Kolkata Sanved (KS) implemented
its module on “Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights” in collaboration with
Jeevika Development Society (JDS) at its school centers in the remote village
in West Bengal. The name of the school was Bakrahat Girl’s High School. The
sessions were supported by funds from Global Giving. This module was for adolescent
girls in the remote rural school. 42 attended the sessions.
The bodies of adolescent girls go
through various changes during puberty. Often young girls have little knowledge
about what these changes are and why they are happening. Along with this
adolescent girls face many pressures due to the misconceptions in society regarding
the roles of women. Having limited access to safe spaces for questioning, many young
girls get their information from incorrect sources which often puts them at a
risk. Therefore the aim of this module was to give vulnerable young girls especially
from marginalized section of Society, access to knowledge about their bodies.
Having this knowledge they would be better equipped to take care of their
health and well being. In an effort to expand the uses of Dance Movement
Therapy Kolkata Sanved realized that DMT could be a powerful educative tool.
Therefore KS uses the “Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR)” module
where dance is not used therapeutically but used for the process of awareness
building to enlighten young girls on these issues. For example they did not
know the correct names of their body parts or the scientific processes behind
menstruation and the spread of HIV.
KS had an enriching journey
working on the SRHR module with JDS. Further collaborations in this regard will
contribute greatly to empowering more vulnerable adolescent girls.
Jun 4, 2019
Kolkata Sanved June report
By Rajyashree Datta - Project Leader
girls of the remote villages in Kakdwip were taken through the SRHR workshop.
Kakdwip in South
24 Parganas district
is in the IndianState of West
Bengal. It is situated on the
eastern banks of the Hooghly
River quite near where the
river meets the Bay of
Bengal. Some of the reasons
for focusing in this area was because of the alarming rate of school dropout by
adolescent girls, followed by early marriage, teen pregnancy apart from risks
of being trafficked. The SRHR workshops for adolescent girls between the ages
of 14 and 19, were held in collaboration with Indian Institute of Training
& Development (IITD) who already have a presence in the area.
Sexual and Reproductive Health & Rights
(SRHR) module where dance is used for the process of awareness
building to enlighten young girls, create safe space and ensure that
marginalized sections of the society are not deprived of their right to the
Some topics covered during
the workshop included Body awareness, reduce stigma regarding body and its
organs, health concern related to reproductive organs and personal hygiene
during menstruation as well as teach about HIV AIDS, risks of transmission and
protection from the disease. Sexual and Reproductive Health & Rights to
enable them to access their Rights and minimize chances of risk. 28
participants were taken through the workshop.
At the end of the
workshop, objectives were met
when two participants who were ready to get married decided after the session, that
they would not get married until they reached the appropriate age. Many
have been motivated to first complete
their education, become financially independent and then think about
marriage. Even if they are pressurized into marriage by their parents, they
have the capacity & confidence now, to stand up for themselves. Sharing some
pictures of the SRHR sessions in Kakdwip :
SRHR Workshops were also
held at Lutheran
World Services Trust (LWSIT) in the City of Kolkata
for adolescent girls who are mostly children of Sex workers and face a high
risk. The objective of the workshop here was to create awareness of HIV and
Safe Space. The
participants asked questions like- a) Can HIV spread if two people use the same
blade and one of them is infected? b)
How early can the virus be detected and does the risk increase if it is
detected after a very long time? There
was a high level of interest and engagement wherein a lot of their queries and
wrong notions were cleared. They all understood how important it was to be
aware of one’s own body and its function and needs so that they have the agency
to voice their opinion and desire. The activity around safe space boosted their
confidence. No pictures were taken since the youngsters were reluctant of being photographed.
Mar 8, 2019
KOLKATA SANVED - GG REPORT
By Rajyashree Datta - Project Leader
Since Coochbehar is close to the border and vulnerable to
trafficking, it was felt that we should continue focusing on Coochbehar and
reach out to as many adolescents as possible.
Coochbehar is a city and municipality in the Indian state of West
Bengal. It is the
headquarters of Cooch Behar district and is in the foothills of Eastern
Himalayas. Cooch behar district has 549.45 Km
long Indo-Bangladesh border of which more than 300 Km is fenced. Rest is open
and at many places of open Indo-Bangladesh Border is riverine. Border
crimes such as smuggling, infiltration, human trafficking and cattle smuggling
is rampant in some portions of the riverine border.
The Sexual and Reproductive
Health & Rights (SRHR) sessions using Dance Movement Therapy (DMT) conducted
by three facilitators in Govt. schools had been highly appreciated by the
adolescent students & Teachers alike. In fact, there was a request from the Government authorities to
conduct SRHR in more rural schools of Cooch Behar as there had been a
substantial decrease in the number of school drop outs and an increase in the confidence level of adolescent girls. An
internal decision was taken by our organization to focus in Coochbehar district
this Financial Year, ending on 31st March 2019. Sessions for the adolescent
girls had been conducted in Govt. schools of Bhavalmore and Rail Gumti area of
Coochbehar with total number of participants being 62. Apart from increasing
awareness on the risks of falling prey to trafficking, they were made aware of
the risks of early marriage, unprotected sex, HIV, condom usage and their overall
safety and well being. The sessions
helped many youngsters to overcome their inhibitions and ignorance around the
topics of sexuality.
Particular mention of a young teenaged
girl named Putul (name changed), who was extremely withdrawn and aggressive at the start of the session,
refusing to communicate with anyone. A senior facilitator took her in
confidence and shared her own personal story with her. By the end of the fourth
day of the program, there was a noticible change in the youngster’s behaviour. She started connecting
with the rest, shared peer bonding and was far more at peace with herself.
In the next quarter, SRHR programs
will be conducted in various Govt. schools in and around West Bengal,
especially areas prone to trafficking.