Under the Sabala Panchayat, BYVs will focus on the empowerment of women and spreading the message of equality. This would encourage women to come forward and raise their voice against the injustice they face in society. Men and women are both encouraged to use the existing government schemes that protect women’s rights and simultaneously create awareness about the same. In light of this theme, the BYV volunteers will be participating in the following campaigns:
Campaign against Child Marriage
Child marriage is one of the pressing social evil of our society. The Government of Odisha along with international development agencies are trying to intervene to eliminate this problem in the state. BYV volunteers will work with the state and other bodies by contributing in the following ways:
- Gender sensitization of college students across the state.
- Promoting the idea of gender equality and equal rights for all.
- Career guidance for girls to help them dream big and pursue a career of their choice.
- Inspiring adolescent girls and boys to voice their opinions against child marriage.
- Select those who stand up to these value systems as MU Heroes and making them role models for other girls and boys in their villages.
- Counselling family members of the children, especially parents of girls.
Campaign against dowry and formation of Women Support Groups against domestic violence
The public awareness about women’s rights has increased over time. This along with the increased efforts of the government’s campaigns against dowry and domestic violence have resulted in an increase in the number of cases being reported. However, a number of cases go unreported across the state and the country. Thus the BYVs will work against issues of Dowry and Domestic Violence by:
- Engaging with students in schools and colleges to educate the rural and urban youth on the issues of dowry and domestic violence.
- Being approachable members of society so that victims of domestic violence can reach out to them for help without fear of judgement.
- Form women support groups that would be a safe place for women to take their grievances.
- Using digital tools to help women feel part of a wider network.
- Being effective in rescuing victims and addressing issues on a real-time basis.
- Urging men and women to show an equal amount of support and come forward for this cause
Sensitization on Human Rights
A lot of state-wide campaigns have taken place in the past for sensitizing women on their basic human rights, entitlements and to emphasize gender equality. BYV volunteers will be dealing with issues of child marriage, dowry and domestic violence through the various levels of engagements. Apart from these, there is scope for greater creativity where the same message can have a greater impact. BYVs will also encourage girls to pursue a career of their choice and thus be financially independent members of society.
There are many ways by which BYV volunteers can participate in the sensitization process. Television advertisements on local Odia channels, UN awareness videos on the girl child, street plays, wall paintings, celebration of local Odia festivals such as ‘Raja’ and ‘Kumar Purnima’ across districts and quiz contests can all prove to be impactful among the masses.