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Empowering and Protecting Slum Girls

by Sukarya
Empowering and Protecting Slum Girls
Empowering and Protecting Slum Girls
Empowering and Protecting Slum Girls
Empowering and Protecting Slum Girls
Empowering and Protecting Slum Girls
Empowering and Protecting Slum Girls
Empowering and Protecting Slum Girls
Empowering and Protecting Slum Girls

                                                             SUKARYA COVID 19 RELIEF DRIVE

Sukrya's programs have been on hold due to the Covid-19 outbreak since mid March when the entire India was on a complete lockedown. 

The 68-day lockdown and loss of livelihood amidst social distancing rules have disproportionately affected our slum communities - migrant workers, daily wage-earners, the urban poor, and other vulnerable groups of women & children in tens of thousands. Hunger, lack of sanitary kits and loss of income to buy essentials have left most or all of them helpless.

Immediately after the lockdown ends on May 31st, Sukarya is in the process to be working on the ground to provide COVID-19 relief and aid along with the preparation to resume the program for Adolescent Girls.

The task is monumental. The need is overwhelming. Even after the national initiatives like the PM Cares Fund and efforts from other grassroots non-profits, citizen groups, and civil society organizations, there is still a sizeable population living in our slum communities need to be fed and protected.

In the meanwhile we would like to share the link to a relevant article published in Medium and written by our chairperson, Meera satpathy. 

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I am Rupali. I live in Gurugram. I lost my father when I was five.
Both my mother and I work as housemaids and take care of my siblings. 
Ever since I started taking Gender Empowerment training of Sukarya, I have gained a lot of confidence.
I was not aware of how to take care of myself during menstruation. During my first
period, both my legs used to get ‘rashes’.  I had to work in pain every month. 
My mother was also not able to guide me properly because she herself did not know how to manage it. She told me that she had also
suffered like me. But now after taking this training, I learned that - we should not use the same cloth
again & again, because once it gets wet, it causes a wound or infection. So we should clean it well or change it everytime. 
Our Teacher madam taught us how to maintain physical hygiene and cleanliness. There are no more rashes on my legs
and I am able to do my work comfortably.
Now I take a break from my work to attend this training. I never miss it and I also explain to other girls about the
importance of maintaining good physical hygiene. I am confident and am able to speak out in front of an audience. These are just some of the factors
that have contributed to an increase in my self-esteem.
Sukarya's Adolescent Reproductive Sexual Health (ARSH) - GE program empowers many adolescent girls like me with the knowledge necessary to take initiative for their own health, while learning family life skills, self defence techniques. It gives us a true feeling of freedom.

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This is the story of Priyanshi.

Moved from West Bengal she has been living with her mother in Tarachand camp of Delhi for last 8 years. She is now 13 and studying in standard 7th in the local government school. She has two younger brothers.

Her mother works as a housekeeping staff for the Airport Authority and barely earns enough to feed her family of four. They live in miserable condition without any access to basic amenities and healthcare.When asked about her father, she could not speak much out of shame. Priyanshi had a rough childhood because of her drunkard, abusive father who used to beat her mother up almost every day. That was the worst phase of her life. Currently, her parents are separated and his father has gone back to west Bengal.

Sukarya’s Project team approached Priyanshi and motivated her to join the training session. She was one of the most active girls in the 3 months training program of the Adolescent Reproductive & sexual health [ARSH] and Gender empowerment. She was chosen the leader of the program and motivated other girls of her age to join the training. After going through the sessions Priyanshi was very confident of herself and was comfortable with the trainers discussing everything related to personal health and safety.

She proudly says, “when it comes to talk about the reproductive health issues, the adolescents, in general, prefer to seek help from relatives or friends and not from health care professionals due to certain level of hesitations and taboos in the society but after this training program those taboos became myths of the past and we came to know what were the right things to do and whom to contact  at the time of emergency. Now, we are very much aware of our rights.”

 

                                                     A progress report from August to October 2019


                        
 Adolescent Reproductive & Sexual Health [ARSH]. Family Life Education [FLE].

                                                               Gender and Self –defense training.
          A Health and Gender empowerment Program being implemented across community and school verticals.

 

Total number of intervention in schools – 3

Total number of Intervention in communities- 3

Number of Batches operated – 6

Number of adolescent girls registered – 300

Total number of trainings conducted on ARSH, FLE & Gender and self –defense techniques - 30

No. of “Lead girls” developed and trained to be a resource for the community and act as adovocate for change – 12

 

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The daughter of a laborer father and a housemaid mother, Rani, 13, aspires to be a teacher in a government school. She is determined to work hard, study well, become independent and lend a helping hand to her parents as she grows up.

