4 per community, 1 each for men, women, adolescent girls, adolescent boys), held rigorous legal awareness, gender sensitisation, health awareness, health-aid camps, and protection committee meetings, which together have intensively mobilised more than 1,000 individuals, facilitated between 80-100 survivors of gender/ sexual violence from the communities toward survivor support services, and held 2 annual events (a Feminist Mela and a Women’s Day) regularly. These activities have been done despite and around the entire period of the COVID-19 pandemic and successive lockdowns during its course. Thus, additional activities in that context have been done such as ration relief drives, sanitary
pack distribution drives, and on-call psycho-social support.
The project also intersects closely with all other projects within the organisation. It works closely with two sister projects within Shakti Shalini’s Prevention of Gender/ Sexual Violence Program – Kushalta Vikas Kendra and Artivism, Art for Activism. Kushalta Vikas Kendra is a Skills Development Centre for Combating Violence that combines economic empowerment with feminist mobilisation. Located within the five communities targeted within the planned project, KVK becomes the centre at which various legal awareness, gender sensitisation, health awareness, health-aid, protection committee meetings, JugMug Mela, and Women’s day events are held within the community outreach project, and it also collectivises many residents of the communities by providing them skills training. Artivism, art for activism activates arts such as theatre, dance, music, fine art, etc., as spaces of activism, critical thinking, and challenging norms, which takes place in the communities targeted in the project and with its residents. Shakti Shalini’s Program for Response to Violence also intersects closely with the planned project. All survivors of gender/ sexual violence from the communities are facilitated to get specialised survivor support from our Crisis Intervention and Counseling Centre. Our Child Protection Unit is working closely with the children of the communities, specially children living in households grappling with domestic violence as well as with their caregivers to create safer environment in the communities for children. Our Community Centre is also the same infrastructural space wherein women in distress gain shelter at Shakti Shalini, so there is a close integration and solidarity building between the women residing at the shelter home and the residents of the communities targeted in the project which aids in breaking biases and challenging assumptions. Young people from Educational Enhancement, Shakti Shalini’s youth training program work closely in the communities to aid and contribute toward the planned project.
We have a short term and a long-term vision for our community outreach program. As a short-term aim, we hope to ensure that women in communities have a ready forum to approach in the case of a grievance. Many times, we are able to control and mitigate gender violence before a woman is grievously inflicted with suffering. The regular presence of Community Outreach Workers ensures that issues are raised and addressed. In the long term however, we wish to conceive of a society in which the individuality, selfhood and dignity of a woman is recognized by all members of the society. Men must recognize women as equal partners, women must command their rights and support one another and children must be brought up in an environment of equality and non-violence.
Kargil Park Lane, Jangpura B
New Delhi, India.
Pin Code: 110014