Rani with her 3 siblings lives with her parents in a highly cluttered and swamped slum community in J.J Bandhu camp in Vasant Kunj, Delhi. Being the youngest child she studies in the 7th grade and has seen her elder sister going through hardships being married at 16. She doesn’t want to go through the same.

She was introduced to Sukarya's Adolescent Reproductive Sexual Health (ARSH) program, a training session aimed to increase the health seeking behavior in adolescent age group and provide them with the right knowledge about various aspect of their growing life. She attended all six sessions of the training with much enthusiasm and motivated other girls of her age group to attend the same.

“Being a member of this group taught me to speak up about myself in school and to my parents", she says, " the physiological and emotional changes brought about by adolescence were frightening to deal with, alone". "My own mother had told me to avoid discussing such issues due to cultural and social stigmas", "however, after ARSH, I have been able to discuss these issues in an appropriate manner and have nothing to be ashamed of".

Today, Rani is a living example for other adolescents girls living in the slums, confident and empowered. They are able to speak out in front of an audience. The ARSH program empowers adolescent girls with the knowledge necessary to take initiatives for their own health and wellbeing. 

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Laxmi, the girl who leads
Laxmi, the girl who leads

THE GIRL WHO LEADS

“We are fortunate to have such a training session in our slum locality as there is hardly any opportunity here to talk about adolescent health”, shares Laxmi, 19, from JJ Bandhu Slum pocket in Delhi. The batch has just started in this locality with adolescent girls & Laxmi was first to hear about the training & has firmly assured the project team to assist in enlisting the girls, disseminating about the training schedule and ensured their participation in training. Her passion to help her peers in her neighborhood has been channelized by Sukarya by acknowledging her as the Lead Girl for the current batch.

“When I met her, she promptly responded to start the batch as the community has significant number of adolescent girls. There was no platform for the girls to discuss about their health issues, challenges they were experiencing, to learn the nuances of this transition stage and how to combat these challenges. Laxmi was quick to help the team in the formation of the batch”, shared Nasim Ahamad, coordinating field operations for Sukarya.

The project team explores lead girls in each batch – provides appropriate hand holding supports in developing leadership skills, builds the confidence to lead the group and develop them act as a resource for the community. “I learnt about coping mechanism while going through different changes of adolescence stage, healthy nutritious intakes and family life education. The trainings are quite helpful for us as the female trainer enables us to get clarifications over many doubts. I have been acknowledged by my peers and they call me Didi (Sister). This gives me immense confidence and pride”, adds Laxmi.

The impact of the program is evident! Sukarya’s Adolescent Girls Empowerment portfolio consciously ensures to develop girls like Laxmi to act as ambassador for change for their community.   

 

Empowering and Protecting Adolescent Girls
Quarterly Report: February – April 2019

This specialized program has registered three new batches during the reporting quarter. One batch was formed in community while two fresh batches were started in Government schools. The new batches attended pre-assessment test before the first training to exhibit their knowledge about the topics. Whereas, the post-assessment exercise was carried out with concluding batches to analyze the impact of the training sessions. 

The project team has identified and developed lead girls in each location in order to ensure the sustainability of the intervention and these “lead girls” would act as resource [Positive deviance ] for the community they live in.     

During the reporting period, total 292 adolescent girls were reached out through six batches across both the verticals – Community and Government Schools. Total 13 training sessions were organized with adolescent girls in Delhi and Gurugram.

Topics covered under the Program

  1. Adolescent Health.
  2. Menstrual Hygiene.
  3. Reproductive Health.
  4. Family life [Role, stages of life, relationship].
  5. Life and Social threats, Issues/Challenges, Coping mechanism, Police and other help line numbers, emergency numbers. 
  6. Self-defense tools, tips and key skills to handle emergency situations.

 

                                                                                       *******************************************************

 

Presenting the learnings
Presenting the learnings
Energizer game
Energizer game
Asking questions shows the confidence
Asking questions shows the confidence
Post assessment session
Post assessment session
Training session  in school
Training session in school

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Organization Information

Sukarya

Location: Gurgaon, Haryana - India
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @sukaryango
Project Leader:
Shipra Shukla
Gurgaon, India

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